Millet Pilaf Curry with Cashews

Millet is a healthy whole grain that is naturally gluten free and easy to digest. It is not often eaten in our country, but is readily available in natural food stores. Millet is very inexpensive and cooks up in less than 30 minutes. I started experimenting with millet when I began working at Mother Earth’s. I wanted to create tasty and healthy dishes with this nutritious and affordable ingredient. In the last few years I have come up with several recipes. This is one of my first and is a variation of my Curry Quinoa recipe. It works well with millet too.

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked millet—rinsed
2 cups water
1 vegetable bouillon cube (or 1 tsp. salt)
2 tsp. curry powder (or to taste)
2 Tbs. coconut or olive oil
1 Tbs. minced garlic
½ cup chopped onions
4-5 cups vegetables of choice
[kale, spinach, chard, collards—finely chopped]
[broccoli, green beans, etc.—cut into small pieces]
½ cup toasted cashew pieces
¼ cup dried cranberries or raisins

Put water, bouillon, and curry powder into a medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add millet. Cover and return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Cook until done (approx. 20-25 minutes). Keep covered; millet will soften. Set aside. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, then add the other veggies (add the chopped greens last). Cook until tender—adding a little water if needed—but make sure that all water is evaporated before adding to the millet. Fluff the millet and then add the veggies. Stir to combine. Toss in remaining ingredients. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Benefits of Millet

Millet provides a host of nutrients, has a sweet nutty flavor, and is considered to be one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains available. It is one of the few grains that is alkalizing to the body.

  1. Millet is alkaline and it digests easily.
  2. Millet will hydrate your colon to keep you from being constipated.
  3. Millet acts as a prebiotic feeding microflora in your inner ecosystem.
  4. The serotonin in millet is calming to your moods.
  5. Millet is a smart carb with lots of fiber and low simple sugars. Because of this it has a relatively low glycemic index and has been shown to produce lower blood sugar levels than wheat or rice.
  6. Magnesium in millet can help reduce the effects of migraines and heart attacks.
  7. Niacin (vitamin B3) in millet can help lower cholesterol.
  8. Millet consumption decreases triglycerides and C-reactive protein. Scientists in Seoul, South Korea concluded that millet may be useful in preventing cardiovascular disease.
  9. All millet varieties show high antioxidant activity.
  10. Millet is gluten-free and non-allergenic. A great grain for sensitive individuals.
  11. Millet’s high protein content (15 percent) makes is a substantial addition to a vegetarian diet.

Health Benefits of Curry Powder

Curry Powder is a popular spice mix that has a number of valuable health benefits, including the prevention of cancer, protection against heart disease, reduce Alzheimer’s disease symptoms, ease pain and inflammation, boost bone health, protect the immune system from bacterial infections,  and increase the liver’s ability to remove toxins from the body. Curry powder is made up of numerous ingredients, and depending on the region of the world, they can change slightly, which can also alter the specific health benefits that may be derived from the powder. The most common and advantageous ingredients of curry powder are turmeric, coriander, cardamom, cumin and red pepper. Some other ingredients that are occasionally added, depending on the specific recipe, are fennel seeds, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, or mustard seeds, all of which have individual health benefits.

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