Your eyes and wallet are not deceiving you — quinoa prices are at an all-time high. The longtime staple of the Andean people has reached hippie-crack status of the health-food set. And while it may be hard to believe that another seed can replace this nutritional powerhouse, millet might just be up for the fight. What's to love about millet besides how good it is for the body? It's easy to prepare, affordable, and, unlike quinoa, it's free from complicated environmental and social quandaries.
First things first: despite being a favorite choice for bird feeders, millet is not just for parakeets. Still grossed out? Just a reminder: those chia seeds you eat are the same ones sprouting out of someone's terracotta pet figurine (and we've all come to terms with that). Like chia seeds, millet ranks high when it comes to nutrition. A good source of protein, iron, B vitamins, and fiber, millet is also gluten-free, making it a whole-grain alternative for anyone suffering from wheat intolerance. Numerous studies also show that millet helps regulate blood sugar — goodbye, sugary cravings! — and is high in antioxidants. All in all, it's a great whole food that supports weight loss, weight maintenance, sustained energy, and heart health.
Prepare (and use) millet in the same way as you would quinoa or brown rice (two parts water to one part grain). While millet has a mild, slightly nutty flavor on its own, the fluffy seed easily takes on the flavors of the dish you cook it with — and goes with just about anything! Use it in a salad, serve it alongside a curry, or top with your favorite healthy stir-fry.