Millet is a grain that has been used for centuries in Asia and Africa. It is an ancient food that has been shown to improve overall health and reduce inflammation.
Millet is a gluten-free grain that contains high levels of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. Millet is a frequently used pantry ingredient in the United States, Asia, and Africa due to its gluten-free nature and high nutritional value. Its chewiness when cooked is adored by some, but the nutty taste takes the stage for others. However, it is still not widely distributed across all store shelves. Scroll down if you’re seeking a millet alternative that has comparable characteristics while still keeping your meals nutritious.
Sorghum, bulgur, rice, barley, amaranth, and quinoa are all good alternatives to whole-grain millet. However, while each one has a little different flavor and texture, the end results are very similar. Rice flour, buckwheat flour, or sorghum flour can be used as a gluten-free replacement for millet flour.
This cereal grass originated from West Africa and was introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages. Sorghum is often referred to as "milk" because of its sweet aroma. The grains have a milder sweetness than other cereals like wheat and corn.
They also contain more nutrients such as iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, vitamin B6, folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, and biotin. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, sorghum is a millet that originated in Africa and has since migrated to Asia and Australia. The taste of sorghum makes it an excellent millet replacement in nearly all types of dishes. Richer than millet while also being somewhat nutty. It’s popular in soups because of its wonderful chewy texture and taste, which is similar to wheat berries.
When used as a basis for grain salads or simply put into pilafs, it produces a nutritious meal. Sorghum is a nutritious cooking grain that is also commonly utilized as animal feed in the United States.
Buckwheat is another type of pseudocereal that is native to China. It is known for its distinctive flavor and color. Like sorghum, this grain is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and dietary fibers.
It is considered a complete source of protein, containing both soluble and insoluble forms of protein. In addition, buckwheat is low in fat and cholesterol. Buckwheat is an ancient grain that pairs beautifully with roasted meats and winter root vegetables. It’s recognized for its nutty flavor and may be used in place of millet if you want more flavorful grains. Buckwheat has a nuttiness to it, as well as earthy and bitter tastes, which is why it’s popular in pancakes and tabbouleh.
This rhubarb cousin with groats that you can roast, soak, and boil to make delectable kasha is an Eastern European kitchen classic known for its flexibility. The groats only take 10 minutes to cook to perfection and go well with a variety of slow-cooker recipes.
The name Amaranthus comes from Latin meaning “unconquerable”. Amaranths were first cultivated in Mexico around 2000 BC. They grow quickly and produce large amounts of seeds. These seeds are usually ground up and added to stews and sauces.
Amaranth is a gluten-free grain that is high in iron, calcium, proteins, and fiber and has a lower carbohydrate content than millet. It’s actually a little seed that looks like sesame seed and is extremely popular in China, Africa, and South America. When it comes to taste, amaranth seeds have a nutty flavor and a great crunch when fried. It blends well with other grains and has a malty flavor that will surprise you every time. Amaranth may be used in stews and soups, boiled, puffed for texture, or ground into flour – there’s no way to go wrong with this one.
Amaranth is a great substitute for millets because they share many similarities including their nutrient content and ability to absorb water. Both millets and amaranth are gluten-free and easy to digest.
The word quinoa means "the mother" in Spanish. Quinoa was originally grown by Incas in Peru but now grows throughout the world. This tiny grain is packed full of nutrition and contains essential amino acids. It is often referred to as a superfood due to its nutritional value.
Quinoa is very versatile; it can be cooked on a stovetop, baked, steamed, or even made into porridge. You’ll find it in most supermarkets these days so look for organic varieties. Quinoa is recognized as a superfood since it is high in vitamins and minerals and is the most protein-rich grain available. It is a gluten-free alternative to millet. It just takes 15 minutes to simmer in water until it’s ready to eat, which is roughly half the time it takes millet.
Quinoa flour, whole-grain quinoa, and quinoa pasta are all available. To avoid an unpleasant flavor, make sure the bitter coating on whole-grain quinoa is removed by properly washing it in water.
The bulgar wheat plant originated in Turkey and Syria about 5000 years ago. Bulgur is similar to couscous except that it cooks faster and requires less liquid. Bulgur is also higher in nutrients than couscous. Bulgur is commonly found at grocery stores and health food markets.
When cooking bulgur, add 1 cup uncooked bulgur per 2 cups boiling water. Cover and let sit 5–10 minutes before serving. While there are a variety of wheat cultivars that may be used to make bulgur, durum wheat is the most commonly utilized. When wheat groats are parboiled, then dried and ground, they give bulgur.
Cooked bulgur has a wonderful popcorn-like fragrance that perfectly matches its nutty flavor, and the chewy textures vary depending on the variety of grain used. Bulgur that is coarse is ideal for thick soups and stews. Fine and medium grains are used in porridge, salads, puddings, bread, and pilafs.
Barley is another ancient cereal crop from Asia Minor and Europe. Like rice, barley is considered a staple food in some cultures around the globe. In fact, barley is the second-largest producer of rice after India.
Barley, like most other grains on this list, has a nutty flavor and a beautiful chewy texture, which makes it a great millet alternative. Barley is a grain crop that has been harvested for over 10000 years all over the world and is commonly used in soup and casserole dishes. Although it takes a little longer to cook than millet, pearl barley may be used to substitute millet in a slow-cooker dish because it does not require overnight soaking.
To prepare barley, just combine one cup of barley with three cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for approximately an hour with the lid covered.
Millets have many benefits when compared to traditional cereals such as oats, corn, and wheat. They’re easy to grow, store well, and provide more fiber and protein than their counterparts.
If you want to try out any of these alternatives, I recommend starting small and adding them gradually to your diet. Try substituting millet flakes for oatmeal once every few weeks and see how you feel! You can also use brown rice, white rice for substituting millets as well. I hope this post helped you with all your food curiosities.