Is Millet the Next Super Grain?

A group of researchers hopes to bring this nutritious, drought-tolerant grain to the mainstream.

When scientists Amrita Hazra and Patricia Bubner arrived in Berkeley, California a few years back to do post-doctoral science at the University of California, they bonded over what they saw as an alarming lack of diversity in the American diet.

While millet is grown and consumed in vast quantities in places like Africa, India, and parts of Europe, the ancient grain is much less popular here. In fact, it is mostly marketed for bird seed rather than for human consumption.

Millet is the term for a group of small seeded grasses. If you’ve ever cooked Proso millet, the variety available here, you know that it is yellow in color, and looks like a small bead when raw. Cooked in water or broth, it becomes fluffy in texture, with a slightly nutty taste. As with many grains though, it doesn’t have much flavor at all, and is mostly used as a vehicle to soak up whatever sauce you serve it with.

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