What are Millets?
Millets are small, round grains that have been grown and consumed in Africa, Asia, and Europe for thousands of years. They are a nutritious and sustainable alternative to major staples such as wheat and rice, and have several potential health benefits.
One of the main benefits of millets is their high nutrient content. Millets are rich in B vitamins, minerals such as iron and magnesium, and antioxidants. They are also a good source of plant-based protein and dietary fiber. In addition, millets are naturally gluten-free, making them a suitable option for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Another advantage of millets is their low glycemic index (GI), which means that they are absorbed and digested slowly by the body. This can help to regulate blood sugar levels, making millets a suitable choice for people with diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes. Millets may also have a positive effect on cholesterol levels and help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
According to Ayurveda, millets are considered to be sattvic, or pure and nourishing, foods that promote balance and harmony in the body. They are meant to be beneficial for for all tridohas a, vata, pitta or kapha constitution, as they are grounding and nourishing. Millets are also believed to have a stabilizing effect on the mind and emotions.
In Ayurveda, it is recommended to soak/ferment millets before cooking them to improve their digestibility. Millets can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as boiling, roasting, or grinding them into flour. They can be used in dishes such as porridge, bread, and cakes, as well as in savory dishes like stews and soups.
Some specific millets that are commonly used in Ayurveda include ragi (finger millet), bajra (pearl millet), and jowar (sorghum), hulled millet and littel millet. Each of these millet has its own unique set of health benefits and can be used in different ways in the kitchen. Overall, incorporating millets into the diet according to Ayurvedic principles may help to promote balance and overall health.
Millets are good source of Prebiotics for Children.
Yes, millets are a good source of prebiotics, which are non-digestible fibers that serve as food for the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics play a vital role in maintaining the balance of the microbiome, which is the community of microorganisms that live in the gut. A healthy microbiome is important for overall health, as it affects the digestion and absorption of nutrients, the immune system, and even the brain and mood.
Incorporating millets into the diet may help to support the growth of beneficial bacteria and promote a healthy gut. This can be especially important for children, as the gut microbiome is still developing during the early years of life. A healthy gut microbiome in childhood may have long-term effects on health, including the risk of developing certain chronic conditions such as obesity and allergies.
There are several ways to incorporate millets into a children's diet. They can be cooked and served as a side dish, mixed into soups and stews, or ground into flour and used in baked goods such as bread and pancakes. As with any food, it is important to introduce millets gradually and in small amounts to ensure that they are well tolerated.
One best methods to take millets is by fermenting them along with other grains and make them easy to digest. This is a traditional recipe that I would like to share and this one which is one of my favorite recipe that have used and seen very good benefits.
Mixed Millet Idli
1.5 cups of urad dal (split black gram without the husk)
1 cup of idli rice/sona masuri rice
1/2 cup little millet
1/2 hulled millet
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1.Rinse and soak the rice and millets together for 8-10 hours. Rinse and soak the urad dal and fenugreek seeds together. After 8 hours throw away soaked water. blend the millets and rice together semi coarse think batter by adding 1.5 cups of water.
2. Now blend the urad dal and the fenugreek seeds together into a fine paste by add 2 cup of water. Now mix both batter together and add the salt. mix it well. Close it with a lid ans let it set and ferment for about 8-10 hours.
3. Batter will look like fluffed up and you will see some tiny bubbles. This is the sign that the batter is ready. If you don't see this then wait for couple of more hours for the batter to ferment.
4. Open the lid, gentle mix the batter, it should be thick like pan cake batter consistency. If it seems to too think then add 2 tbsp of warm water and mix it well.
5. Place the Idli steamer on heat with added 3 cups of water in it. Now grease the idli plates with ghee or coconut oil. Put the batter in each mold filled 3/4 and stem them for 25 minutes. turn off the heat and open the lid after2-3 minutes.
6. Slowly slide a small spoon and gently scoop out the idlis and serve them with Sambar.
Simple Squash Sambar Recipe
Boil the following ingredients together in 3 cups of water: 2 cups of delicate squash/butternut squash, 1/4 cup of moong dal rinsed, 2 tsp coriander seeds, 2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 kashmiri lal mirch, 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds and 1.5 tbsp tamarind pulp. boil for about 20 minutes and let it cool down.
Now blend it with added 1/2 of freshly grated coconut or dry coconut powder until its smooth and creamy looking texture. Add this blended mixture back to cooking pot and extra 2 cups water. Bring to boil and add 1 and 1/4 tsp of Himalayan pink salt. let it simmer on low heat for about 8-10 minutes and prepare for tampering.
Heat 1.5 tbsp coconut oil/ghee in a small pan, add mustard seeds, wait until they make a carcking sound, add 10 curry leaves. turn off the heat and pour it into the boiling sambar. turn of the heart for the samber before you pour the tampering.
Serve with freshly steamed Idlis.
Say a simple prayer, honor the delicious food.
This recipe is good for all tridoshas. Only for those having Pitta imbalances must avoid sour foods, so reduce the amount of tamarind to half and use this recipe occasionally.
Also checkout my cookbook on Millets on the link below:
Detox Delights For Diabetes and Wight Loss