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Millets – Little powerhouses, major benefits!

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Traditionally grown and eaten in our country for over 5000 years, Millets are rain-fed hardy grains with low water and fertility requirements, when compared to other cereals. It has recently gained popularity among various diets due to its high protein, fibre and anti-oxidant content. There are various benefits to consuming millets. Some of them are:

  • Rich in anti-oxidants – wound healing & skin-protection
  • Helps control blood sugar levels
  • Helps lower cholesterol – we all could use a reduction, that is for sure!
  • Fits perfectly into a gluten-free diet – a budding trend and nutritious for the soul

Millets can be used for breakfast or as a carry-around snack. While we expect a longer quarantine period, let’s harness those cooking skills and get ourselves on a more nutritious path – the cleaner we eat, the healthier we are! There are various ways to prepare these – to get you started, here are 3 recipes for millet-based snack items:

 

Millet Bhel
Keep some stock of Gouri’s Goodies Happy Millet Cereal Mix at home – the perfectly nutritious substitute to basic puffed rice! For those evening hunger pangs, what better way to beat the summer heat than with a spicy and cool bhel mixture!

All you need is:

  • Happy Millet Cereal
  • Sev (Chickpea Flour)
  • Potatoes (Boiled and chopped finely)
  • Onions (Chopped finely)
  • Coriander (Cleaned and chopped finely)
  • Lemon Juice (As per your taste)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Green Chutney (A common household preparation in Indian homes) – 3 spoons

Portions – As per the number of people consuming and your appetite. This is a very flexible recipe and provides good nutrition with the right ingredients.

Method – Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and top with some raw mango slices and a healthy squeeze of lime juice.

Morning Millet Porridge
Bored of the usual flakes and milk? I enjoy making this porridge on some mornings with a variety of fruits and toppings – the perfect gluten-free start to my day!

All you need is:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 to ½ cups Magic Millet Cereal Mix (added nutrition with raisins and seeds)
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 1 to ½ cups water

Optional toppings like – cranberries, blueberries, toasted nuts, chocolate chips

Method:

  • Warm the coconut oil in a medium saucepan and then add the cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Stir until fragrant, less than a minute. Add the millet and stir, making sure to fully coat the grain. Pour in the coconut milk and water, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and lightly cover. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the liquid begins to evaporate. Check to make sure it's not sticking to the bottom. Give it a whisk and continue to cook if too much liquid remains. Once desired consistency is reached, remove it from the heat and add desired toppings.
  • Can be refrigerated and reheated the next day. You may want to add additional water when you reheat.

Jowar Khichdi
A twist to the regular dal-khichdi we run to for comfort and the taste of our mother’s cooking – Jowar khichdi is the gluten-free delight for a home-like khichdi. It sure is the go-to dinner in my home!

All you need is:

  • 2 cups Jowar, soaked overnight for 12 hours
  • 2 cups chopped vegetables – peas, pumpkin, potatoes, gourd, cauliflower, corn
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped finely
  • Green chillies, to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • Hing, a pinch

Method:

  • Saute the onions, garlic and ginger in the ghee until fragrant.
  • Add tomatoes, green chillies, cumin, coriander, fennel & Hing for a few minutes
  • Add the remaining vegetables and stir to incorporate
  • Add the jowar and 4 cups of water. Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar, and cover the pot and let it cook until grains are cooked and the water is absorbed.
  • You can add dals of your choice to this mixture for a more nutritious punch!
  • Serve hot with curd, kachumber, pickle or onions. Don’t forget to add an extra dollop of ghee!

Coconut Smoothie
A smoothie is the best way to go post a workout or just to satiate an evening hunger pang. Packed with crunch and nutrition, there is no way you can have enough of smoothie options. A coconut smoothie is a perfect breakfast or snack to beat the heat this summer!

All you need is:

Method: Mix all the ingredients in a blender until combined. Add fruits of your choice if you have some kept around at the house – for a juicier taste. You can also add cocoa for a chocolate version and you can also add a seed mix of your choice to pack it with more crunchiness!

On a closing note, while we all endure the lockdown for a better future, a change in our lifestyles and daily diets is advisable for lighter summer days and a nutritious beginning to our future. In the wise words of Dr. Josh Axe, ‘health is not about the weight you lose, it is about the life you gain’!

 

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