Gluten-Free 101 Millet Flour

millet Flour

Written by Glen Call

September 28, 2020

Do you need a versatile gluten-free flour for your next creation? Look no further than millet flour. Known the world over, millet flour works for all types of foods, whether sweet or savory. Here’s a quick primer on this ancient gluten-free grain.

What is Millet?

Millet is one of the oldest cereal grains known to man. It’s estimated that people started eating it approximately 7,000 years ago. It also may have been one of the first grains to be cultivated through agriculture. Civilizations have harvested millet since that time around the world. It often looks more like a grass than other grains, with a much smaller berry than grains like wheat or rice.

Where Have I Heard of Millet?

If you’ve read the bible or are a history buff, you’ve probably read about millet. And since that time, traditional dishes around the world have incorporated millet. You can eat millet porridge in Russia or Germany. In Japan, millet puff bars called awaokoshi are popular. The Vietnamese use it in a snack called bánh đa kê. And in parts of Africa, millet can range from 35-65% of total cereal consumption.

Where Does Millet Come From?

The vast majority of millet is harvested in Asia and Africa. It’s a very hearty plant that is able to grow in a short time and in hotter, drier climates. Because of its resilience, it is a staple in many countries where water is scarce. The largest producers of millet are India, Niger, China, Mali, and Nigeria. But, because of the rise of gluten intolerance, its cultivation is growing worldwide.

Is Millet Flour Healthy?

Millet is a very healthy grain for consumption. It boasts higher amounts of protein and fiber compared to other gluten-free grains. It’s also higher in healthy fats. Millet flour is also high in manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, and iron.

Is Millet Flour Right for My Product?

Millet flour’s taste is mild so it’s often substituted for other, more distinctive-tasting gluten-free flours.  Chefs who want a nice crumble to cookies and cakes use it in their foods. It’s often added for better texture and structure in products. Too much millet flour can be detrimental in lighter, fluffier breads. It causes them to be dense with a coarse taste to them. It shines in quick breads, cakes, muffins, and cookies.

In Conclusion

Millet flour is a great option for your next gluten-free food.  Its taste is mild, it works in sweet and savory items, and has a very healthy profile. It’s known all over the world, so there’s less education you need as you add it to your foods. It’s fantastic for baking and works across many foods. All in all, it’s a great addition to your next gluten-free product.

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