Here’s why Colorado-grown millet is about to become your new favorite pantry staple
It's gluten-free, nutrient-dense and great in beer
The Denver Post
“I don’t know what millet is, but I like it.”
That was the 10-word review my husband gave the crispy millet tater tots from Boulder-based RollinGreens that I had just pulled out of the oven.
It’s not an unusual response. Though Colorado grows more than half of all the millet in the United States, the seed remains foreign to many, often overlooked in favor of other trendy superfoods like quinoa, chia seed and flax.
“I feel like millet is an unsung hero,” said Andy Clark, owner of Moxie Feed & Seed in North Boulder and Moxie Bread Co. in Louisville. “It’s a familiar word and a familiar item, but it probably doesn’t get the attention it deserves.”
Millet has been a staple crop in Africa and Asia for centuries. Foxtail and Proso millet (the latter of which is Colorado’s focus) have been domesticated in China for around 10,000 years. The grain didn’t arrive in Colorado until the late 1800s when it was grown for livestock feed. Around the 1960s, “as people started feeding birds, millet was a preferred bird food,” said Ron Meyer, an extension agronomist at Colorado State University.
It wasn’t until the last five or so years that American consumers really started to pay attention to the ancient seed as something other than pet food. As healthy eating and gluten-free diets have become more popular, so has millet because it is naturally gluten-free, easily digestible, high in fiber and magnesium, and is a source of protein. (Whole Foods Market’s popular Seeduction Bread, which incorporates millet, has been available for a decade.)
“We went from a primarily birdseed-only market … to a food market,” Meyer said.
Read the full story via The Denver Post.