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Ingredient of the week: Millet

 Ingredient of the week: Millet (Photo: iStock)

Regarding traditional grains and cereals, millet, also known as mtama in Swahili, must be mentioned.

Millets are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses grown worldwide for their ability to withstand harsh conditions and thrive in arid and semi-arid areas.

The most common varieties include pearl millet, foxtail millet, proso millet and finger millet.  The grains are small, and round and vary in colour from white to yellow to red.

These grains are highly nutritious and a good source of carbohydrates, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Millet's high fibre content aids digestion and prevents constipation. The fibre, combined with magnesium and potassium, can help lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In addition, millet is naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for people with gluten intolerance.

There are several ways to eat millet.

It can make porridge, pilaf, flatbread and bakery products.

It is widely used in animal feed production because of its nutritional value for humans and other animals, especially cattle and poultry.

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