The United Nations declared 2023 the International Year of Millets, which got us pretty excited about this little grain. There are a number of reasons why the United Nations is shining a spotlight on this little-known nutri-cereal including millets’ suitability for cultivation under adverse and changing climate conditions.
Wait, what is millet?
Millets are a group of grains referred to as “nutri-cereals” because of their high nutrition content compared to more common cereal grains like wheat, rice and corn. Millets are a genetically diverse group including pearl, proso, foxtail, barnyard, little, kodo, browntop, finger and Guinea millets as well as fonio, sorghum (or great millet) and teff. Millets were some of the first plants to be domesticated and serve as a staple crop for millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia to this day. These grains can grow in poor soil with few inputs, are resistant to many crop diseases and pests, and can survive harsh climatic conditions. So far, everything is coming up millets!
Millet is a nutritional powerhouse
- Gluten free
- Low Glycemic Index
- Good source of fiber and protein
- Excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, phosphorus, potassium, antioxidants, niacin, calcium and iron
More Reasons to Love Millets
- Adaptable to different production environments, without high fertilizer or pesticide needs
- Deeply tied to ancestral traditions, cultures and Indigenous knowledge
- Good for animal health as feed
- Diverse in taste and applications in the kitchen (recipes follow)
- Quick cooking time
- A source of income for marginal production areas in rural, urban, regional and
You can read more about the International Year of the Millets here.
Find millet products including whole grain millet and millet flour on Co-op shelves year round! Not sure what to do with it? You can swap it out for rice or quinoa in most recipes. I like to toast it and add it to granola, chocolate chip cookies and other bakes goods. Check out some of our favorite recipes below.
Perfect Stovetop Millet
- 1 cup whole grain millet
- 2 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
Rinse millet under cold running water for about 30 seconds. Add to a pot with 2 cups water and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat but DO NOT remove the lid. Set a time for 10 more minutes for the millet to steam. When the timer goes off, remove lid and fluff with a fork.
Vegan Millet Pancakes
- 1 cup millet flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
- ½ cup nondairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- vegan butter
- For serving: maple syrup, fresh or stewed berries, peanut butter, toasted coconut, banana slices, etc.
Combine millet flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine mashed bananas, milk and vanilla. Add the dry to the wet and whisk until no lumps remain.
Heat vegan butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, spoon about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan. You can do more than one at a time, but don’t crowd the pan. Reduce heat and cook until you see bubbles coming to the pancake’s surface and the bottom is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook another 2-4 minutes. Keep pancakes warm in a 180 degree F oven until ready to serve then top with your favorite things!
Maple Pecan Breakfast Bowl
- 1 cup cooked millet
- roasted pumpkin or squash
- maple pecans*
- ground flaxseeds
- pumpkin seeds
- hemp seeds
- ground cinnamon
- maple syrup
- ½ cup warmed milk of choice
*To make maple pecans preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss raw pecans with a little maple syrup, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool at room temperature before eating or using in a recipe. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
Heat milk over low heat until steaming (hot but not boiling). Add cooked millet to a bowl. Top with roasted pumpkin, maple pecans, seeds, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup. Finish by pouring warmed milk over everything.
Spiced Millet and Dried Apricot Salad
- ½ cup uncooked millet (or 2 cups cooked millet)
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped almonds, toasted
- ¼ cup pistachios, chopped
- 6 dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
- ¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons walnut oil (or EVOO)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses (or balsamic vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon ras el hanout seasoning blend
- ¼ teaspoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
- a grind of black pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Rinse millet in a strainer until the water runs clear. Add to a small pan with 1 cup of clean water and a pinch of salt, put the lid on, bring to the boil and turn the heat right down to low. Leave the millet simmering for 10-15 minutes until cooked. Remove from the heat but do not remove the lid. Set a time for 10 more minutes for the millet to steam. When the timer goes off, remove lid and fluff with a fork. Cool at room temperature for about an hour or in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Sweet Potato and Millet Falafel
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup cooked sweet potato, mashed*
- ½ cup red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt plus more for sprinkling
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup cooked millet, at room temperature
- Avocado or grapeseed oil for frying
*Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Cube 1 medium sweet potato (no need to peel – lots of nutrients in the skin) and toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and generous pinches of salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, flip, and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes. Cool slightly then mash with a fork.
Place the chickpeas, sweet potato, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, coriander, salt, cumin, cayenne, and black pepper into the bowl of a food processor and pulse, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until all of the ingredients are uniform in size, but still slightly grainy in texture. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and fold in the cooked millet. Roll 2-3 tablespoons of the falafel mixture into a small patty with your hands. Repeat with the rest of the falafel mixture placing the uncooked falafel on a large plate or baking sheet until ready to cook.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of frying oil in the skillet and swirl to coat. Place the patties in the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until crispy and brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the excess oil and sprinkle with salt.
During the winter time, the lack of sun and overwhelm from the holidays are just some of the many contributors to imbalanced serotonin levels, our happy hormone. One effective way we can increase our serotonin is through our diet. Foods don’t have serotonin in them, but foods do have Tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid found in many protein-based foods and dietary proteins including meats, dairy, fruits, and seeds. It is a precursor of serotonin synthesis but must be obtained through diet because it cannot be synthesized by the body. In other words, tryptophan converts to serotonin in the brain, but that must be achieved through the diet.
The recommended daily intake for Tryptophan is 280 mg.
Below are 5 Serotonin Boosting Recipes that are quick, easy to prepare, and high in Tryptophan. Use these recipes anytime you are needing a boost to your serotonin levels. Recipes can be adjusted based on your dietary preference.
The Sunshine Smoothie (Vegan)
1/2 cup Blueberries
1 ripe Banana
1-2 handful of leafy greens(spinach and/or kale)
½ -1 cup Soy milk (dependent on preference of thickness)
1 tbsp. Almond Butter
1 tbsp. of Pumpkin Seeds
1 tsp Hemp seeds
½ tsp Flax meal
¼ tsp Spirulina
Add the leafy greens and blueberries to a blender and blend for 10 seconds. (Blending up the greens first allows them to break up more.)
Add remaining ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
*Optional: add ice to get a cold, crunchy-textured smoothie.
3 Mixed Nuts
1 cup-Pistachio Nuts
1. Combine all nuts in one bowl and mix.
Keep in an airtight container/jar
*Optional: Chop up walnuts and halve the almonds beforehand.
Salmon Quinoa Bowl (Dairy and Gluten Free)
3-4 oz Wild-caught Salmon (cooked to your preference)
1 large Egg (with yolk)
1 cup cooked Tri-blend Quinoa
1-2 handful of Leafy Greens (spinach and/or kale)
¼ cup Cooked Edamame
¼ cup chopped Almonds & Walnuts
1. Prepare the quinoa over the stove or in rice cooker.
2. Prepare your Edamame while the quinoa cooks.
3. Coat the salmon with an oil, then bake in the oven 400 °F for 9-12 minutes.
4. Cook your egg to your liking (hard-boiled is my preference for this recipe).
5. Chop up almonds and walnuts and slice up the avocado.
6. Once everything has cooked, make a bed of quinoa at the bottom of a bowl.
7. Add the salmon, edamame, leafy greens, and egg.
8. Top with the avocado and chopped almonds and walnuts.
1 ¼ cup cooked Edamame
½ cup low or Zero-Fat Yogurt
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
1/2 tsp Chili Powder (optional)
Handful chopped Cilantro
A pinch of salt and pepper
1. Simply blend all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. If the dip is too thick, you can add more yogurt to get the consistency you like, but it should be coarse, not smooth. Use it as a dip or serve on toast!
Lentil & vegetable Stew (Vegan)
1 pound of Lentils, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 chopped Onion
2 chopped Carrots
2 chopped stalks of Celery
1 chopped bunch of Kale, with ribs removed
1 chopped Sweet Potato
1 tbsp of Nutritional Yeast
8 cups of Vegetable Broth
2 tbsp of Avocado Oil
Chopped Parsley for garnish
1. In a large pot, warm up the oil over medium heat, and add the onion, carrots, and celery. Sprinkle in salt and pepper and sauté the ingredients until soft and brown.
2. Add in the lentils, vegetable broth, kale, sweet potato, and nutritional yeast. Bring to a slight boil, stirring now and then to mix in the kale.
3. Lower the heat to medium-low, then cover, leaving the lid ajar. Simmer the stew, stirring as needed, until lentils become tender.
4. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Find all of these ingredients at the Co-op!
Written by Co-op Owner and former Beer, Wine and Spirits Specialist Sterling Carlton
“I would like to open a cheese shop in Hyde Park like that kept by my friend, Monsieur Pierre Androuet in Paris” – Franklin D. Roosevelt, shortly after winning his 4th term as President when asked about (future) retirement plans
A soft, white bloomy rind encasing a dense and luscious creamy interior that oozes at room temperature. A nose of sweet lactic, nutty, milkiness gives way to flavors of cream and lemon sour notes. Coming in with at least 75% milk fat, this is a true Triple Cream Brie. Named by cheesemaker Henri Androuet in the 1930s after the 18th century gastronome, Brillat-Savarin is something special.
Brillat-Savarin the man was a lawyer and politician who moonlighted as a chemist and foodie, or gastronome to use verbiage of the day. He gained fame after his book “The Physiology of Taste ” was published. Along with one Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimod de la Reyniere, they are credited with essentially creating the literary genre of the gastronomic essay. Savarin’s life was a fairly tumultuous one, at one point being forced from France due to a bounty that had been placed on his head during the French Revolution. He bounced around the world eventually living in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia until he returned to France to live out his life as a judge on the Court of Cassation.
Now, to Brillat-Savarin the cheese. Originally created by the Dubuc family in the 1890s and called Delice des Gourmets (“gourmet’s delight”), Henri renamed the cheese when he brought it to Paris two decades later. In 1909 Henri Androuet was working as a peddler when he had an idea to bring cheese from all over France to Parisians who had not had the opportunity to try the regional cheeses of their homeland. That same year the House of Androuet was born specializing in curing and aging cheeses. Today Brillat-Savarin is produced year round, mainly in Burgundy and Normandy.
Needless to say, Brillat-Savarin is the height of milk-based hedonism for me. My go to pairing with something like this is most assuredly always going to be Champagne. Paul Bara Champagne is my pick simply because the quality for the price, still not cheap at $60, is exceptional. Paul Bara sources from their vineyards composed of 9.5 hectares of Pinot Noir and 1.5 hectares of Chardonnay. Located in the village of Bouzy, which resides in the region of the Montagne de Reims, known for Pinot Noir in Champagne, the non-vintage cuvees age for at least 3 years in bottle and most often 6 years on the lees before release. The lees being the dead yeast cells that are responsible for the secondary fermentation in the bottle and whose breakdown in the bottle, known as autolysis, contributes the yeasty, bready, sourdough brioche aromas we love so much in Champagne. Green orchard fruit still sings through the bubbles and the acid and bubbles of the Champagne will help to cut through and refresh the palate after every bite of the cream laden Brillat- Savarin. Add some sharp cranberry sauce or brandied cherries and enjoy.
There are a myriad of (completely understandable) reasons that people choose not to celebrate Thanksgiving. You may find yourself feeling the same way this year but still longing to gather around the table with good friends and good food. If that’s the case, a Friendsgiving may be an option for you! Whether this is your first attempt at hosting a gathering such as this or you are a seasoned pro, here are some quick tips to help you out.
First things, first
Pick a date and time! Have some open dialogue with your friend group to see what may work well for everyone. It is never too early to pick a date, especially since this is usually a very busy time of year for people. There are also no rules of when you have to meet…maybe it is not until December and maybe it is lunch instead of dinner!
Make note of special diets
You want everyone to be included and you never know where someone may be at with their current dietary requirements or choices. Check in when setting your menu and shopping list! Here’s a few things to keep in mind when preparing food for folks with special diets:
Hosting does not = Do everything alone
Lean on your friends and their skills to contribute if and how they are able to. It can be tempting to want to make it a one-person show but people generally want to help and you should enjoy yourself too instead of working overtime! This can can look like someone staying 20 extra minutes to help you with clean up/dishes or making your meal potluck style.
Make it Collaborative, Flexible & Fun
The cool thing about friends is that they usually have good ideas. And while some people like the idea of a gathering that mirrors a traditional Thanksgiving-style meal, that may not be appealing to your friend group. Be open to any and all ideas to make this gathering collectively your own. Maybe it is actually at a restaurant, or it is a picnic in a park. Maybe there are board games involved, or you opt to go on a hike instead. The opportunities are endless and all about gathering with friends in a way that you all can enjoy!
Looking for something to make this holiday season? You came to the right place.
Members of our Management Team attended NCG’s (National Cooperative Grocers) 2022 Co+nvergence Conference in St. Paul this last August. Rocio, our Store Operations and Facilities Manager, attended The (R)evolution of Indigenous Food Systems of North America presentation and was gifted a copy of Sean Sherman’s The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen. The recipes below are adapted from this book. We encourage you to support the Indigenous Food Movement by making one of these recipes, buying the book and learning more about The Sioux Chef.
Snacks and Small Plates
Bread & Similar
Hispanic Heritage Month Staff Recipes
Recipe by Marketing Specialist Christine Ciganovich’s Mom
Recipe by General Manager Laura Sanchez
Beef Chile Colorado
Recipe by General Manager Laura Sanchez
Sopa de Fideo
Recipe by IT Manager Briza Ramirez
Recipe by IT Manager Briza Ramirez
Melons are in season late spring through late summer. Thanks to our hot summers and mild winters, melon season in California can stretch into November. You’ve probably been eating lots of watermelon, cantaloupe, muskmelon and more this summer and now you’re on the search for a fresh take. Look no further; these recipes feature melon in savory applications with lots of salty, spicy, smoky, and acidic flavors.
Honeydew, Feta & Jalapeño Salad
Salty feta and spicy chiles play wonderfully against the sweet and juicy flesh of honeydew. You can sub any melon into this recipe.
- 1 small, extremely ripe honeydew melon
- 1 small jalapeño or serrano chile
- 2 limes
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
- 4 oz. Valbreso French sheep’s feta cheese
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Flaky salt
Cut the ends of the honeydew melon so it has two flat surfaces. While it’s on one of its flat surfaces, cut the rind off the melon, trying to lose as little flesh as possible. Cut the melon in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut in half again and thinly slice.
Arrange the melon slices on a platter. Thinly slice the feta and add the thin shards to the platter with the melon. Thinly slice the jalapeño and scatter it on top of the melon and feta (remove pith and seeds if you want to reduce heat). Zest the lime right over the platter, then squeeze its juice all over. Cut another lime into wedges and arrange around the platter. Drizzle the salad with oil and sprinkle with flaky salt. Scatter the basil over everything.
Basil, another summer crop, compliments the flavor of melon beautifully. Add salt to take the mouth-watering to another level, literally. Adorn fresh melon triangles with a generous sprinkle.
- 1 cup coarse salt
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, packed
Place fresh basil in a blender and blend until very fine. Add the salt and pulse to combine.
Remove the mixture from the blender and store in a cool dry place for up to 6 months. You can do this with mint, which is also delicious with melon, or other herbs.
Melon and Prosciutto Skewers
Melon and prosciutto can be found on most Italian menus during hot summer months. Pellegrino Artusi, the father of modern Italian cuisine, first put the two together in 1890 and the dish has grown in popularity ever since. Pair with Prosecco and good company.
- 1 cantaloupe
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- 8 oz. ciliegine mozzarella balls
- 12 slices prosciutto
Halve cantaloupe, then scoop out and discard seeds using a spoon. Using a melon baller, scoop out 24 balls. You can also cut 1-inch chunks from the flesh if you prefer.
Assemble the skewers: Layer cantaloupe, basil, mozzarella, prosciutto, and a second piece of cantaloupe until you have 12 skewers.
Drizzle skewers with balsamic glaze and serve immediately.
Grilled Chipotle Watermelon
“Chipotle” comes from the Nahuatl word meaning “smoked chile” and smokiness is a wonderful complement to the sweet and fruity flavors of melon. This recipe is delicious with stone fruit, like peaches, in place of the watermelon as well.
- 1 small seedless watermelon, cut into thick spears
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- ½ – 1 teaspoon chipotle powder, depending on spice tolerance
- ½ tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon mint, cut to ribbons
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
In a bowl whisk together the lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, chipotle powder and honey.
Heat grill until very hot. Place spears on the grill over direct heat and brush with the dressing. Cook the watermelon skewers on one side for just a minute until grill marks form, flip, grill 1 minute and then remove them from the heat.
Brush the watermelon with any remaining sauce and sprinkle with mint and salt before serving.
Fruit Sticks with Lime Crema
This might actually be the perfect late summer snack. Juicy fruit spears and zesty crema hydrating and cooling while adding a pinch of chili powder plays off the sweetness of ripe fruit.This is something you can graze on even if it’s 105°F outside.
- ½ cup of sour cream
- ¼ teaspoon lime zest
- 2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus some for sprinkling
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch chili powder or chili flakes
- ½ seedless melon of choice, cut into spears
- 1 mango, cut into strips or spears
Combine sour cream, lime zest and juice, salt, coriander and cumin. Whisk well and chill for 30 minutes.
Just before serving, sprinkle fruit spears with chili powder or chili flakes, depending on your heat tolerance. Serve spears with lime crema.
Roasted Muskmelon or Cantaloupe Seeds
This recipe is a lovely lesson in using parts of the fruit we usually compost. Use your favorite spices, herbs, oils, and vinegars to experiment with flavor!
- 2 ounces (about ¼ cup) of seeds (a ripe cantaloupe with yield about one ounce)
- 1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons tamari or soy sauce, plus extra for drizzling
Rinse and drain the seeds, separating out any pulp. Let dry for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
Heat oven to 320°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix soy sauce and sesame oil together in a small bowl and whisk to emulsify. Toss the seeds with the mixture.
Place as a single layer on the baking sheet and lightly drizzle with soy sauce. Roast seeds for about 20 minutes, until they turn golden. Cool completely before eating. They’ll get crunchier as they cool – don’t worry!
Watermelon Rind Quick Pickles
Pickled watermelon rind is both acidic and slightly sweet, so it’s great with rich, fatty foods like cheese or steak. It’s also fantastic alongside roasted or grilled meats. They’re great on their own too: set the jar on the table by your other BBQ side dishes at your next cookout.
- 8 cups sliced and peeled watermelon rind (2 inch x 1 inch pieces will work)
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup salt
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 cinnamon sticks, plus more for jars
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
Place rind in a large nonreactive bowl; stir in water and salt. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Rinse and drain well.
In a Dutch oven, combine sugar, vinegar, 2 cinnamon sticks, cloves and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Add rinds; return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until tender. Discard cinnamon sticks.
Carefully ladle hot mixture into glass jars with well fitting lids (anything like a mason jar will work). Add a cinnamon stick to each jar. Allow to come to room temperature and screw on bands until fingertip tight. Place jars in the fridge for at least 6 hours to pickle. Keep in the fridge after opening as well.
Grilled Watermelon Gazpacho
Gazpacho is a cold soup traditionally made with summer produce and served during hot August afternoons. This version uses grilled watermelon, tomato, cucumber, and jalapeño to impart deep, smoky flavor in this cooling, hydrating dish.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- ¼ seedless watermelon, cut into three 1½ inch thick slices
- 1 large beefsteak tomato, halved
- ½ English cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and halved lengthwise
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons diced red onion, divided
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
Toss 1 tablespoon olive oil with watermelon slices, tomato, cucumber and jalapeño. Grill, covered, on a greased grill rack over medium-high direct heat until seared, 5-6 minutes per side. This step can be done under the broiler as well. Remove from heat, reserving one watermelon slice.
When cool enough to handle, remove rind from remaining watermelon slices; cut flesh into chunks. Remove skin and seeds from tomato and jalapeno; chop. Coarsely chop cucumber. Combine grilled vegetables; add ¼ cup onion, vinegar, lime juice and seasonings. Blend in batches in a blender until smooth or use an immersion blender, adding remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil during the final minute of blending. If desired, strain through a fine-mesh strainer; adjust seasonings as needed. Refrigerate, covered, until chilled or at least 2 hours.
To serve, pour gazpacho into bowls or glasses. Top with diced avocado and remaining onion. Cut the reserved grilled watermelon slice into wedges. Garnish bowls or glasses with wedges.