Millet is one of my all time favorite grains, similar to quinoa but alone in if itself. This hearty grain adds a clean texture and a mellow nutty tone to any meal! Millet dates back to prehistoric times in both North Africa and many other regions. As stated in Bible
"Also take for youself wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt; put them into one vessel, and make bread of them for yourself..." Ezekiel 4:9
Summer truly is the season of berries. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries come alive. In this recipe I chose berries to offset the usual uses of millet. Commonly millet is used in savory dishes as a side dish or in soups and stews. This recipe takes this unique grain to a whole new level. Sweet succulent berries are combined with nutty millet and topped off with a sweet yet herbal dressing which complements any meal! As most know, berries are a powerhouse full of nutrients. Raspberries, are packed with phytonutrients which in turn helps increase metabolism and promote weight loss. Blueberries, as their color might suggest, provide a hefty dose of antioxidants, which fight against free radicals and help promote a healthy glow to the skin!
Sage is known for its use in warm savory dishes, but it can also be gracefully combined with sweet flavors as well. This common herb has been used for many years in herbal medicine due to its ability to aid better brain function and anti-inflammatory properties. The Greeks and Romans used it to preserve meat while the Chinese enjoyed sage tea! The scientific name for sage derived from Latin (salvere) literally means "to be saved".
Millet Berry Salad with Herbal Dressing
1 1/2 cups uncooked millet or quinoa
1/3 cup fresh blueberries
1/3 cup fresh raspberries
1/3 cup fresh yellow raspberries
1 large handful arugula
1/4 cup fresh pineapple sage leaves*
3 tbs fresh thyme leaves
3 tbs olive oil
3 tbs red wine vinegar
juice of one lemon
2 tbs raw honey or agave
sea salt + black pepper to taste
To cook your millet, add about 1 3/4 cup filtered water (or 2 cups for quinoa), bring to a boil then, turn off heat. Leave the pot over the burner and allow for the millet to soak up all the liquid. Once the millet is done, place the pot in the refrigerator for about 4 hours or overnight to completely cool.
To make the dressing, add all dressing ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed.
To assemble, wash all fruits. Fluff the millet with a fork and add in 1/2 of the berries along with all the arugula, toss to combine. Next, add in the herbal dressing and continue to toss and combine. Place this in the refrigerator for about 1 hour for best flavor results (this is not necessary but recommended). Before serving, add on the rest of the berries and a few more sprigs of thyme. Enjoy!
*Feel free to add on some of your own toppings! Roasted almonds, walnuts or raw hemp seeds would all be delicious!
*If you cannot find pineapple sage, feel free to use normal sage, but I would use it sparingly since it is not as sweet. You can also simply replace sage with another herb, such as basil!