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Proso Millet Benefits and Side Effects: The Ultimate Guide

Proso Millet

Want something super yummy and healthy instead of rice and wheat? Try Proso millet! It’s an ancient grain that’s been around forever and can jazz up your diet with its super-nourishing powers. Proso millet is one of the super grains as it is more nutritious than wheat and rice. Proso Millet (Panicum miliaceum) belongs to the grass family and is grown in temperate climates around the world. This article discusses proso millet benefits, nutrition, side effects, uses and more. Let’s get started.

What is Proso Millet?

Proso Millet was the go-to grub ’cause it grew super quick, could handle the droughts, and was loaded with all the good stuff! Many countries around the world currently grow this millet, including India, Russia, China, the USA, Afghanistan, Pakistan, some European countries and some Middle Eastern countries.

India grows and consumes proso millet, also called white millet, hog millet, or oak barley. It is advertised as a healthy food. Fertile florets have rough ovate bodies and hard, shiny shells that tightly enclose the seed as they fall. You can get it in many different colours, including olive-brown, brown-black, orange-red, light cream and gold. In scientific terms, proso millet is called Panicum miliaceum.

It is also known as pani varagu, baragu, or variga in India, where it is widely grown and consumed.
Proso millet can be considered as an annual plant with flat, stringy roots. It’s the boss in soups, salads, and bread. Mix things up in veggie stews and meats too. Plus, it’s the go-to for patching up wounds, abscesses, and rashes.

The health benefits of Proso Millet can be attributed to its unique properties. Besides being gluten-free, this stuff’s loaded with carbs and fats, like a top-notch energy booster! Add Proso to your diet. Get the protein boost you need. In comparison to other millet on the market, it has the highest protein content.

Nutritional Value of Proso Millet per 100gm

Proso millet is a powerhouse of nutrition that can provide you with many essential nutrients in a single serving. According to Apeda, here is the nutritional value as per 100gm.of proso millet:

NutrientAmount
Energy342 to 356 kcal
Protein10 to 12.5 grams
Carbohydrate65 to 70.4 grams
Fat2.9 to 3.5 grams
Fiber9 grams
Calcium27 mg
Iron0.5 to 9 mg
Magnesium114 to 140 mg
Phosphorus285 to 380 mg
Potassium195 to 350 mg
Zinc1.7 to 2.3 mg
Copper0.75 to 0.87 mg
Manganese0.48 to 0.76 mg
Thiamine0.42 to 0.48 mg
Riboflavin0.29 to 0.32 mg
Niacin4.72 to 5.2 mg
Pyridoxine0.38 to 0.42 mg
Folic acid85 to 93 mcg
Vitamin E0.05 to 0.07 mg
Antioxidants1.8 to 2.2 mg
Beta-glucan4 to 5 grams
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Benefits of Proso Millet

Proso millet, rich in magnesium, acts as a vasodilator, aiding in lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and atherosclerosis. An excellent source of potassium, it supports maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.

The following are some of the detailed proso millet benefits;

1. Keeps the heart healthy

Proso millet’s not just a tasty grain—it’s a healthy grain! It’s like a shield, lowering blood pressure and kicking risks to the curb, from strokes to heart stuff and those sneaky atherosclerosis risks!

This potassium powerhouse is like a chill pill for your blood pressure! It’s a total good at opening up those blood vessels, making life easy and breezy. Consequently, it protects cardiovascular health by optimising the circulation system.

Additionally, millet contains lignans, which are converted by the digestive microbiota into animal lignans and are effective in preventing chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

2. Helps to reduce cholesterol level

The balance of cholesterol plays a direct role in heart health. Despite its high fibre content, millet is a cholesterol-lowering food. The consumption of fibre reduces bad cholesterol levels and increases good cholesterol levels in the body.

3. Protects against diabetes

Diabetes affects the majority of people today. Food staples in developing countries include proso millet. It contains a sufficient amount of magnesium to reduce diabetes risk. In addition to enhancing glucose and insulin receptor function, magnesium helps prevent diabetes from developing.

4. Helps to facilitate digestion

Eat these high-fibre super grains and kiss goodbye to bloating, cramps, constipation, and all those weird digestive hiccups! Keeping things in check, it’s like locking in all those good nutrients and giving the boot to nasty stuff like colon cancer and stomach ulcers. Metabolism improves liver, kidney, and immune health by removing waste and digesting it.

5. Reduces Risk of Cancer

According to Plos.org Fibre in Proso millet acts like the secret shield against breast cancer! Ladies chowing down on Proso millet saw a whopping 50% drop in risk! With breast cancer creeping up, this millet’s becoming a real game-changer for the ladies.

6. Aids in detoxification

Cancer-causing free radicals are neutralized by proso millet’s antioxidants, while toxins are removed from the liver and kidneys. Toxins and foreign bodies can be eliminated more efficiently through curcumin, quercetin, and catechins.

7. Maintains respiratory health

Asthma is relieved and prevented by proso millet, according to research. Asthma attacks and wheezing may be reduced with high millet consumption. The same ingredients found in wheat also appear in millet, which is not an allergen and is not associated with wheezing or asthma.

8. Anti-ageing properties

Free radicals are scavenged from the body by millet’s rich antioxidant content. Our bodies produce free radicals, which damage and fatigue our cells. There is a loss of colour, wrinkles, and other signs of ageing. The ageing process is slowed down by daily consumption of Proso.

9. Strengthen bones

Calcium plays a major role in maintaining and growing bones, so proso millet is an excellent source of calcium. Assists in the growth of infants and requires adequate calcium intake.

Proso Millet: How to Use It Every Day

  • Soups and salads can be enhanced with Proso sprouted seeds.
  • You can also grind proso millet seeds to make noodles, bread, paste, and fermented foods.
  • Vegetable stews and meats can be prepared with it.
  • Adding chopped vegetables to proso millet is a delicious way to prepare it
  • By boiling millet and adding fruits and nuts, proso millet porridge can be made
  • In addition to chapatis, dosas, and idlis, proso millet flour is also suitable for making dosas and idlis.

Also Read: Barnyard Millet Benefits & Side Effects

Proso Millet Uses

How can you use proso millet in your cooking? Check out Proso millet—it’s like a kitchen super grain! You can use it in loads of ways to amp up your meals with more yum and nutrition. Here’s the lowdown on how you can jazz up your cooking with this grain.

  • You can use proso millet as a substitute for rice or wheat in your dishes. Cooking proso millet is a breeze! Toss this stuff in water or broth, then spice it up with your favours— salt, pepper, or those rockstar herbs and spices!
  • Toss in some veggies, nuts, seeds, or cheese for that extra punch of yum and goodness. Serve it up as a side or go big with curries, stews, soups, or salads—the millet’s ready for any delicious adventure!
  • You can use proso millet to make porridge or kheer for your breakfast or dessert. Whip up proso millet like a pro! Boil it in milk or water and sweeten the deal with sugar, honey, jaggery, or even some fruity goodness. Want more pizzazz? Toss in cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, or saffron to make it smell and taste out-of-this-world amazing! You can enjoy proso millet porridge or kheer hot or cold, depending on your preference.
  • You can use proso millet to make bread, pancakes, dosa, idli, upma, or khichdi for your snacks or meals. You can grind proso millet into flour and mix it with water or other flour to make a batter or dough. Got your millet mix ready? Time to get creative! You can bake it, fry it, or even steam it to whip up all sorts of treats—like bread, pancakes, dosa, idli, upma, or khichdi. Want more flavour? Throw in some onions, tomatoes, green chillies, ginger, garlic, or curry leaves for that extra kick of yum!
  • Ready to turn proso millet into party treats? Let’s do this! Mix it up with butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and some baking magic—chocolate chips or nuts, anyone? Bam! Cookies, cakes, or muffins ready to rock! Or take it up a notch—roast the millet, throw in some jaggery, ghee, coconut, or sesame seeds, and bam! Laddoos for the win!

You can enjoy these proso millet delicacies with your family and friends.

These are some of the easy and tasty ways to use proso millet in your cooking. Proso millet is a nutritious and delicious grain that can add more variety and health to your diet.

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Proso Millet Recipes

Hungry for some Proso millet magic? This grain’s your ticket to a whole range of tasty eats—from brekkie to snacks and all meals in between! Here’s the lowdown on some easy-peasy and super yummy recipes to whip up with proso millet:

1. Proso Millet Rawa Idli Recipe

millet idli

This is a healthy and fluffy steamed cake made with proso millet idli rawa and urad dal batter. You can serve it with coconut chutney and sambar for a filling and nutritious breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup proso millet idli rawa
  • 1/4 cup urad dal
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed
  • Oil for greasing
  • Mustard seeds, curry leaves, and asafoetida for tempering

Instructions

  • Give those urad dal and fenugreek seeds a water park day! Let ’em chill and soak up the fun for a solid 4 to 5 hours.
  • Ditch the water and let those urad dals and fenugreek seeds hit the dance floor in the grinder ’til they’re smooth and fluffy like a cloud. Transfer it to a large bowl and set aside.
  • Wash and soak the proso millet idli rawa in water for 10 minutes. Drain the water and squeeze out the excess water from the rawa. Add it to the urad dal batter and mix well. Add salt and water as needed to adjust the consistency of the batter. It should be thick but pourable.
  • Let that batter chill out, cover it up, and let the magic happen! It’s like giving it a sleepover in a warm, cosy spot—overnight or for a cool 8 to 10 hours.
  • Check out the batter’s glow-up after its beauty sleep—it’ll rise and get all bubbly, like a fizzy party in a bowl! Stir it gently and check the salt and water. If the batter is too thick, add some water and mix well.
  • Grease the idli moulds with some oil and fill them with the batter. Steam the idlis for 10 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove the idlis from the moulds and keep them warm.
  • Toss a little oil in a tiny pan and make those mustard seeds pop! Add some curry leaves and asafoetida and let the flavour fiesta sizzle for just a few seconds. Pour this tempering over the idlis and toss gently.
  • Serve the proso millet rawa idlis hot with coconut chutney and sambar.

Recipe Notes

  • You can use any other millet idli rawa instead of proso millet idli rawa.
  • Toss in some grated carrots, chopped coriander, or those crunchy roasted cashews to take that batter.
  • Got leftovers? No worries! Pop that extra batter in the fridge—it’s cool to hang there for up to 3 days.

2. Proso Millet Pulao with Vegetables and Spices

millet Pulao

It’s a super yummy and healthy dish packed with proso millet, veggies, and some fantastic spices. Proso millet is like the superhero of grains – gluten-free, loaded with protein and fibre, and oh-so-easy to cook! This pulao is your go-to for a fuss-free, tasty meal. Pair it up with a raita, salad, or a tangy pickle and voila!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup proso millet, washed and soaked for 15 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables, chopped (carrots, beans, peas, cauliflower, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves.

Instructions

  • Time to sizzle and spice things up! Get that oil or ghee sizzling in your heavy-duty pan or pressure cooker. Toss in cumin seeds, bay leaves, cloves, cardamoms, and cinnamon sticks—let the flavour party begin! Fry for a few seconds until fragrant.
  • Let’s get those onions simmering in the pan! Sauté them until they’re all golden and delicious, about 10 minutes. Then sprinkle in some turmeric powder and salt—mix it up real well for that flavour explosion!
  • Drain the soaked millet and add it to the cooker or pan. Stir to coat with the oil and spices.
  • Add water and bring it to a boil—let it bubble up. Then, cover up that cooker or pan with a lid and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until that millet is all fluffy and cooked to perfection! If you’re rolling with a pressure cooker, give it 2 whistles, then let that pressure do its thing naturally.
  • In a separate pan, steam or boil the mixed vegetables until tender. You can also microwave them for a few minutes with some water.
  • Fluff the cooked millet with a fork and gently mix in the cooked vegetables. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot or warm.

Recipe Notes

  • Swap in any other millet, like foxtail, barnyard, or pearl millet – just tweak the cooking time and water ratio to match.
  • Add in chopped nuts, raisins, or dried fruits for that extra crunch and sweetness boost.
  • Play around with spices and veggies based on what you love and have on hand.
  • Ginger, garlic, green chillies, or curry leaves can dial up the flavour big time! It’s all about making this dish yours!

3. Proso Millet Khaja with Jaggery and Coconut

A super sweet and crispy treat whipped up with proso millet flour, jaggery, and coconut. Proso millet’s gluten-free charm brings protein, fibre, and minerals to this snack, making it a healthy delight. Easy on the tummy and with a low glycemic index, it’s a festive gem from Odisha, India, perfect for celebrations and those extra special moments!

Ingredients

2 cups proso millet flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup ghee or oil, plus more for frying
1/2 cup water, or as needed
1 cup grated jaggery
1/4 cup grated coconut
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix the proso millet flour and salt. Time to get your hands dirty in the tastiest way! Add that ghee or oil and dive in—rub it all together with your fingers till it’s like those crumbly breadcrumbs you love.
  • Slowly add water and work it in until you’ve got a smooth and sturdy dough. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes under a damp cloth.
  • Grab a small saucepan and toss in the jaggery. Heat it up on low-medium like you’re giving it a warm hug—watch it melt into that luscious, thick syrup.
  • Stir in that coconut and a sprinkle of cardamom powder, and let it jam in the pan for a few more minutes, until it’s all cosy and the mix starts saying bye-bye to the pan’s sides. Let it cool for a few minutes after you turn off the heat.
  • Take that dough and break it into little buddies—make sure they’re all equal. Then, roll each piece into a super cool, thin circle.
  • Cut the circle into small squares or diamonds. Place a teaspoon of the jaggery-coconut filling on each square and fold it over to seal the edges. Make a pattern by pressing the edges with a fork.
  • Medium-high heat is needed to heat oil in a deep frying pan. Fry the khajas in batches until golden and crisp on both sides. Drain on paper towels and let them cool completely.
  • Store the khajas in an airtight container and enjoy them as a snack or dessert.

Recipe Notes

  • You can use any other millet flour instead of proso millet flour, such as foxtail millet flour, barnyard millet flour, or pearl millet flour. Adjust the water quantity accordingly.
  • Pop those khajas in a preheated oven at 180°C for 15 to 20 minutes till they’re all golden and crispy goodness!
  • Switch up the sweetness by using sugar instead of jaggery. Fancy an upgrade? Toss in nuts, raisins, or dried fruits into the filling for that extra flavour and texture kick!

4. Proso Millet Cheese Balls with Tomato Sauce

A snack that’s delicious for you! Made with proso millet, cheese, and herbs, these balls are a gluten-free powerhouse loaded with protein, fibre, and minerals. Crispy on the outside, gooey inside, and served with a tangy, spicy tomato sauce, they’re a taste explosion waiting to happen!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup proso millet, washed and soaked for 15 minutes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, or any melting cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons mixed herbs (oregano, basil, thyme, etc.)
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (store-bought or homemade)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnishing

Instructions

  • In a pressure cooker or a heavy pan, toss in the proso millet, water, and salt. Get it bubbling, then simmer covered for 15 to 20 minutes till the millet goes all soft and cooked. If you’re on a team pressure cooker, 2 whistles should do the trick, then let it naturally chill.
  • Once that millet’s cooked, scoop it into a big bowl and give it a little cool down. Smash it up with a fork or potato masher until it’s all sticky dough magic.
  • Toss in cheese and cornflour, and mix it up nicely. Roll ’em into cute balls, coat ’em with bread crumbs, and let those babies chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  • Over medium-high heat, heat oil in a deep frying pan. Cook those cheese balls till they’re golden and crisp. Drain on paper towels and keep them warm.
  • Grab a small saucepan and gently warm up that tomato sauce over a low-medium flame.
  • Using tomatoes, garlic, onions, salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar, and salt, make your sauce by blending them, then cooking them in a pan until they are thick.
  • Pour your sauce over those cheese balls, top with tomato sauce, and sprinkle with parsley.

Recipe Notes

  • Swap out proso millet for foxtail, barnyard, or pearl millet – just tweak the cooking time and water to match. Fancy a bake? Heat that oven to 180°C and pop those cheese balls in for 15 to 20 minutes till they’re golden and crispy to perfection.
  • Oh, and here’s a flavour boost! Toss in chopped veggies, nuts, or dried fruits into those cheese balls for an extra burst of yum and texture.

5. Proso Millet Payasam with Coconut Milk and Nuts

A creamy, yummy dessert crafted with proso millet, coconut milk, jaggery, and a sprinkle of nuts. Proso millet brings gluten-free goodness, packing in protein, fibre, and minerals. Easy on the tummy with a low glycemic index, this payasam is a festive gem from South India, especially Kerala, perfect for those joyful celebrations and special moments!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup proso millet, washed and soaked for 15 minutes
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup grated jaggery
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 2 tablespoons cashew nuts
  • 2 tablespoons raisins

Instructions

  • Get that pressure cooker or heavy-bottomed pan ready.
  • Throw in the proso millet and water, bring it to a wild boil, then dial down the heat. Cover it up like a cosy blanket and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until that millet is all soft and ready to party. If you’re rolling with a pressure cooker, give it 2 whistles, then let the pressure escape all chill-like.
  • Stir the coconut milk into a small saucepan and heat over low heat until warm. Do not boil it. Add the jaggery and cardamom powder and stir until the jaggery dissolves. Keep the coconut milk mixture aside.
  • Over medium-high heat, heat the ghee or oil in another small pan. Golden raisins and cashews should be fried until plump and golden. Drain on paper towels and keep them aside.
  • Shift that cooked millet into a big ol’ serving bowl and pour that coconut milk mixture all over it—mix it up real good.
  • Sprinkle those fried cashew nuts and raisins on top for that extra pizzazz! Serve it up, whether you’re feeling the hot or cold vibe.

Recipe Notes

  • Swap Proso millet for foxtail, barnyard, or pearl millet – just tweak the cooking time and water like a pro.
  • Switch up the milky magic! Try milk or almond milk instead of coconut milk. Feeling extra creamy and sweet? Drop in some condensed milk for that oomph!
  • Now, spice it up! Add saffron, nutmeg, or vanilla for that extra pop of flavour and wonderful aroma.
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Side Effects of Proso Millet

While Proso millet is generally safe for consumption, individuals with grain allergies should exercise caution. Excessive intake may result in digestive discomfort for some individuals. It’s important to be mindful of personal sensitivities when incorporating Proso millet into your diet.

Here are some of the detailed side effects of proso millet;

1. Can Cause Goitre or Hypothyroidism

Proso millet contains goitrogens, which can mess with the thyroid gland and lead to issues like goitre or hypothyroidism if you overdo it. If you’ve got thyroid stuff or low iodine, talk to your doctor before diving into Proso millet.

2. Contains Phytic Acid

Proso millet packs phytic acid, a bit of a mineral blocker that might make it hard for your body to grab iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium from your food. To soften this effect, soak, sprout, or ferment your proso millet before cooking.

3. Can Cause Tummy Issues

While proso millet’s a fibre-rich grain, for some newbies to high-fibre stuff, it might stir up a bit of a tummy ruckus—think bloating, gas, or belly grumbles. To dodge this, introduce proso millet slowly into your diet and gulp down plenty of water.

4. Gluten and Grain Sensitivity

For the gluten or grain-sensitive squad, proso millet might trigger trouble like skin rashes, itching, or even serious issues like breathing troubles. If any of these red flags show up, drop the millet and dash to a doctor ASAP! Remember, these quirks are super rare and manageable—just follow those tips I mentioned earlier. In moderation and part of a mixed bag of eats, Proso millet’s a tasty health boost!

This grain’s not just nutritious but also brings a whole lot of taste and health to your table. Give these recipes a whirl and drop us your thoughts. We hope you enjoyed this blog post on Proso millet.

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