What is it? Millet is a whole grain that dates back to biblical times with origins in North Africa and China. Through the centuries, millet has become a staple food in many regions of the world. Millet is used in the making of injera - the spongy bread eaten along with Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine - and roti - the unleavened bread popular in Indian and Caribbean cuisine.

What is it good for? Though it may be best known as an ingredient in birdseed, millet provides humans with a whole host of nutritional benefits. One cup of cooked millet will give you only 2 grams of fat and just a smidge over 200 calories. For that, you'll also get 2 grams of fibre and 6 grams of protein. Millet will contribute to your daily recommended intakes of several vitamins and minerals. It is particularly rich in magnesium and manganese. Millet is also a safe food option for those following a gluten-free diet.

What does it taste like? Whether white, yellow, grey, or red, millet lends food a mildly sweet and nutty flavour. Millet mixes well with many flavours. Cook it on its own like rice, stuff it in veggies like mushrooms or bell peppers, or make millet the base for everything from hot cereals and pilafs to baked goods. Store millet in an airtight container stowed in a cool, dry, dark spot.

Amy Toffelmire