The Year of Millets

The Year of Millets

Close-up of Pearl Millet

Millets, which include sorghum, teff, fonio, pearl millet, and a host of other cereal grains, were selected by the United Nations as a crop to focus on for 2023. Millets are gaining traction in many countries due to their drought resistance and ability to grow in poor soils, making them a top choice for farmers looking for crops that offer resilience in the face of climate change and an excellent option for chefs seeking creative ways to offer more sustainable products in their kitchens and shops.

Tartlettes made with Callebaut MadagascarChocolate and Millet by Chef Pratik Deshmukh

A Millet creation from Chef Pratik Deshmukh

A climate-friendly ingredient packed with nutritional benefits and great taste? What could possibly be missing? Chocolate! While millets offer great taste all on their own, the appeal of chocolate cannot be denied. Pair the two ingredients, and you’ve got the makings for a delicious, sustainability-minded treat that will delight your customers.

Chef Pratik Deshmukh of Chocolate Academy™ Mumbai created a dessert featuring millet and Callebaut's Madagascar chocolate. Here, millet flour adds an intriguing toastiness and exciting texture to the tart. This unique combination debunks the myth that desserts can't be both delicious and nutritious.

For chefs seeking out sustainable ingredients, millets should be high on the list. Millets are also typically gluten-free, highly nutritious, and have a low glycemic index - qualities that are highly-sought by today’s modern consumer.

Power 41 Milk Chocolate and Buckwheat Crunchy Bonbons by Chef Philippe Vancayseele

Power 41 and Buckwheat Crunchies by Philippe Vancayseele

More Ways to Use Millets

Are you ready to explore more ways to use Millets in your shop or bakery? Flours made from sorghum and teff are easy to incorporate into breakfast or snack items such as pancakes, muffins, cookies, scones, and quick breads. Simply substitute a small amount of the all-purpose flour called for in the recipe for a millet flour. Replacing 15-30% of the all-purpose flour (by weight) with sorghum or teff is a good place to start.  These flours have their own unique, nutty flavor that pairs well with chocolate as well as ingredients like dried fruit and nuts.

Ingredients like pearl millet can be soaked and added to baked goods, ground to use as a flour, or cooked and added to porridge loaves. It has a light, toasty flavour that will be welcome in a variety of applications.

The earthiness of millets like buckwheat is a perfect foil for chocolate, as seen in Chef Philippe Vancayseele's Power 41 and Buckwheat Crunchies (pictured) from The Chocolatier's Kitchen

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