Millet Grains
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What is Millet Grain, Pitimi, or Petit Mil

Millet Grain. Pitimi or Petit Mil is all the same. Pitimi is the Haitian Creole translation. Petit Mil is the French translation, and Millet is the English translation.

What is Millet Grain

Millet Grain is a versatile grain similar to Quinoa. It is used in many forms and is widely consumed throughout Africa, Asia, and many parts of the Caribbean. This particular grain is or has been making some healthy noise within the food industry.

Millets are small-seeded grasses that are commonly planted as grains across the world. They are also considered cereal crops and can be dark brown, green, white, yellow, or red.

How many types of millet there is?

This type of grain is round and tiny in size. It has gained popularity because it’s gluten-free and contains high amounts of fiber, protein, and many antioxidants.

Pearl Millet or Pitimi - caribbeangreenliving.com
Millet or Pitimi

These days you will find many varieties of millet. So far, we know of 10 different types of millet grains:

  1. Pearl Millet (most common type)
  2. Foxtail Millet
  3. Sorghum Millet
  4. Buckwheat NIlliet
  5. Amaranth Millet
  6. Broomcorn
  7. Kodo Millet
  8. Little Millet
  9. Finger Millet
  10. Banyard Millet

Each type is different in color, slightly different in shape, and is nutritionally better than rice and wheat.

Pearl Millet Field
Pearl Millet Field

How does Millet Grains taste

Millet Grains have a mild nutty flavor. They can be crunchy or soft depending on how they are cooked. Millet is used in both cooking and baking and is ideal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

What are the benefits of Millet Grains

Millet Grains are rich in B vitamins, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. They are gluten-free and ideal for people with wheat allergies.

It is said that Millet grains may help in several ailments.

  • Heart Health: may helps in lowering the level of bad cholesterol and lower the level of fat in your body.
  • Blood Sugar Levels: may help controlling blood sugar levels because of slow digestion process in the body.
  • Weight Loss: may help lose weight as it is healhtier than rice, rich in amino acid and makes you feel full very quickly.
  • Improves Digestion: helps improve digestion because it is rich in fibre. It also helps with bloating, cramps, excess gas, and constipation.
  • Menstrual Cramps: Contains magnesium which can help releive menstrual cramps.

Although Millet Grains help detoxify the body, consuming too much millet can impair thyroid function and high in Phytic Acid.

Millet Grits
Millet Grits

My personal experience

As this is a staple food in Haiti, you may not find it in every household because it was considered or may even still be considered food for the poor and food for animals. (I left Haiti so long ago that I cannot recall – but if anyone wants to share more info, please feel free).

Although it was considered an inferior oat during slavery, this grain has come a long way in providing the nutrient necessary to healthy living.

It is ironic to learn that as much as we value certain foods, they were also thought to be for the poor and slaves. No wonder they used to have more energy and were well fit. I guess we have learned throughout the years that there are no grains, no foods beneath any human being. It is all about staying fit and healthy.

By the way, Millet may or may not take a long time to cook. Every brand has a different cooking time. Make sure you read the instructions on the packaging before making your purchase.

Millet Recipe Ideas:

Sources:

  • https://www.webmd.com/diet/foods-high-in-phytic-acid
  • https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-millet#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

Originally published November 19, 2014. Revised and updated to add additional information about Millet.

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13 Comments

  1. Thank you for your post truly appreciate it. As a little girl I had pitimi almost daily in La Gonave and Pigeon peas. Wow, what benefits along with all the exercise I was getting. I was destine to live long in such an environment I think. But it’s good to find that the food was rich while the world would have definitely looked and judge me to be worst off than a peasant. Hummm? Interesting

    1. Many, many years ago, grains were considered food for the poor and in today’s world that is almost non-existence. We now have to pay a fortune for the same food we used to freely enjoy many years ago. Because of scientific and nutritional studies, more people are becoming aware of the nutritional values. Thanks for your comment.

    2. Growing up in Haiti there certain food I will not eat or my mother never cooked. Living in US and as I am getting knowledgeable about healthly food, I feel ashamed that ignorance got the best of us by the foods we used to reject in Haiti. Now, mostly what I cook at home at the are the Haitian foods I used to reject

    3. Thanks for the information. I’m also from Haiti. I’ve always like it because it was not so common. Like you mentioned, it was considered for the poor and the slaves. But I also learned that the colonists had thought wrong especially on food values. Yet we also think what they were eating were better because they deprived us of them. So much misconception and ignorance. Like said no food is beneath human beings. God has created All for our benefit. Thanks for sharing

  2. I am glad to see all different versions of pitimi as well I knew them since my youth. However, pitimi is not or was not a food for poor people or animals; it is a endless source of treatment for people with diabetes.

    1. Thank you, Pierre, for your comment. Millet or Pitimi as many other grains and several types of foods were considered either food for the poor or slaves foods. Due to many research, we, now have learned their health benefits. The article only reflects my opinion at the time I was living in Haiti which was several years ago. It is no longer considered a poor or slavery grains and same for many other grains as well.

      1. You are correct for saying it was considered, back in the days, food for the poor. You would not put it on your table on any given Sunday. The same for ” l’âme veritable”. The english name has not come to mind.

        1. Hi Bergson! Thanks for your comment. It’s amazing that now we consider millet as one of the healthiest grains to consume. Time has really changed. The English name for “l’ame veritable” is breadfruit.

          1. My dad was a single father with nine children in Tabarre .He fed us pitimi on a daily basis. People used to call it “mange poule”. God knew we were getting healthy grain.
            Now I can afford to purchase it at Amazon . To God be the glory. Amazinng .

          2. AMEN! A lot of the grains that people considered food for the poor are more nutritious than the so-called “food for the rich.” It is so interesting to see how expensive they are now. It sure shows that the tables are turning. Thanks so much for your comment, Chantal!

      1. Thanks for sharing more information. Much appreciated!
        I certainly agree that God has created everything for ALL humanity without exceptions. Thanks again!

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