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Dining Services Expands Menus with Millet

January 21, 2011

Dining Services is now featuring several locally grown and produced products on their menus. New this semester is organic, locally-grown millet.

Locally grown and produced products at dining halls

Although today's global marketplace allows us to buy foods grown virtually anywhere in the world all year round, these options are not always the most sustainable. Dining Services is now featuring several locally grown and produced products on their menus.

New this semester is organic millet grown in Nunn, Colorado, on the Hediger family farm, Golden Prairie Inc. One of the first certified organic farms in Colorado, they started farming on 63 acres, and now Golden Prairie Inc. cultivates over 10,000 acres of certified organic millet. The variety of millet grown is proso, chosen because it requires the least amount of water of any grain crop.

Today millet ranks as the sixth most important grain in the world, sustains one third of the world’s population and is a significant part of the diet in northern China, Japan, Manchuria, and various areas of the former Soviet Union, Africa, India, and Egypt.

More about Millet

Millet is a major crop in many of these countries, particularly Africa and the Indian subcontinent where the crop covers almost 100 million acres, and thrives in the hot dry climates that are not conducive to growing other grains such as wheat and rice.

Millet is highly nutritious and is one of the least allergenic and most digestible grains available. It is considered a warming grain and helps to heat the body in cold or rainy seasons and climates.

Look for millet in the Black Bean, Corn and Millet Salad on the salad bars in the dining centers and the Fruit and Nut Granola made in our on-campus bakeshop.

Black Bean, Corn and Millet Salad Recipe 

  • 1 cup millet
  • 2 ¾ cups water
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 3 T orange juice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup corn - fresh or frozen
  • 1 ½ cups black beans – drain and rinse
  • ¾ cup roma tomatoes - diced
  • 1 tsp garlic – chopped finely
  • ¼ cup red onions – chopped
  • 1 T jalapenos – chopped finely
  • 3 T fresh basil - chopped

Preparation Instructions:

Place millet in a colander, rinse with cold water, drain. Bring water to a boil in sauce pan, add millet and simmer for 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Spread out on sheet pan to cool quickly.

Make dressing by whisking together the juice from the oranges, lemon juice, cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil.

Combine in large bowl the millet, corn, black beans, diced tomatoes, finely chopped garlic, diced jalapeños and basil. Add dressing and gently toss to mix all ingredients. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Yields 12 (½ cup) servings.

Contact: Tonie Miyamoto
Phone: (970) 491-4314