When was the last time you had millet?  That was probably my reaction too, ‘uh…I know I’ve seen it, but can’t say I’ve ever eaten it.’  Well, maybe you should.

According to TCM, millet is cooling, noted as a yin (cold, dark, female, wet) tonic.  This means it adds moisture to the body and can help rehydrate dry skin.  It’s particularly good for women who’ve just given birth as it encourages breast milk production.

Aside from just women, anyone can eat millet to up their Vitamin B intake.  Millet is a good alternative to rice. Its even a safe alternative to wheat for people who suffer from gluten intolerance, such as celiac disease.

Millet can be turned into millet cakes (shown in the initial picture) though they’re really more like millet crunch with peanuts and sesame seeds, and very tasty.  Despite being a cooling food and therefore better for summer, these are so popular in Shanghai around December/January that I had to stand in line for more than 1 hour to buy them!  This is the photo of the millet cakes being sliced and people crowding around: