TEFF: THE HOTTEST ANCIENT GRAIN
If you want to add more whole grains to your diet, let me introduce you to my latest crush – teff, a nutritious gluten-free grain to try. With a unique nutritional profile, teff is certainly the hottest gluten-free whole grain you should try and a great addition to a healthy diet.
So, what is teff? Teff is the world’s smallest grain, roughly the size of a poppy seed. It is mainly cultivated in Ethiopia and Eritrea where it originates. It comes in a variety of colors, from white and red to dark brown.
Currently, Ethiopia is the largest teff producing country – it produces over 90% of the world’s teff. However, as a result of its popularity, a unique nutritional profile, and a gluten-free nature, the amount of teff produced in the United States and other countries is increasing rapidly.
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT IT?
Teff is an amazing gluten-free whole grain with a unique nutritional profile superior to other grains. Here are just a few reasons why you should add teff to your diet:
Teff is naturally gluten-free so it’s a great option for people who follow a gluten-free diet. Just make sure it’s certified gluten-free to ensure that it is safe from cross-contamination.
3/4 cup of cooked teff provides roughly 6.5 g protein. An interesting fact: Teff provides two-thirds of the daily protein intake in the diet of the Ethiopian population.
NATURALLY LOW IN SODIUM
Naturally low in sodium, it is ideal for people following a heart-healthy diet. Having less sodium in your diet may help you lower or avoid high blood pressure.
HIGH CALCIUM CONTENT
Teff has a high calcium content – a cup of cooked teff offers 123mg of this valuable mineral. The body needs calcium to carry out many important functions: almost every cell in the body uses calcium in some way, including the nervous system, muscles, and heart so eating calcium-rich foods is essential for our health.
A GOOD SOURCE OF MAGNESIUM
It is also a good source of magnesium – a single serving of teff contains 69% of your daily recommended value. Healthy magnesium levels protect metabolic health, stabilize mood, keep stress in check, promote better sleep, and contribute to heart and bone health.
CONTAINS VITAMIN C
Unlike most grains, teff is a good source of vitamin C, a vitamin that is vital for many important processes in our body and well known for its role in supporting a healthy immune system.
HIGH IN RESISTANT STARCH
Furthermore, teff is high in resistant starch, a type of dietary fiber that helps us manage blood sugar, weight, and, colon health – one ounce (28 g) of teff flour contains about 5 g of fiber. Taking enough fiber is an essential component of a healthy diet.
RELATIVELY LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX
It has a relatively low glycemic index – the glycemic index is 57 and the glycemic load is 19. What’s a glycemic index? A glycemic index is a number that indicates how rapidly the body digests a particular type of food and converts it into blood sugar (glucose). Low-glycemic index carbohydrates, such as teff, are slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolized so they cause a much lower and slower rise in blood glucose and insulin levels.
In short, the low-glycemic diet has a number of health benefits, including reducing blood sugar levels, aiding weight loss, and lowering your risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
One cup of cooked teff contains approximately:
• 255 calories
• 1.6 grams fat
• 50 grams carbohydrates
• 7 grams of dietary fiber
• 10 grams protein
HOW TO EAT TEFF
Teff is very similar to millet and quinoa in cooking, but the seed is much smaller so it cooks a bit faster. It is ideal for all kinds of different easy meals from breakfast to snacks and side dishes.
You can add it to soups, stews, salads, veggie burgers, make it into teff polenta or make a big bowl of a delicious porridge.
It can also be ground into a fine gluten-free flour.
Teff flour is a very fine gluten-free flour with an earthy, slightly nutty and sweet taste. It most definitely pairs best with chocolate and nutty flavors and works really well in combination with other gluten-free flours. You can use it to make waffles, cookies, bread, crackers, muffins, pancakes, and yummy chocolate cakes.
Teff flour is typically used in injera, a traditional flat, pancake-like, fermented Ethiopian flatbread.
Although it’s a bit pricey when compared to other flours, it is certainly well worth the cost.
Store dry teff in a cool, dry place in a tightly sealed container. Once cooked, store teff in the fridge for up to five days.
Store teff flour in a cool and dry place for up to 2 months or in the fridge for up to 6 months. If it smells bad, it has probably gone rancid so and you should throw it out.
WHERE TO BUY IT
You can buy it in most health food stores or you can order it online.
RECIPES WITH TEFF FLOUR
Healthy gluten-free teff chocolate hazelnut cookies – perfect as an afternoon pick-me-up. High in fiber, high in protein, and extremely yummy.
Easy and flavourful teff, apple, and walnut cake is a delicious sweet treat for everyone to enjoy. A perfect treat to serve with a cup of tea or coffee!
These cookies made with wholesome ingredients. A nutritious on-the-go snack. Vegan and gluten-free.
Delicious vegan and gluten-free chocolate maqui cookie tarts with a chocolate cookie crust and cashew-maqui berry filling.