TEFF

Nutty and earthy, Teff is one of those foods that is fun to eat if you are into the texture of foods. 

TeffIt is a tiny little grass grain filled with delicious flavor and texture. Archeological studies suggest that teff originated in the area that is now Ethiopia and because it is such a small grain, was easily spread via semi-nomadic travelers. It is a hardy grain that grows well in a variety of climates, especially in places with more sun through the day.
My first encounter with teff was as the bread Injera, a spongy accompaniment to my Ethiopian meal. Injera is a very thin and spongy bread used as a scoop to eat the accompanying ingredients. It has the nutty, slightly sweet flavor of the grain and makes a delicious and filling staple. I became enamored with the flavor of teff and started experimenting with using it in other ways.

From a culinary perspective, the grain is very tiny, smaller than quinoa and even amaranth, that’s one thing that makes it interesting to eat as far as I’m concerned. It is delicious as porridge or added to soups and stews, lending a unique complexity to both the flavor and the texture. Teff flour can be used in baked goods and the grains can be used as a thickening agent or in just about any recipe that calls for other grain. Recently, teff has also gotten critical acclaim in the grain world as a gluten free option for beer making.

teff porridgeTeff has in the past few years become a darling of the health food world, touted as the next superfood. While I’m not really a fan of the ‘superfood’ craze, thinking that really all whole foods are superfoods in their own right, I have to admit that Teff is a really great addition to your dietary repertoire. It is gluten free so suitable for individuals with celiac disease or other gluten issues. It is high in vitamins, minerals like calcium, protein, fiber and phytonutrients. Teff is comprised of a fair amount of dietary fiber in the form of resistant starch, which enables it to contribute to blood glucose management, weight management and gastrointestinal health. Other studies demonstrate the Teff helps decrease bone loss and support bone and tissue growth. If you’re in for a culinary adventure, teff is a fun way to branch out and experiment.