Take an Adventure with Teff


Plate of Injera

Teff grain is an ancient grain that has seen increased popularity recently in the US.  Ancient grains in general have received a lot of press because they both fulfill the USDA's recommendations for whole grains, and because they offer alternatives for individuals who are seeking gluten-free choices or non-GMO crops.  Teff grain is thought to have originated in Ethiopia between the first and the 4th millennium B.C.E.  It has a high protein content and sprouts easily, which makes it an easy grain to add for sprouted bread, which increases its nutritional value.  Its protein is an easily digested one as well, which helps individuals with touchy digestion. 

Teff is easily available now through various health food brands and outlets, and it is easy to incorporate the whole grain flour into breads, pancakes, and various other foods.  It is also easy to add whole teff grains to soups or to cook it “dry” like rice.  In Ethopia, teff grain is made into a flatbread called injera.  Injera is used as a serving plate, and diners tear pieces off the plate in order to scoop up the fragrant and generously spiced foods that are served on it.  Injera has a sour taste due to the fact that the teff is fermented before the bread is made.  Ordinary teff flour does not have this quality. 

Teff has a number of interesting attributes, including a whopping quantity of calcium.  It also has “resistant” starches, which research is showing to help with people who struggle with blood sugar issues.  Teff varieties vary in flavor, with white teff being the mildest, but ranging into more earthy flavors as the color deepens.

Teff grain is certainly a good prospect for individuals whose digestive needs require a non wheat alternative, but for the more adventurous eater, teff brings an interesting alternative to the everyday. 

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