What is it?
Teff is a naturally gluten free fine grain—about the size of a poppy seed—that comes in a variety of colors, from white and red to dark brown. Teff grows predominantly in Ethiopia and Eritrea, and thrives even in their difficult climates so it comprises the staple grain of their cuisines.
The grain has a very mild, nutty flavor, and it packs a serious nutritional punch. Teff has an excellent balance of amino acids, and it is also high in protein, calcium, and iron. Ground into flour, teff is used to make the traditional bread, injera: a flat, pancake-like, fermented bread that complements the exotic spices found in the regional food. It can also be ground into flour to make an excellent gluten-free flour alternative, and can be used to make pie crusts, cookies, breads, and an assortment of other baked goods. Teff can also be eaten whole and steamed, boiled, or baked as a side dish or a main course.
Teff’s history traces back thousands of years,to ancient civilizations of Abyssinia, as a reliable support to our early ancestors’ survival. Attracted to its delicious taste, gluten-free composition, and versatility, more consumers are committing to teff. Along with other alternative grains like quinoa and millet, this grain has become well-known in the health foods community because of its great nutritional value.
What can it do for me?
Teff leads all the grains – by a wide margin – in its calcium content, with a cup of cooked teff offering 123mg, about the same amount of calcium as in a half-cup of cooked spinach. Teff is high in resistant starch, a newly-discovered type of dietary fiber that can benefit blood sugar management, weight control, and colon health. It’s estimated that 20-40% of the carbohydrates in teff are resistant starches. A gluten-free grain with a mild flavor, teff is a healthy and versatile ingredient for many gluten-free products.
What can I do with it?
Ivory and brown teff are sweet-tasting grains unlike any other. Brown teff has a subtle hazelnut, almost chocolate-like flavor and a moist texture similar to millet (but more exotic). Ivory teff has a milder flavor than the brown.
Both the ivory and brown teff grain have the versatility of corn meal and millet. Delicious in porridge, stews, stuffing, and pilaf, teff can be cooked alone or in combination with other grains and vegetables. Simply cook 1 cup teff with 3 cups water or stock. Season with one or more of the following spices for a tasty dish: cinnamon, ginger, garlic, cardamom, chilies, basil and cilantro. Teff is quick cooking, too. No need to pre-rinse, teff comes clean, having already passed through a series of screens after harvest. Ready in 20 minutes, Teff is ideal for a fast meals. For pastries, ivory and brown teff flour make superb pancakes, pie crusts, and cookies.
Teff grain and teff flour are wonderful alternatives to wheat, barley and rye for those on a gluten-free diet. Teff flour will expand food choices beyond potato, corn and rice flour!
Teff is rich tasting and very versatile. To complement its great flavor, use other 100% natural and organic ingredients. Bring out the best in all you cook and bake with ivory and brown teff grain and flour.
What can I substitute?
Teff grain and teff flour are wonderful alternatives to wheat, barley and rye for those on a gluten-free diet.
How do I store it?
Keep teff flour in an airtight container away from moisture. In the freezer it will keep for many months.