Ingredient Spotlight: Teff, Ethiopia’s Favorite Ancient Super Grain
(One Green Planet) –Have you heard of the Ethiopian superfood called “teff” before? This special little gluten-free ancient grain (it’s actually only about the size of a poppy seed) has been touted by experts as the “next quinoa“, so expect to begin seeing a lot of it in the future, even though it’s been harvested for thousands of years — in fact, teff is thought to be one of the first foods domesticated by human beings, and is thought to have originated in Ethiopia about 4000-1000 B.C.E.
Want to know more? Read on to further acquaint yourself with teff, Ethiopians’ choice food, and learn how to begin incorporating it into your daily diet.
What Makes Teff Special
Want a more in-depth analysis of teff’s nutritional benefits? Allow us to break it down. Per 50-gram dry serving, teff contains 20 percent of your daily recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of iron, 10 percent of your RDA of calcium, 7-grams of protein, 4-grams of fiber, and trace minerals of phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese.
That’s not all. Teff is also known to naturally balance hormone levels, boost immunity, stimulate digestion, strengthen bones, promote cardiovascular health and aid weight loss.
Where to Purchase Teff (And What Kind)
Teff can be found online at most retailers that sell grains, but if you’re not a big fan of virtual shopping, you should also be able to find teff in health food stores nationwide.
White or ivory teﬀ has the mildest ﬂavor, while the darker varieties provide a more earthy taste. Remember: if you’ve only ever tasted teff in Injera, which is an Ethiopian sourdough flatbread that is used as an edible serving device to sop up lots of delicious Ethiopian stews and condiments, you might assume it only tastes sour — but that’s not the case. When teff is not fermented, it has a sweet and light ﬂavor.
How to Cook Teff
Cooking teff is a simple and fast undertaking. All you need to do is boil some water on your stovetop with a pinch of salt, making sure to use a 3:1 ratio of water (or non-dairy milk) to your teff grain. Once your water reaches a boil, reduce to medium heat, add your teff, and stir your mixture slightly. Then, cook your teff on medium heat for around 15-20 minutes. Once your teff grain has absorbed most of the liquid and softens, you’ll want to turn off your stove and move your pot from the heat source. Put your lid on your pot in order to let your teff grains steam up for about 5-minutes, until it sets.Consume right away since teff can become soggy or too thick (like oatmeal does) if left sitting for too long. It should be soft and creamy, with even a little wiggle room to add more non-dairy milk if you like (for extra creaminess, of course.)