Teff: It’s the newest food trend you might not know about. Often compared to quinoa, this tiny grain has all the qualities necessary to become the food world’s next gluten-free darling.
This is Olivia, the iNatural blogger. Food trends may come and go, but nutrition is forever. That’s why I still love quinoa and couscous and brown rice… but now I’m excited to ride the wave of excitement over the Ethiopian grain teff.
What is teff?
Teff is an ancient grain with the scientific name Eragrostis tef. It has a mild, nutty taste when cooked. This millet — a small-seeded grass — has been part of Ethiopian cuisine for over 2,000 years. Teff is traditionally ground into a flour to make injera, a spongy, gluten-free Ethiopian flatbread; it is also used to feed livestock. While this grain may be ancient, it is on the rise to become America’s next gluten-free superstar, with farms cropping up in Idaho and Kansas.
Why is teff awesome?
This tiny grain packs a powerful nutritional punch. Each ounce of uncooked grain contains:
- 4 grams of protein (high levels per ounce — it’s 14% protein!)
- 2 grams of fiber (high levels per ounce)
- Over 10% of your daily recommended amount of iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper
- Over 120% of your daily recommended amount of manganese
- 5% of your recommended amount of calcium
- All nine essential amino acids
- An extremely low glycemic index, which helps regulate blood sugar
- Extremely low levels of sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat (yay!)
(Nutrition facts via SELF Nutrition Data)
How can I eat more teff?
Check out these tasty teff preparations:
- As a porridge: Try Aube Giroux’s Teff Porridge with Apples and Dates
- Baked into treats: Try Aran of Cannelle et Vanille’s Chocolate Banana and Teff Cupcakes
- Raw in an energy bar: Sub teff for the quinoa in Cooking Light’s Cranberry-Pistachio Energy Bars
- Buy it ready-made as injera, of course! Atlantans, you can find this on Buford Highway: Check out The Amateur Gastronomer’s injera recommendations.