Monday, 23 January 2017

Talking about Teff: The New Ancient Grain

Move over quinoa, there is a new nutritionally packed grain on the scene: teff. Well actually, teff is far from new, although it's just becoming popular in North American diets. Teff is a small grain that resembles a poppy seed. Teff grows well even in challenging climates, making it a staple grain in places like Ethiopia. It is most commonly used to make injera, a popular ethiopian flatbread (aka an edible plate). It comes in a wide range of varieties from ivory to a dark reddish brown (the lighter the colour, the milder the flavour teff will have). Overall, teff has a very pleasant, mild nutty flavour making it useful in a variety of cooking and baking applications.

Nutritional Benefits:

Teff has a high nutritional value and is a great source of many nutrients. Teff is also a great way to add more whole grains to our diets.

  • Teff is high in protein and when added to meals can increase your satiety 
  • Teff has the highest calcium content of all grains (It has 5x the calcium of oatmeal!) 
  • Teff is a source of iron
  • It is heart healthy and naturally low in saturated fat
  • Is naturally gluten free
  • Is a source of dietary fibre which helps with weight control and blood sugar management

How can I incorporate it into my diet?

- Teff can be eaten whole, steamed, boiled, or baked
  • cook with a 1:1 ratio with water for ~7 minutes for poppyseed like texture   
  • or for 20 minutes with a 3:1water ratio to achieve a 'cream of wheat' texture
- It can be ground into a flour for a great gluten free flour alternative!
- You can use teff to make a hot cereal similar to cream of wheat
- Teff flour can be used in baked goods, although is best used where not a lot of rising is required
- Sprinkle toasted teff over veggies
- Add to soups and stews for some texture
- Once teff has set after boiling, you can shape teff and bake it!

Overall, teff is a great nutritionally packed grain to add to your rotation. Although, there is no "super" grain; be sure to choose a variety of whole grains in order to get a variety of nutrients in your diet.


Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

  • 1/2 cup teff
  • 1.5 cups water
  • pinch of salt

Toppings for each serving:
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple (or fruit of your choosing)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted almonds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
1) Roast teff by placing in a frying pan over low heat, stirring frequently. Teff is done when it 'pops' (usually takes about 3 minutes or less).

2) Add roasted teff and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiled, reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Ensure that you stir the mixture more frequently as it becomes thicker to prevent teff from burning.

3) Once teff is done cooking, let stand for 5 minutes.

4) Portion out teff into a bowl (approximately 3/4 cup servings). Mix in fruit,  almonds, cinnamon, and maple syrup.

Extra teff can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Simply reheat with a bit of milk or water to restore a more creamy texture.

No comments:

Post a Comment