Looking for an alternative to your usual gluten free grains? Teff is the way to go.
If teff has caught your attention at the health food store but you aren’t sure what it’s like or how to use it, here’s everything you need to know. By Nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box Health editor Melissa Fine.
Where Does Teff Come From?
While it may be new to us, teff has actually been grown and utilised in North East Africa for centuries.
If you’ve eaten at an Ethiopian restaurant before, you may be familiar with ‘injera’ - a traditional, fermented flatbread with a spongy texture, this is made from ground teff and serves the purpose of an edible serving plate that you eat with your hands. A must-try.
What Does Teff Look Like?
A near-microscopic gluten free grain, it takes around 100 teff grains to form the equivalent size of a wheat kernel. Teff can be anything from ivory to chestnut brown, with darker varieties providing more flavour.
Typically, teff is ground into a flour, which is how you’ll find it at the health food store. Most varieties of teff flour that I’m familiar with are earthy-brown.
What About the Taste?
Slightly sweet, earthy and nutty, you’ll probably be a fan of teff if you like gluten free pseudo-grains like buckwheat and quinoa. Injera tastes a little sour but that’s because it’s been fermented.
What are the Nutritional Benefits of Teff?
Apart from being a far less processed option to refined gluten free grains and flours (like potato starch and tapioc), teff also offers:
- More protein than wheat, and so is a great grain to include in a varied, balanced die - Resistant starch, an indigestible fibre that fills you up (great if you’re trying to lose weight), helps keep you regular and promotes a healthy gut lining - Iron and calcium
How Do I Use Teff?
- As a flour in homemade breads. I have this sweet or savoury 2 Minute Teff Bread from Alexx Stuart on my ‘to make’ list
- As a thickener in stews or soups – a healthier alternative to corn starch
- Cook ground teff like you would polenta (cornmeal) and serve straight up with salt and parmesan a as side dish, or as a porridge with your favourite toppings - try banana, coconut milk and almonds for some crunch We’re also been snacking on Food for Health’s Vanilla Blueberry Bar with Coconut, Teff and Quinoa at GoodnessMe Box HQ; Not your same-old snack bar thanks to the addition of unique-tasting teff, which bumps up the protein content to keep you fuller for longer. Enjoy as is for a healthy, on-the-go snack, or cut into pieces and serve in a breakfast parfait with layers of Greek yoghurt, almond butter and fresh blueberries.
Food for Health Vanilla Blueberry bar with Coconut, Teff and Quinoa Gluten free, Low in fructose, GMO free, Australian made and owned. For more information head to www.foodforhealth.com.au