Food trends: What is teff?

Have you heard of teff before? Do you know the nutritional punch that this tiny grain provides? Today, we are back with another installment of ‘Food Trends’ to talk about teff. We previously looked at Pulses, Monkfruit and Sprouted Grains. You may be seeing this grain even more over the next few years, if you have not already. In fact, next time you are in the gluten free, grain or flour area of your grocery store, look for this product. Bob’s Red Mill carries their own version of the grain and flour, among other brands.

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What is Teff?

Teff is a tiny seed originating from Ethiopia. In fact, Ethiopians have been eating this grain for thousands of years. This grain has a nutty flavor with crunchy texture, is about the size of a poppy seed and is generally cooked in a similar fashion to quinoa. Teff can also be prepared by grinding it into a flour or combined with water to make a porridge type consistency.  So why the sudden popularity? Teff is gathering attention around the world because of its nutritional makeup, and the fact it is naturally gluten free. For those that follow a gluten free diet, teff provides many nutrients that other gluten free grains and flours that are refined may lack.

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What are the nutritional benefits?

In addition to being gluten free, teff is a great source of protein with 7 grams of protein provided in each 1/4 cup (uncooked). In regards to fiber, each 1/4 cup uncooked portion (or ~3/4 cup cooked portion) provides 4 grams. Teff is low in saturated fat and sodium but is a high source of a variety of essential nutrients like Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Manganese and Zinc.

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Talk to us! Have you ever tried teff or used it in a recipe? Personally, I can’t wait to give this one a try! I’m always looking for ways to mix up the grains I consume, especially ones that pack as much nutrition in as teff does!

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