Q&A: What is teff and why do I need it? (Washington Post)

teff-300x225By Washington Post , Herald-Tribune / Monday, April 28, 2014

Q: What is teff and why do I need it?

A: Although teff has been a staple of traditional Ethiopian cooking for thousands of years, this gluten-free grain is quickly climbing to super-grain status in our country. (Watch out, quinoa.)

Teff is a gluten-free whole grain that, despite its size (about the size of a poppy seed), is mineral-rich and high in protein. Long-distance runners from Ethiopia have credited their energy and health to the grain.

Traditional Ethiopian restaurants serve injera with all meals, as an edible serving plate topped with meats, vegetables and sauces. (Herald-Tribune archive)
Traditional Ethiopian restaurants serve injera with all meals, as an edible serving plate topped with meats, vegetables and sauces.
(Herald-Tribune archive)

One serving of dry teff (a quarter-cup) offers 7 grams of protein, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 25 percent of your daily recommended magnesium, 20 percent of your daily iron and 10 percent of your daily calcium, Vitamin B6 and zinc.

Teff has a mildly nutty flavor and is incredibly versatile. When cooked on a stovetop with water, it creates a creamy product similar to porridge or cream of wheat. It also works wonderfully in stews, adding both thickness and texture.

In Ethiopia, teff is ground into a flour and fermented to make injera, a spongy, sourdough flatbread that is soft, porous and thin like a pancake. Traditional Ethiopian restaurants serve injera with all meals, as an edible serving plate topped with meats, vegetables and sauces.

As America embraces this ancient grain, teff can be found in gluten-free recipes for pancakes, breads, crepes or waffles and is showing up in cereal, snacks, wraps and more.

Teff is available at organic grocery stores. Be sure to buy whole-grain teff, not teff flour.

– Elaine Gordon, The Washington Post

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Posted by on April 29, 2014. Filed under NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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