Thursday, April 4, 2013

Teff, The Hidden Secret of the Grain World

Teff is "the" grain of Ethiopia.  

     Teff, one of the most amazing grains in the world, and the most under used. It comes from Ethiopia where it is used extensively from baking bread to eating as a cereal. It is a nutrient rich grain that is growing popular the world over. One of the reasons it is growing in popularity is how rich it is in protein and the fact that it can be grown almost anywhere from sea level to high in the mountains.  Because of that it is being planted all over the world and it is ever growing in popularity. 

     It is also considered to be the smallest grain in the world. Because of it's size it so easy to use.  No need to cook the grain, it can be added to anything from breads to salads without cooking. I love the easy use of this grain. It is fun and tasty.  

     I remember one of my first uses of this amazing grain. I was working at a grain store at the time. My wife called and asked me to bring home some pizza dough. So as an obedient husband I proceeded to make the dough in my Bosch Mixer. As I was mixing the dough I looked over and saw a bag of Teff sitting on the counter, it had just came in. I thought I could add a couple of tablespoons of Teff to the dough.  I started pouring and instead of adding two tablespoons I added about a cup. It looked great to me, but I knew my family was not going to like all the "Things" in the dough.  Oh my, it was late so I decided they were just going to have to deal with it. So I mixed the dough with all the "Things" in it.

     I arrived home and started to doubt my choice of bringing the dough home. But it was to late to start over.  I did cover the dough up so my family could not see it.  I made sure that the family was not in the kitchen while I rolled out the dough. As I was rolling out the dough I was convinced I had made a mistake and they were not going to eat the dough. I had just started cooking with grains and they were a little bit nervous about what I was doing.  

     I quickly rolled out the dough thinking that if I could put enough cheese and sauce on it they would not notice.  I made sure they did not see the dough. I quickly put the pizza in the oven and turned down the lights in the dining room. The pizza was done and the moment of truth close at hand. I called them to dinner.  I anxiously waited to hear the cries of my family as they ate the pizza. To my amazement no complaints.   In fact  they all complimented me on the dough.  They loved the crispy texture and  they did not even notice all the "Things" in the dough. Since then I have used it in many things. Pizza dough, Pancakes, and Waffles are my favorite things to use the grain in. I love the texture of the grain, it adds so much to anything I use it in.  

     My daughter loves this grain. I think it is her favorite. She loves it because it does not have to be cooked and she can just add it to anything at all.
                    This is banana bread.  Teff is perfect to add to sweet breads.  It adds a great texture and lots of nutrition.  And everyone loves it. 


Teff leads all the grains – by a wide margin – in its calcium content, with a cup of cooked teff offering 123 mg, about the same amount of calcium as in a half-cup of cooked spinach. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C, a nutrient not commonly found in grains.
Teff was long believed to be high in iron, but more recent tests have shown that its iron content comes from soil mixed with the grain after it’s been threshed on the ground – the grain itself is not unusually high in iron.
Teff is, however, high in resistant starch, a newly-discovered type of dietary fiber that can benefit blood-sugar management, weight control, and colon health. It’s estimated that 20-40% of the carbohydrates in teff are resistant starches. A gluten-free grain with a mild flavor, teff is a healthy and versatile ingredient for many gluten-free products.
Since teff’s bran and germ make up a large percentage of the tiny grain, and it’s too small to process, teff is always eaten in its whole form. It’s been estimated that Ethiopians get about two-thirds of their dietary protein from teff.  Many of Ethiopia’s famed long-distance runners attribute their energy and health to teff.

Teff Omelet 

          Teff is an easy add to egg dishes. It adds great texture to all egg dishes. And it looks great.  I would add 1 to 2 tablespoons to your omelet.  
Another Teff Omelet.  Look how pretty the grain is. 

Teff Waffles

  Waffles and pancakes are the perfect foods for Teff.  Just add how ever much you can handle and enjoy the crispy texture and taste and not to mention the wonderful nutrition you will be getting.   I would add about 1/4 cup to1/2 cup Teff to your recipe.  

Artisan Teff Bread

     Bread making is another way to use this wonderful grain.  So easy to just add it to your bread. The texture is amazing and I love the crust on artisan breads. It is amazing. From rolls to French Breads it is wonderful. No recipe needed, just add some and enjoy the experience.  I would add 1/4 cup to 1 cup depending on the size of your recipe.  1/4 cup to one loaf size. 
So small you cannot even tell it is in the salad.  Looks like pepper.  But the texture is great.  
Teff, the smallest most nutritious grain in the world.  

Teff grows as  a tall grass.  
     Teff is a wonderful grain. It can be found at WholeFoods and that type of Market. It stores well and is an easy add in to all foods. I love this amazing grain and love to just add it to what ever I am cooking.  Thats the great thing about this grain,  it is easy to add and the nutrition is off the charts. Enjoy your experience with one of Natures finest grains.   Chef Brad~America's Grain Guy.

1 comment:

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