Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Teff - The Super Grain From Ethiopia

Nestled among the valleys of the Horn of Africa, is the humble yet nutrient rich teff crop, swaying in the breeze, waiting for the world to recognize its importance. It is an ancient crop which has its origins between 4000 BCE and 1000BCE. To be more specific teff is native to Northern Ethiopian and Eritrean highlands.

Nutritional content of teff grains;

Teff is a powerhouse of nutrients. It is called as an orphan crop because very little research is done about it.

·      The teff is an excellent source of calcium. A cup of cooked teff contains 123mg of calcium.
·      It is rich in vitamin C.
·      It is high in resistant starch
·      It has good amounts of phosphorous, magnesium, aluminum, copper and thiamin.
·      It is rich in iron, but the iron content is due to threshing the grains on the iron rich soil.
·      It contains all the eight essential amino acids and has high amounts of lysine.
·      1 cup of uncooked teff provides 5 of the B complex vitamins.

Special health benefits of Teff grains

Teff has some stunning nutritional qualities.
1.    It is high in resistant starch. This starch is a type of dietary fiber, which aids in blood sugar management, weight control and colon health.
2.    The good news is 20-40% of carbohydrates in teff are resistant starches.
3.    The teff grain is very good for celiacs. The gluten present in teff does not contain a-gliadin, that causes a reaction for those suffering from celiac disease.
4.   It is a slow releasing food and is good for diabetics

The poppy seed grain is almost like an identity for the Ethiopians. They grind the flour, ferment it and make spongy sourdough bread known as the injera. They top the injera with meat or vegetable stew and relish it almost three times a day. But the modern usage of teff also see it being turned into pancakes, snacks, breads, cereals and many other products such as teff wraps.

Now if you want to try out making delicious recipes from teff grains, here is an amazing you tube video. The cooking expert llana Kundini teaches you how to make mouth watering teff pancakes. Try it and enjoy!

Take care,

Swarnam
photo credit: treesftf via photopin cc