Teff has been widely cultivated and used in Ethiopia, India, and Australia. It is not widely known in North America but is available in most health food stores. It is the smallest grain in the world, measuring only about 1/32 of an inch in diameter and taking 150 grains to weigh as much as one grain of wheat.
Because the grains of teff are so small, the bulk of the grain consists of the bran and germ. This makes teff very nutrient dense as the bran and germ are the most nutritious parts of any grain. This grain has a very high calcium content, and contains high levels of phosphor, iron, copper and thiamin (B1). Teff is a gluten-free grain so it is appropriate for those with a gluten intolerance.
Teff has a mild, nutty, and a slight molasses like sweetness. The white teff has a chestnut-like flavor and the darker varieties are earthier and taste more like hazelnuts.
- Teff flour can be used as a substitute for part of the flour in baked goods, or the uncooked grain added or substituted for part of the seeds, nuts, or other small grains. Due to its small size, only 1/2 Cup of teff is needed to replace 1 cup of sesame seeds.
- Teff is a good thickener for soups, stews, gravies, and puddings and can also be used in stir-fry dishes, and casseroles. Teff may be added to soups or stews in either of two ways: 1) Add them, uncooked to the pot a half-hour before serving time, or 2) add them cooked to the pot 10 minutes before serving.
- Cooked teff can be mixed with herbs, seeds, beans or tofu, garlic, and onions to make grain burgers.
- The seeds can also be sprouted and the sprouts used in salads and on sandwiches.
To cook teff, place 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup teff, and 1/4 tsp. sea salt (optional) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 to 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes.
1 cup cooked Teff
1/4 tsp. Sea salt
1 cup whole grain flour (whole wheat, spelt, or buckwheat)
1 cup water or enough to make pancake batter
1 tbsp. Oil (optional- grape seed oil)
Mix all ingredients; cook on a hot oiled griddle.
For variations try adding nuts, berries, or apples to the batter.