Teff is one of the oldest cultivated crops known to man. It is native to Ethiopia and Eritrea, where it grows wild along rivers and streams. Its name derives from the Amharic word “tèf”, meaning “to sprout”.
Teff is often referred to as a grain because of its small size and round shape, but it is actually a grass seed. Like quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, oats, rice, sorghum, and wheat, teff is classified as a pseudocereal.
This means that it contains some of the same nutrients found in true cereals like corn, barley, rye, and oats, but it does not contain gluten.
Teff is high in fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, vitamin B1, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, and biotin. It is also rich in antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
The most common use for teff is in oatmeal, but it can also be cooked like rice or couscous. Teff can be added to soups, stews, salads, pasta dishes, and even desserts.
You can buy teff grains in bulk online, or purchase them in the gluten-free section at your local grocery store. Let’s look at some recipes using teff.
1. Teff Oatmeal
This recipe is a great way to start your day. It makes enough for one person, but you could easily double it. You can use teff flour in place of whole wheat flour. If you don’t want to make your own, you can buy it online.
- 1 cup (0.24 l) water
- 2/3 cup teff flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
In a medium saucepan over low heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the teff flour and stir well. Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir again. Pour into bowls and serve hot.
Teff is also low in carbohydrates, making it a great option for those looking to lose weight. In addition, teff is packed with fiber, helping you feel full longer. This makes it a perfect breakfast choice.
You can make this oatmeal beforehand and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. When ready to eat, simply heat the oatmeal over low heat and stir in milk or water.
If desired, you can freeze the oatmeal in individual portions and thaw later. To reheat, add a little liquid to the oatmeal, such as milk or boiling water, and cook over medium heat.
2. Teff Brownie
This teff flour brownie is naturally gluten-free and makes a wonderful substitute for regular wheat flour.
This recipe uses coconut oil, which adds a slightly sweet flavor without being overpowering. Coconut oil is high in lauric acid, a fatty acid that helps boost immunity and fight infections.
3. Teff With Avocado
This bowl is packed full of nutrients thanks to the addition of teff grains, which are high in protein, fiber, iron, calcium, B vitamins and antioxidants.
As we’ve seen, Teff is also gluten-free, making it suitable for those who suffer from celiac disease.
This recipe uses carrot and avocado, but you can use whatever vegetables you like best. Just make sure they’re low in carbs if you’re following a low-carb diet.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup teff grains
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 of a medium Hass avocado, sliced
- 1 small carrot, grated (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Bring the water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the teff grains and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain any excess liquid. Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Toss together thoroughly. Serve warm.
4. Whole Grain Teff Energy Bars
Teff energy bars are easy to make and pack a lot of nutrition into each bar.
They contain protein, fiber, iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin A, folate, vitamin E, manganese, copper, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin D, vitamin K, selenium, vitamin B12, choline, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, folic acid, and vitamins C and B2.
The recipe calls for just four ingredients: teff flour, coconut oil, water, and honey. A super highly nutritious snack, ideal if you’re watching your weight but fancy something sweet.
5. Marathon Breakfast Bowl
In this recipe, we combine whole grain teff with almond milk, banana slices, blueberries, cinnamon and vanilla extract. We use a combination of coconut oil and olive oil to make our pancake batter. For topping, we add sliced bananas, walnuts, honey and powdered sugar.
6. Teff Bread
The secret ingredient here is coconut oil. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCT), which are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream without affecting insulin levels.
MCTs are great for energy, metabolism, weight loss, brain health, immune function, digestion, and much more.
This recipe for Soft, Fluffy Teff bread is easy to make, healthy, and totally delicious. And best of all, it’s completely gluten-free and dairy free.
The good news is, there are lots of ways to enjoy this amazing bread. You can eat it plain, slather it with butter, serve it warm with cheese and fruit, or even stuff it into a sandwich.
Whatever way you choose to enjoy it, I promise you won’t regret it.
7. Creamy Coconut Teff
Coconut flakes can be added to morning oats because they give the oatmeal a nice crunch, plus they add fiber.
If you don’t want to buy coconut flakes, try adding some shredded unsweetened coconut to your oats. You’ll still get the same great flavor.
The coconut milk gives the oatmeal a rich, full body, while the coconut oil adds a subtle hint of coconut flavor. This oatmeal is best served warm, but you could easily enjoy it too.
8. Teff Cakes With Wilted Chard
Here is a vegan recipe that will get the taste buds going that keep you fueled all day. Long-Savory Teff Cakes with Wilted Chard and Fresh Tomato Relish could easily become your new favorite vegan dinner.
This dish is packed with protein and nutrients. It is full of flavor and is ready in under 30 minutes. It is gluten-free and contains no cholesterol. What’s not to love?
Injera is a delicious flatbread made from teff flour and water. It’s light and slightly spongy, and it’s made without yeast or baking powder. It’s a staple food in Ethiopian cuisine, and it’s often served alongside stews and soups.
This recipe is based on how injera is prepared in Ethiopia. They use a traditional clay plate over a wood fire, but you could use a special electric injera pan. You’ll find instructions for both methods here.
The dough is very easy to prepare and requires just three ingredients: water, yeast and flour. Once mixed together, the dough needs to rest overnight.
Once ready, the next day, the dough is rolled into a log shape and cut into pieces. These are placed on the hot injera plate and cooked for 5 minutes.
Then, the injera is flipped over and cooked for another 5 minutes. Finally, it is removed and served immediately.
Teff is the smallest and highest powered grain in the world. It is naturally gluten-free, it contains over 50% protein and is packed full of essential nutrients such as iron, magnesium, zinc, and calcium.
But what makes it really special is its ability to absorb minerals and vitamins more easily than many other grains. This is because it is soaked in water overnight, making it easier for your body to digest.
- 1 cup (0.24 l) of teff seeds
- 2 cups (0.47 l) of cold water
Leave the teff soaking in the fridge overnight. In the morning, drain off the excess water and place into a blender. Blend until smooth.
Add salt and pepper to taste. You can add some honey or maple syrup too if desired. Serve immediately.
Benefits Of Teff
Teff is one of the oldest cultivated crops in Ethiopia. It is known for being nutritious, versatile, and easy to grow.
This ancient grain is often used as a staple food in many parts of Africa, including Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan.
Compared to other grains, it has a relatively low glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.
It contains about 10% protein and 20% carbohydrates, making it a great option for those looking to lose weight.
In addition to being a healthy alternative to wheat, teff is also a very sustainable crop. It grows well in poor soil conditions, and requires little water.
It is drought resistant, and can even thrive in areas where rainfall is scarce. Because of this, it is considered a “climate change resilient” crop.
Teff is a wonderful alternative to wheat that offers so much versatility. It can be eaten alone or with other foods, and it can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert.
It also provides many health benefits. Try it out today