As much as I love my morning oats, some days I feel the need to change it up. My back-up grain of choice?
‘What?’ you say. ‘Never heard of it.’
Teff is an ancient grain, native to Ethiopia and related to amaranth. The word ‘teff’ means ‘lost’; presumably due to its extremely small size. Nearly impossible to pick up grain by grain if you spill it on the floor (ask me how I know…).
Teff has a texture similar to poppy seeds and a nutty, grainy taste. It cooks in just 5 minutes (great if you don’t have much time to prepare breakfast) and can be added to home baked recipes (pancakes, muffins, cookies, protein bars) for a little extra nutritional punch.
Reasons to add teff to your diet?
- it’s high in calcium. The calcium content in teff significantly surpasses that of all other grains (123 mg per cup cooked)
- it’s an excellent source of vitamin C (most grains contain very little)
- it’s gluten-free
- it’s high in ‘resistant starch’, a type of dietary fiber that helps to stabilize blood sugars (super important for weight management and diabetes prevention) and improve colon health
- it’s high in protein. Because teff is too small to process, the entire grain is eaten, including the protein-packed bran and germ
I prepare teff almost exactly like I’m cooking oatmeal.
I combine equal parts grain and liquid (for me, 1/3 cup teff and 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk), as well as a dash of cinnamon, in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer, lid off, stirring regularly for about 5 minutes.
Because the cooked mixture tends to be quite thick on it’s own (yes, I know what it looks like; I have two boys, 8 and 13…),
I top my teff with a little bit more almond milk then decorate with fruit and nuts.
1/3 cup teff + 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1/2 cup raspberries + 1/8 cup slivered almonds = breakfast bliss!
(And contains 291 calories, 10 g protein, 52 g carbohydrates, 6 g total fats, 3 g sugar, 10 g fiber)
Look for teff in your favourite organic grocery store or health food shop!