It’s time for…Teff!
With a diameter of only 1 mm, not only is it one of the world’s smallest grains, but also one of the most nutritious.
Some of the physical characteristics of Teff make it a particularly healthy food. In fact, due to its small size, the milling process does not remove any of the germ or bran, so it really is a whole grain. It is also gluten free which makes it suitable for people suffering from celiac disease or food intolerances. Another special characteristic of this grain is that it is high in resistant starch, which means it reaches the intestine intact before breaking down into simple sugars. This also makes it suitable for people with diabetes.
This small African “gem” has numerous nutritional benefits: it is one of the most nutritious and easy-to-digest cereals in the world, with a high content of minerals, especially iron. It is also a great source of high-quality proteins because it contains all the so-called amino acids essential for a healthy diet, as well as a high concentration of zinc, magnesium, calcium and Vitamin B6.
Teff is native to Ethiopia and Eritrea and has a very long history, where it has been a staple food for African populations since 4000 BC. It was so revered and well-known that some seeds were placed with pharaoh’s in the pyramids as their last food. Teff is the main ingredient of injera, a flatbread with a spongy texture that is fermented for a few days before being baked. In Eritrean cuisine, it is used to prepare zighinì, where the bread is stretched out and dressed up with vegetables and stewed meat. Today, teff is used to prepare everything, from traditional bread to biscuits and cakes, as well as tasty gluten-free pizza. It can also be used to thicken soups and make them creamier, or as a replacement for sesame seeds.
Teff is now becoming more and more popular and is being grown in other countries and offered in restaurants all around the world. Many famous people and entertainers such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham have declared that they love it and eat it regularly.