I’m going to bowl you over. With teff.
Teff is an itty bitty, teeny tiny grain–considered the world’s smallest grain–that has a nutty, subtly sweet flavor (no bitterness). I am falling for it, hard! I am confident you will too. It’s indigenous to Ethiopia, and, if you’ve eaten at an Ethiopian restaurant, you’ve likely enjoyed it already as it is used to make the requisite crepes–injera– that accompany every meal.
I’ve been wanting another supergrain to add to my meals, and holy moly, teff delivers! Naturally gluten-free, teff is high in protein (it boasts eight essential amino acids), calcium, manganese, phosphorous, iron, copper, aluminum, barium, and thiamin. Teff also has vitamin C, an unusual attribute for a grain. One more bonus: the iron from teff is easily absorbed, which is great news for vegans and anyone else who needs more dietary iron.
My only issue with teff, if you can call it that, is that I wasn’t sure how to use it. It makes a fantastic breakfast porridge (I’ll share my version soon!), and I have seen a number of recipes that use it to thicken stews and soups, but…what else? I was hard-pressed to find other ways of preparing the grain.
So I set about experimenting. I was especially curious to determine whether teff can be prepared rice-style–i.e., light and fluffy–fashion. I tried several approaches, as well as various water to grain ratios, but, because the grains are so tiny, I kept getting porridge, porridge and more porridge. Until my ninth try. I used a 1:2 ratio of grain to water and removed the pan from the heat before all of the water absorbed. On went a lid so that the grains could steam. Eureka! After 15 minutes and a quick fluff with a fork, I had light and airy grains with a delicate crunch.
The only thing left to do was eat it. A bit of fine sea salt, followed by an assortment of vegetables, a handful of chickpeas, and a drizzle of tahini-lemon dressing, and I had a gorgeous lunch. I ate it the whole thing at about 11:30 am and felt satisfied and energized all afternoon.
I’ll be sharing more teff deliciousness in the days and weeks to come. Give it a try, friends, you’re going to love it!
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup teff grain
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ of a medium Haas avocado, sliced
- 1 small carrot, grated
- ⅓ cup sliced roasted red bell pepper (from jar)
- ½ cup drained and rinsed canned chickpeas
- 1 cup mixed salad greens / mesclun
- In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring water to a boil; stir in teff. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring once or twice, for 10 minutes (there will still be water in the pan). Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes until water is absorbed; fluff with a fork and season with fine sea salt to taste..
- Meanwhile, in a small cup, stir the tahini, lemon juice and enough water to make a drizzling consistency; season with fine sea salt to taste.
- Place teff in a small serving bowl. Top with the avocado, carrot, roasted pepper, chickpeas and salad greens. Drizzle with tahini dressing.
* Low in saturated fat
*High in dietary fiber
*Very high in vitamin B6
*Very high in vitamin C