WHAT MAKES TEFF GREAT?
Nutrition makes it a great addition to any eating lifestyle. It is gluten free! One cup of cooked teff provides 255 Calories, 10 gm protein, 8 gm fiber, 2 gm fat, and no cholesterol. Teff grains contain 11% protein and are an excellent source of amino acids, especially lysine, the amino acid often missing in other grains. Lysine is essential for the production of proteins, hormones, enzymes, collagen and elastin. Lysine also supports calcium absorption, energy production, and immune function. Lysine is a supplement used to help prevent cold sores, herpes simplex. Teff is a delicious and nutritious addition to a gluten-free lifestyle. Teff is an excellent source of iron. Even conservative estimates indicate teff is a better source of iron than most other grains. For example, 3.5 oz (100gm) of teff flour provides 37% of the Daily Value (DV) for iron, while the same amount of wheat flour offers 5%. Teff also provides more calcium than most other grains. A 3/4 cup serving of teff porridge contains about 87 mg of calcium vs 16 mg in 3/4 cup cooked oatmeal. A 3/4 cup cooked teff serving also provides 22% DV of magnesium, 12% DV of zinc and 223% DV of manganese. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, phosphorus, selenium and is low in sodium. Teff has a high fiber content per serving. When cooked, teff has a lower glycemic index compared to other grains, preventing blood sugar spikes. Teff is only 3% fat, and contains the essential omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids.
BUYING AND USING TEFF
Teff can be purchased as a whole grain or as a flour. Whole intact teff is considered the optimal choice. Most teff can be found in stores that feature Bob’s Red Mill products or ordered online. Once opened, store teff in cool, dry place in a tightly-sealed container (the refrigerator or freezer) where it will store up to a year. Uncooked teff grains can be used in baking (cakes, breads, muffins, etc) like you would use seeds. It can also be added to soups and stews as a thickener. To prepare teff porridge, add 1/2 cup teff grains to 2 cups boiling water. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Once cooked, store leftovers in the fridge up to 5 days.
Teff grains make a great porridge substitute for oatmeal or wheat farina. They can also be used to make polenta, or added to veggie burgers to boost nutrition. For a simple salad, toss cooked teff with olive oil, garlic, vinegar and fresh herbs. Top with roasted vegetables. Teff also makes a great filling for stuffed peppers, or mixed into pilafs. Or just toss cooled cooked teff with salad greens or veggie side dishes. Teff flour can be substituted for wheat or other flour in dishes such as pancakes, cookies, cakes, muffins and breads. Keep in mind that teff lacks gluten, and like other gluten-free flours, often requires a binder when baking such as xanthan gum. This step can be avoided if substituting teff for 50% of gluten flour in baked goods. Due to the difficulty in harvesting such a small grain, teff may cost a little more than other gluten free grains and seeds. A 1-pound bag of teff grains can cost about $5 and flour runs a little higher. The flour will last a long time if you are substituting 50% for wheat. However you use teff, this tiny grain provides big nutrition and a nutty flavor your family will love!
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