Thoughts on Teff

My grandfather recently sent me an interesting article on teff, a nutrient-rich grain that just so happens to be free of gluten.  I have only had teff once before, in the form of injera at Zed’s Ethopian restaurant here in DC.  Reading this article has definitley re-sparked my interest in this grain, and I was especially surprised to learn that its use goes way beyond traditional Ethiopian dishes (which are excellent, by the way!).

I’m always interested to learn how other grains compare to wheat in terms of nutritional value and our bodies’ ability to break them down.  With that in mind, the quote on teff below definitely provided some food for thought:

“Packed with nutrition; it is higher in protein than wheat and has a high concentration of a wide variety of nutrients, including calcium, thiamine and iron. The iron from teff is easily absorbed by the body. Since the grains are so small, the bulk of the grain is germ and bran. It is very high in fiber and is thought to benefit people with diabetes, as it helps control blood sugar levels. Teff contains no gluten, which makes it a suitable grain for celiacs or people with wheat sensitivities. Due to its nutritional content and energy enhancing properties, it has also gained favor with athletes.”

Nutritious, easy to break down, and gluten-free? What more could a girl ask for?!

As I mentioned before, I was also surprised to learn how many recipes are out there that use teff.  I’m starting to feel inspired to incorporate the grain into my elimination diet, especially after reading recipes here and here!

The article from my grandpa even included what looks to be a delicious recipe for gluten-free teff cookies. What’s better is that the recipe can be vegan if you use the right kind of chocolate chips, such as those from Enjoy Life.  I definitely want to give these a try some time soon!

Teff Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1-11/2 C teff flour (preferably ivory)
1/4 t sea salt
1 t baking soda
1C chunky 100% peanut butter
1C maple syrup
1/2 C semisweet dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl and all wet ingredients in another. Pour wet ingredients over dry and blend until just combined—do not over mix. Fold in chocolate chips.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop batter by heaping teaspoons onto cookie sheet. Leave cookies free-form or press down in crisscross pattern with tines of fork. Place in oven and bake 13 minutes or until lightly browned. The key to these cookies is not to over bake them! Remove from oven and place directly on wire rack to cool.

Have you ever tried teff? If so, tell me about your experiences on Twitter or in the comments below!

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