If you’ve been to an Ethiopian restaurant, then you know teff. This tiny grain, technically the seed of lovegrass, is used to make the spongey flatbread called injera that’s used as both an edible plate and scoop for the spicy piles of greens, beans or meat.
But teff, a staple food in Ethiopia for millennia, is gaining ground in the world health arena as another super grain, and for good reason. It’s high in both protein and calcium, which is quite unique in the grain world. (A cup of cooked teff has more than double the calcium as a cup of cooked brown rice.) It’s also high in resistant starch, a type of dietary fiber known to help manage blood sugar and burn fat more efficiently. Plus, it is gluten-free.
Teff has a mild, nutty flavor, which works great as a morning porridge with apples, dates and pecans. It cooks up quickly (in about 15 minutes) and looks like a grittier, darker polenta. You can easily add it to a stew for a thicker consistency with extra nutrients.
But the grain truly shines as a robust flour for fall and winter baking such as pumpkin bread, brownies and more. You can get creative by making your own injera and use it as a tortilla for burritos or as a plate for eggs.