One of the food trends we’re most excited to see explode in 2016 is the growth in interest, and availability, of ancient grains (sometimes called super grains). Long gone are the days where our only options were brown or white rice.
Thanks to the introduction of cous cous, followed swiftly and powerfully by quinoa (an impressively complete protein), we now have access to dozens of different grains and pseudo grains to choose from, all with unique flavor and nutrient profiles. There are a handful of grains we’re going to dig into throughout the course of the year, but today we’re excited to talk about teff.
If you haven’t heard about teff yet, don’t worry – you will soon. Predicted by many “experts” (Lifeway employees…) to be the “next quinoa,” teff is a very fine grain about the size of a poppy seed that is native to Ethiopia. It’s been harvested for thousands of years and can be grown in virtually any climate and produces a high yield (hello, conservation).
While we love it for its slightly nutty flavor, teff also has an impressive nutritional profile. Per 50 gram dry serving, teff contains:
- 20 percent RDA of iron
- 10 percent RDA of calcium
- 7 grams of protein
- 4 grams of fiber
- Trace minerals phosphorus, magnesium and manganese
Even better, it’s naturally gluten-free, making it a great source of nutrition for those with gluten sensitivities!
Introducing new foods, especially ancient grains, into your diet can be daunting. While the tiny grains may not seem like much, they can be used in a variety of ways and as a substitute for many of your current favorite foods.
- Swap it for quinoa or oatmeal in breakfast bowls or overnight oats
- Add it to granola
- Make it into a porridge
- Grind it into flour and make pancakes
- Serve it as a side with the protein of your choosing
- When in doubt, make cookies
There are countless ways to incorporate teff and other nutritious grains into your diet – we encourage you to experiment with it and see what you like! As always, drop us a line by visiting us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with your kefir + teff creations and questions!