Heard of Teff? Is this the new superfood?

August 7, 2016

My weird experience … I pigged out on homemade Teff foods for two days. But woke up with a flatter than usual stomach

It’s the tiny grain that’s gone under the radar. Super-foods quinoa and chia normally steal the show, however Teff is hitting mainstream healthfood status.

Now available at major supermarkets there’s no excuse for the time-poor who can’t make it to the boutique foodstores. I thought I’d try out the grain and make my own flour with it. Before I share my recipes, here are some facts about Teff:

  • It originates from Ethiopia;
  • It is commonly used to make injera – a type of flatbread;
  • Teff has a nutty flavour and is heavier than wheat flour;
  • It’s gluten-free;
  • You will find it available in light and dark varieties;
  • It’s the smallest known grain in the world;
  • Teff contains iron, calcium, zinc, iron, copper, thiamin, magnesium, Vitamin B6, essential amino acids including lysine; and,
  • It helps to level blood sugar levels due to its resistant starches which makes it good for diabetics and those trying to lose weight (increases energy and curbs sugar cravings).

How to use the grain

Add to soups and slow-cooker meals to thicken and add texture. It can be cooked into different consistencies like couscous, porridge, and risotto.

How to use the flour

This is a great substitute for regular flours, or going 50/50 in recipes to nutrient-enrich foods normally considered unhealthy like biscuits, slices and cakes.

And my weird experience …

I pigged out on homemade Teff foods for two days, feeling somewhat guilty. But on day three I woke up with a flatter than usual stomach. As a coeliac in my mid-thirties I’m prone to bloating, fluid retention and a comfortable muffin top, so this difference was quite noticeable.

So it seems there’s some proof here to its claim to help weight loss.

But I guess that’s just common sense when you eat nutrient-dense food! Here’s some of my Teff recipes if you want to try this superfood for yourself.

Teff Peanut Butter & Choc Chip Cookies

*gluten-free, dairy-free*

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (fan-forced)
  2. Combine the following ingredients:
  • 1 cup of Teff flour
  • ½ cup plain flour (use GF flour if Coeliac)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup of oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup of peanut butter
  • 65g choc chips (or grated dairy-free chocolate)
  1. Shape into balls and press down onto baking paper lined tray
  2. Bake for 15 minutes. Take out, cool, eat!

Teff Chocolate Brownie

*gluten-free, dairy-free*

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees fan-forced
  2. Combine the following ingredients:
  • 1 cup of Teff flour
  • ¾ cup psyllium husk
  • 1 heaped tablespoon SR flour (use GF SR flour if Coeliac)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa (or cacao)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons rice milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 50ml oil (your choice, e.g. melted coconut, rice bran, sunflower)
  • ¾ cup nuttelex
  • 55g grated dairy-free chocolate
  • choc chips to taste (or chopped dairy-free chocolate)
  1. Press into paper lined tray
  2. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, cool and eat.

Note:

My recipes are based on homemade Teff flour which isn’t as fine as if I had purchased the commercially-milled Teff flour. I blend cocoa and cacao to try and achieve a blend of flavour intensity with better health properties.

I’d love to hear your experience.

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Kris Sheather

Kris Sheather is a writer, graphic designer, award-winning digital artist, publishing manager of Ormiston Press and a busy mother of two.


Her motto: life is short, eat the cake!