Aug 08, 2014

Maple Teff Cereal + Is Teff the New Quinoa?

I’m sold. I recently discovered the tiny grain known as teff. So tiny in fact that each grain is smaller than a poppy seed, but tiny it is NOT in the nutrient department. Predominantly grown and indigenous to Ethiopia, teff has a mild, nutty flavor and is packed with health-promoting properties…

First of all, teff is the front runner in calcium content, compared to any other grain. One cooked cup has about 125 mg. compared to, say, whole wheat at 20 mg. But that’s just the beginning. One of teff’s greatest health-giving properties is that it is quite high in resistant starch. For detailed info on resistant starch and why it’s important in any healthy diet as well as being an important factor in weight loss and weight control, see my post Roasted Red Pepper Polenta Pie + What is Resistant Starch?

Next, it’s gluten-free. Yeah, we like that. It’s also high in protein, iron, B6 and zinc. Teff is also the only grain to boast a heaping helping of Vitamin C. With all of this nutritional weight, it’s no wonder that teff, besides having been a staple food of Ethiopia for thousands of years, is now beginning to earn the reputation of being a super food. So take a rest from quinoa for a change and try this cute little grain instead!

tiny teff grains
In Ethiopia, teff is ground into a flour and fermented to make injera, a spongy, sourdough flatbread that is soft, porous and thin like a pancake. This preparation is how I was first introduced to the wonder grain, at a little Ethiopian restaurant outside of Detroit. Eating the bread topped with a myriad of vegan samplers with my hands (traditional Ethiopian style) is an experience I won’t soon forget. The bread is amazing; the fermentation produces a slightly sour flavor. I purchased ten of those large round flat breads before I left and scarfed a few of them on the ride home. Yum!

Here’s a pic of our shared plate at A Taste of Ethiopia in Southfield, MI.
I highly recommend this restaurant if you’re ever in that area!
Teff can be just about any shade, from white to red to dark brown. I purchased some brown teff at VitaCost.com and it was very fresh and easy to use. This warm cereal breakfast bowl was wonderful with a bit of maple syrup and maple flavoring. It stood by me for many hours—I wasn’t even hungry until dinner.
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup teff
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 TBS pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp natural maple flavoring

Directions:

  1. Cook as you would any grain; bring water to a low boil, stir in the teff and other ingredients, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all of the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). STIR OFTEN or it will congeal at the bottom of the pot. I used a whisk which worked perfectly.
  2. Top with fresh fruit of your choosing (optional) and a drizzle of extra maple syrup.

Serves 2. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

6 responses to “Maple Teff Cereal + Is Teff the New Quinoa?”

  1. Helyn, can you use teff in place of, say, rice, as you do with quinoa? I'm not much of a cereal girl, but it DOES sound interesting.

  2. Helyn says:

    Yes absolutely Suzanne. It's most often used in savory dishes.

  3. Shari says:

    Wonderfully educational post Helyn! I'm running right to the health food store to look for some teff today. Thanks for the great info!

  4. Helyn says:

    You're welcome Shari. Enjoy!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Helyn, I really appreciate your creative and delicious recipes. Your photos are wonderful, too. Is there a way to pin favorite recipes from your site? I'd like to add them to my pinterest page of nutritarian/WFPB recipes.

    Thanks for sharing your great ideas with us.

  6. Helyn says:

    You're welcome! And, yes, just above the comment section, you will see a row of icons (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) Hover over the red plus sign and a drop down list will appear with the Pinterest icon about half way down the list. Click on it to save the recipe to your PInterest board. Hope this helps!

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