In the coming months, you are likely to hear much about Teff, a tiny grain that carries a bomb of a nutritious punch. This ancient crop native to Ethiopia will likely eventually be crowned king of the super grains, supplanting quinoa, the grain that currently holds the title. Why is the natural health community all abuzz over Teff?
It Is a Nutrient Powerhouse
This food is a good source of protein, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium and iron. Its protein is complete, containing all nine essential amino acids, so it is a good choice for vegetarians. The calcium content is impressive, having 17 times the amount of that found in whole wheat and barley,
Teff is also naturally gluten-free and can be substituted for wheat flour in any recipe. Additionally, the grain has a type of starch with a low glycemic index, a factor that can promote healthy blood sugar levels, help sustain energy and aid in weight control.
The grain has a nutty taste, similar to that of quinoa. You can cook it to use as a side dish or sprinkle it over berries, salads or yogurt. Other uses include incorporating it into recipes for foods such as muffins, pancakes and banana bread along with soups or even meatloaf.
For centuries in Ethiopia, this crop has been cultivated and ground to make injera, a flat bread with a slight hazelnut taste and earthy flavor. Teff was unnoticed by countries in the West until the demand for gluten-free products and healthier, traditional food became widespread. As it has gained popularity, the Ethiopian government is actively promoting it, focusing on its main selling point, the fact that it contains no gluten.
Here Comes the Teff Boom
Teff can currently be found in health food stores and specialty markets; however, experts are predicting it won’t be long before it is sold in supermarkets. A great increase in demand is anticipated. Ethiopia would like to double the country’s production of the crop by 2015, and farmers in Oregon and Nevada are also planting the crop to get in on the expected bonanza.
So if you were to look into a crystal ball and find out what you might be eating in 2014, you just might see the smallest grain in the world, an emerging food superstar called teff.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.