Teff, the latest gluten-free super grain.

If gluten-free teff hasn’t yet found its way into your pantry, that might be about to change. This ancient grain from Ethiopia is slated to be the next big (little) thing.

What is it?

Naturally gluten-free teff is one of the smallest grains in the world. It been a staple of the Ethiopian diet for thousands of years. It’s a durable crop that can thrive in areas others can’t and just a handful of the tiny seeds is enough to sow a typical field.

While there are numerous varieties of teff (some say over 1,000) the three most common varieties in Australia are red, brown and ivory. The darker brown grains come from hardier crops and have a stronger, nuttier, flavour.

Why should you eat it?

Gluten-free and packed full of nutrients, it’s not surprising health experts around the globe are now promoting this grain. Teff has five times more calcium than any other grain and is also an excellent source of protein, fibre and potassium.

Teff is also high in resistant starch, a type of dietary fibre that (as its name suggests) resists digestion in the small intestine. Foods high in resistant starch can assist with weight management (they keep you fuller for longer), blood-sugar management (they don’t contribute to blood glucose levels) and can help nourish the good bacteria in your gut (your gut microbiome).

How do you cook it

Teff is a versatile grain and how you cook it depends on how you like to eat it. It can be prepared the same way as quinoa (1 cup of teff to 2 cups of water), the grains can be dry-fried to add crunch to salads or for a porridge/polenta like consistency boil 1 cup of teff with 3 cups of water.

To get started why not try one of these delicious gluten-free teff recipes from our friends at Teff Tribe.

Vegetarian and gluten-free arancini balls

Teff Arancini Balls

A summer salad using the newest superfood, Teff.

Fresh Green Teff Salad

This article first appeared in Issue 8 of Australian Gluten-Free Life magazine. Pick up a copy for more delicious recipes.

Image credits: Gluten-Free Teff Grain – Shutterstock, Teff Arancini Balls and Fresh Green Teff Salad – Teff Tribe.