What is teff?

What is Teff? Unlock the Power of this Ancient Grain

What is Teff?

Teff is a small grain native to Ethiopia and Eritrea, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years. It's known for its tiny size and nutrient density, making it a staple in the diets of many East African communities. 

Despite its small size, teff is mighty in nutrients. It's a great and 'complete' source of protein meaning that it provides all the essential amino acids, which isn't the case with many plant-based food items. It's rich in fibre, has an excellent mineral content; including iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc, and contains vitamin C. Teff's nutritional profile makes it a valuable addition to vegetarian and vegan diets, providing essential nutrients often lacking in plant-based foods.

Is Teff Gluten-Free?

Teff is naturally gluten-free, making it an excellent alternative for those with gluten sensitivities or coeliac disease. It's nutritional profile also make it a superior choice to other gluten-free grains such as rice and quinoa, offering more protein, fibre and greater amounts of minerals.

What are the Benefits of Teff?

  • Balanced Blood Sugar: Teff boasts a low glycemic index, which means it doesn't cause spikes in blood sugar levels after consumption. This makes it an excellent choice for individuals looking to maintain blood sugar stabilit throughout the day and for those managing diabetes.
  • Supports Digestive Health: With its high fibre content, teff promotes digestive health by supporting regular bowel movements and nourishing the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is essential for overall well-being and immune function.
  • Energy Booster: Teff is a source of complex carbohydrates, providing sustained energy to fuel the body throughout the day. Whether you're an athlete looking for a pre-workout boost or simply seeking lasting energy to power through your daily activities, teff can help keep you energised and focused.
  • Complete Protein Source: Teff serves as a complete protein source, boasting all essential amino acids and standing out as one of the very few plant-based protein options that does.

    How is Teff Used in Cooking?

    Teff's versatility is truly remarkable; its grains are perfect for savoury dishes such as stews, salads, polenta, burgers, and croquettes, or for making injera, a traditional Ethiopian flatbread. It's equally delightful in sweet treats like porridge, granola, or cookies. Teff flour, finely powdered teff grains, is ideal for bread-making. With its mildly nutty flavour, teff adds a unique touch to a variety of recipes, opening up endless culinary possibilities.

    What about Teff for Sports Nutrition?

    Teff has long been favoured by elite Ethiopian runners due to its exceptional nutritional profile. Here are some reasons why it's become a staple for endurance athletes:

    • Fuelling: Provides sustained energy for pre-training sessions and replenishes glycogen stores post-session.
    • Recovery: Offers a complete protein source, vital for muscle strength and recovery.
    • Gut Health: Rich in fibre, teff acts as a prebiotic, supporting gut bacteria and promoting overall gut health, crucial for athletes' immunity and wellbeing.
    • Vitamins & Minerals: Packed with essential nutrients like iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamin C, all of which play key roles in athletic performance.

    Read more about the science behind teff by Dr Scott Robinson here.

    What about the Sustainability of Teff?

    Teff is a hardy crop that thrives in diverse climates, requiring minimal water and resources to grow. Its resilience makes it an environmentally sustainable choice for farmers and consumers alike, contributing to food security and biodiversity.

    Teff is an incredible super grain! If you haven't experienced it yet, we highly recommend giving it a try. Whether you opt for the delicious Teff Superblend Bites (Chocolate Orange Cake Bite or Chocolate Date Brownie Bite) as a snack or explore the versatile options of teff grain, you're in for a treat! Enjoy!

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