7 Reasons to Start Cooking with Teff ...

Teff is an ancient grain that is native to Ethiopia, and, because it is so healthy and so delicious, there are many reasons to start cooking with teff. I first started cooking with teff several years ago when I found it at my local health food store. I was very curious about it, and thought I would try it. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I decided to try it. Not only does this grain taste good when cooked as porridge or used as a flour in baked goods, it is also nutrient rich. If you have never tried teff, you are definitely going to want to after you learn about its wonderful benefits.

1. Tastes Delicious

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There would be no point in cooking with teff if it did not taste good. Thankfully, this tiny grain not only tastes good, it is delicious. Teff has a sweet molasses flavor that is wonderful. The flavor is most pronounced when the grains are cooked as porridge, but it also adds a delightful flavor to baked goods when used as flour.

2. Great Alternative to Oatmeal

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If you love having hot oatmeal in the morning, but get tired of it every day, teff is a great alternative. It only takes 15 to 20 minutes to cook, and when it is ready you will have a warm, comforting porridge that is sweet all on its own. Of course, you can add honey if you want to sweeten it even more.

3. Gluten Free

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Teff is a grain that is gluten free, which means it is great for people who have celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten. It has become easier and easier to find gluten free grains in stores. However, having rice or quinoa all the time can get tiring. Including teff in the rotation will keep meals from getting boring.

4. High in Calcium

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Teff is an extremely good source of calcium. In fact, it has the highest source of calcium of any grain. Just half a cup of uncooked grains has 17 percent of your daily requirements of calcium. To give you a reference, that is a similar amount of a calcium as what is in a half cup of cooked spinach. That is pretty impressive for such a tiny grain!

5. High in Zinc

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Zinc is a nutrient that is very important for immune and reproductive health. It also keeps bones strong and helps prevent hair loss. Because zinc is such an important nutrient, it is critical to make sure you are getting enough, and eating teff will definitely help. A half cup of uncooked grains have 44 percent of your daily needs for zinc!

6. Iron Rich

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Spinach is often a go-to food for iron. However, teff is also a fantastic source of iron. It boasts 41 percent of your daily value of iron in just half a cup! To get that much iron from spinach, you would have to eat more than one cup of cooked spinach.

7. Good Source of Protein

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Teff is such a good source of protein that Ethiopians receive two-thirds of their dietary protein from teff. A half cup has almost 13 grams of protein, which makes teff a fantastic source of protein. It is an especially great grain for vegans or vegetarians who are trying to get more protein into their diet.

Now that you know all about the wonderful benefits of teff, I am sure you want to go get some. Many health food stores carry it, but you can also order it online. Have you ever tried teff before?

wholegrainscouncil.org, nutritiondata.self.com, ethnomed.org

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