Happy Thursday, loves 💕 While I was browsing healthy food blogs the other day, I came across teff flour over on the Earth to Table by Julie Mitsios blog. You know with having a highly sensitive gut that does not well with gluten, I’m always looking for flour alternatives that still give me the same taste and texture as regular flour.
Not an easy task at all, to be honest. I tried so many different flour alternatives but none could quite satisfy me. Almond flour is too marzipan-y for my taste, coconut flour needs a lot of additional liquid, chickpea flour tastes weird in baked goods, and quinoa flour makes very stiff pizza dough. Lately, I have more or less settled on glutenfree oat flour (simply pulsing oats in my NutriBullet). They do really well in baked goods like pancakes or banana bread but not so well in savory doughs like pizza. Again, the dough is not really fluffly and lacks taste in general.
So, you can understand my excitement when I learned there was another flour out there that not only had a high nutritional value but has been used for all kinds of baked goods by Ethiopians for ages.
What is teff?
Teff is an ancient grain from Ethiopia and Erithrea belonging to the grass family Poaceae. It is very resistant to drought and comes in darker and lighter varieties, the most common one being brown. Teff is also the world’s smallest grain that’s why it’s also sometimes called ‘dwarf millet’. Because of its size, it’s oftentimes used as a whole grain unlike other grains who are split into germ, bran, and kennel stripping away the nutritional value.
Teff can be found in form of flour or even flakes (perfect to use instead of regular oats or sprinkle on top of your yoghurt-fruit bowl). The Ethiopians make their traditional sourdough flatbread called injera out of teff flour and yeast. The bread is spongy and very soft. Teff has an earthy, slighty nutty, and sweet taste.
Nutritional Benefits of Teff
Teff is low in saturated fat and rich in vitamins and minerals. A 3/4 cup cooked serving contains about 87 mg of calcium (the same amount of oatmeal merely contains 16 mg). In addition, it provieds 6.5 g protein, 4 g fiber, 13% DV thiamin, 12% DV vitamin B6, 21% DV iron, 22% DV magnesium, 12% DV zinc, and 223% DV magnesium. It’s also low in sodium .
The grain is also very high in iron. One cup of cooked teff constains 5 mg of iron. This compares to 7 ounces of cooked steak, 3/4 cup of cooked spinach, or 1 1/4 cups of cooked white beans .
How to use teff in your cooking and baking
Do you understand now why I was naturally excited to learn about this glutenfree grain alternative? As I mentioned earlier, teff can be used in a wide varities of dishes and baked goods. The first baking attempt I made with teff flour was banana bread. And OMG did it turn out delicious! The bread was very soft and fluffy and had the best taste ever (in my opinion even better than with oat flour). My boyfriend agreed and so it happened that we almost devoured the entire loaf in one sitting. I will share the recipe on here soon. Until then, you can simply substitute oat for teff flour in my previous banana bread recipe (leave the chocolate cake heart out for a regular banana bread).
The next thing I’m eager to try is pizza as I haven’t really found a good glutenfree flour subsitute for pizza dough yet. Since teff flour naturally lacks gluten, I may have to add some kind of binder to make the dough fluffier. Probably will get experimenting this weekend. So, make sure to follow me on Instagram to not miss out on the results! And of course, I will share the recipe with you here on the blog!
Have your heard of or experimented with teff (flour) before? Share your experiences with me!