Have you ever heard of teff?
Teff is a grass which is native to Ethiopia. It is similar to millet and quinoa in the way it is cooked (but cooks much faster since the seed is so small). According to the description on the package of teff, it is “the smallest grain in the world.” It is high in dietary fiber, protein and calcium and is one of the earliest domesticated plants.
Teff can be eaten as a hot cereal or the flour can be used to make a variety of baked goods. It is suitable for people on gluten-free diets and has an excellent amino acid composition (teff includes all 8 essential amino acids for humans). And because it is plant-based, it has no cholesterol, making it a heart-healthy choice.
As a hot cereal, teff has a smooth and creamy texture – perfect for dysphagia diets.
Here’s a basic recipe:
1 part teff to 3 parts liquid (such as water or your favorite milk) – I used almond milk (1/4 cup teff is one serving)
Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add teff and toast, stirring frequently until the grains begin to pop, 3-5 minutes. Add liquid and stir well. Bring to a gentle boil, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a dash of salt. Cover and continue cooking until teff is tender and the desired consistency, 5-10 minutes. You can stir in more boiling water if it is too thick before it is cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Optional: top with cinnamon, honey, pure maple syrup, blended fruit or jam, yogurt and/or mix in your favorite milk (coconut and almond are good choices).