This Ancient Grain Is About to be Your Next Superfood Obsession
Hands up if you love a trendy superfood like Kanye loves Kanye? Good news. There’s a fresh new grain in town, and it’s set to be the next big thing. (Well, "new" is a bit of a misnomer—teff is actually an ancient Ethiopian staple with roots that reach back 3000 years—but it is still fairly unfamiliar to the western world.) The grain itself is small but mighty, and is able to grow in adverse environments which is why it's been around so long. Founders of Teff Tribe Sam Sloan and Sam Ellis say teff has a laundry list of health benefits: "In terms of its nutritional offering teff leads all the grains; it's loaded with iron, protein, fibre and six times the calcium of quinoa." It's also gluten and nut-free which means even allergy-prone eaters can get amongst.
Apart from its impressive nutritional profile, we'd say teff's versatility is a major selling point. It's light nutty flavour makes it pretty easy to incorporate into your diet. (In that sense it's similar to quinoa in that you can make it sweet or savoury.) Sloane and Ellis say their favourite ways to eat teff include; added to a salad for "texture and substance" and cooked with milk and berries as a substitute porridge. You can also use the flour as a subtitute in baking: "It bakes up a treat—and means you can have that extra slice guilt-free."
There's one last thing to know about teff: the way it's sourced, matters. Opt for a non-GMO and fairtrade brand (Teff Tribe's products are both, as well as Kosher and Halal), to ensure decent working conditions and sustainability for farmers. Convinced? Keep scrolling for a delicious—and easy—recipe.
Courtesy of Teff Tribe
Makes 2 servings.
½ cup ivory teff
½ cup water
2 frozen bananas, chopped
2 ½ cups non-dairy milk
2 tbsp. cooked teff
1 tbsp. nut butter
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Place teff, water and salt in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer covered with lid for 5-7 minutes or until cooked. Set aside to cool.
Place bananas, nut butter, milk, cooked teff and cinnamon in a high speed blender and whizz till smooth.
Place ¼ cup cooled teff in smoothie glass.
Pour banana smoothies over teff and top with crushed nuts, nut butter and raw granola.