Good nutrition has always been, and will always be paramount, in keeping a healthy immune system. And there is no time like the present to bolster you immune system with the challenging times that we are facing. As people stock up on non-perishable items for the kitchen in order to limit trips to the grocery store, they should choose wisely in buying nutrition packed products. One of my favorites, because it is very iron rich, is a grain called Teff. Never heard of it? Even better. Read on!
Teff’s formal name is Eragrostis tef and is a annual grass that is native to Ethiopia and Eritrea (Zhu, 2018). Yes, this is a grain, but the good news for those who have gone gluten-free by choice or necessity, is that Teff is GLUTEN FREE. Even better is that it is packed with nutritional benefits. Here’s a summary of some of them, which were nicely summarized by Zhu (2018):
-due to its high iron content, it has been shown to increase hemoglobin levels and reduce incidence of anemia
-control and reduce the incidence of diabetes
-great source of fiber
-great source of zinc, selenium and calcium
-great source protein–greater content than many other cereals
What can you do with it?
Eat it in place of your favorite oatmeal and have fun adding your favorite cereal toppings to it. Some of mine are bananas, nonfat greek plain yogurt, nuts, seeds, apples, cinnamon, berries…..go wild. Teff has a similar texture to coco wheats and a very mild, nutty flavor, so you can really customize your cereal by adding your favorite mix of superfoods to it.
If you want another flour alternative, you can grind it up and make flour or buy it already ground for you.
Want to try something new? Teff is a primary ingredient of the Ethiopian staple, injera bread.
Don’t have time to cook Teff on your average weekday morning? Make a big pot of it on the weekend and store it in the fridge. Heats up nicely in the microwave or you can even eat it cold if you’re not too picky.
Where can you buy it? You can buy Bob’s Red Mill Teff online!
Zhu. 2018. Chemical Composition and Food Uses of teff (Eragrostis tef). Food Chemistry. 239: 402-415.