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Teff

Teff

injera bread

injera bread

 

Original Article:

cnn.com
From Earl Nurse, CNN, Dec 18, 2015

Gluten-free and rich in protein, fiber and minerals, Teff is starting to gain a foothold as a new “superfood”, along the likes of quinoa and spelt.

The grain has been grown in Ethiopia for thousands of years, but its export was banned by the government until this year. Now it is appearing on supermarket shelves worldwide.

It’s also the main ingredient of injera, the flat pancakes that are the centerpiece of Ethiopian food and the source of livelihood for around 6.5 million small farmers.

“When you look across Ethiopia, Teff is the most important commodity for Ethiopia, both on the production side as well as the consumption side,” says Khalid Bomba, the CEO of the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency. “Teff is native to the country, but is also a huge part of our culture.”

The Ethiopian government ended the export of raw teff in 2006, as rising grain prices prompted fears of a food crisis. Processed teff — in the form of injera — was still exported, mainly to the Ethiopian diaspora in northern Europe, the Middle East and North America.

The export ban was partially lifted this year, after investments in mechanization and better farming techniques increased yields by 40%.

“The concern that the Ethiopian government had in the past about exporting was in making sure that there was sufficient amount of supply for the domestic market — for urban consumers, as well as the rural poor,” Bomba says. “[Rising yields] have given the government confidence that systematic exports of Teff can gain smallholder farmers in Ethiopia… increased income, without harming the domestic consumers.”

Lifting the ban could create a new and lucrative export industry for Ethiopia, as consumers in Europe and North America latch onto the nutritional properties of teff. Teff flour sells for around $6-10 per pound, and the gluten-free seeds are now in high demand at health food shops the world over.

Hailu Tessema, CEO of Mama Fresh, which exports injera to the US and Scandinavia, says that the demand is growing, and importers from countries across Europe and Africa have approached him looking to secure supplies.

“Every year, the demand increases by foreigners from 7-10%,” he says. “So that is good for us, we have got the business in our hands; we have a market.”

If you go to the CNN link there is a video as well. Check it out.

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Topic: Ancient grain

Teff Grain photo by KEITH BEATY / TORONTO STAR

Ancient Grain Contains Bran and Germ, Can be Used as Cereal or Flour

Teff is an extremely versatile grain that is highly  nutritious. It is also the world’s tiniest, but packs a lot of nutrients,  including Calcium, Potassium and Iron.

The highly nutritious grain, Teff (or Tef), has an ancient and fascinating  history. It is the tiniest grain in the world, taking roughly 150 grains to  weigh as much as one grain of wheat! Because of its small size, teff is not able  to be separated into germ, bran, and endosperm to create other products. And  since it is so small, the bulk of the grain consists of mostly bran and  germ–the most nutritious part of any grain.

The nutrients contained in Teff include:

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorous
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Barium
  • Potassium
  • Thiamine
  • Amino acids, especially high levels of lysine

Teff is quite versatile and can be prepared many different ways. It can be  boiled and prepared as a simple hot breakfast cereal. It can be ground and used  as a flour replacement, or since it has slight mucilaginous properties, it works  well as a thickener in sauces or stews. Teff can also be sprouted and used as a  topper on sandwiches or salads.

One simple preparation is to combine 1/2 cup of teff with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or  until water is absorbed. Remove from heat, leave covered, and let sit for 5  minutes. Season to taste with sea salt, butter, maple syrup, fruit, or  herbs.

In soups or stews it can be added uncooked 30 minutes before serving, or  cooked, 10 minutes before serving.

injera flat bread

Teff is commonly used in Ethiopia for the making of injera, a  fermented pancake-like flat bread. Injera is eaten frequently alongside a  stew-type dish. Fermentation is allowed for an average of three days, and can  vary based on individual preference. The fermentation process also causes the  generation of additional  vitamins. Practically gluten free, it is surprising that people are only  beginning to using it in other countries.

Teff has a mild nutty taste. There are different colors of teff, and flavors  vary accordingly. Colors are influenced by growing region. The three general  types are white, red, and brown.

White teff is the preferred variety. It is more particular about its growing conditions, and only grows in the highlands of Ethiopia and is more expensive. In Ethiopia, white teff is a prestigious grain, and is consumed by wealthy Ethiopian families.

Red teff is the least desirable, but contains the highest amounts of iron.  Brown teff contains moderate amounts of iron.

Teff is believed to have originated in Ethiopia between 4000 and 1000 BC. It  was also discovered that teff was so revered 55 centuries ago that it was placed  with the pharaoh’s in the pyramids as their last food for traveling!

Original article:

Teff plant

suite101.com

By Sherry LaBonte, Jul 29, 2007,

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