Teff is an ancient grain that has yet to gain widespread popularity in the U.S. It is believed that it was first cultivated in Ethiopia centuries ago. It is still widely grown in Ethiopia, prized for its ability to thrive in drought-stricken, water-deprived areas. Teff is a highly nutrient-dense food. The grains are quite small, and much of the grain is comprised of the bran and germ. Teff is a great source of calcium to promote strong bones and teeth; just a quarter cup contains 10% of the daily recommended value of calcium, along with an impressive 20% of the daily recommended value of iron.
Teff is a filling food, which is a good thing considering that one quarter cup of this grain, uncooked, yields 180 calories. Note that, like other grains, teff expands when cooked. The same serving size also yields 7 g of protein and 4 g of fiber. It is a very low-fat, low-sodium, cholesterol-free food. Those with celiac disease or gluten-intolerance should note that teff is gluten-free. Try making healthy teff pancakes or add it to stews instead of barley.