If you looked out on a field of mature teff, it would look like overgrown grass falling over with the weight of the seeds. By far the biggest crop in Ethiopian agriculture, teff has been used in Ethiopian cooking for thousands of years. With the ancient grains trend showing no signs of slowing down, more people are discovering the benefits of this tiny grain. In Ethiopian cooking, teff flour is mixed with water and fermented, then baked to make injera which resembles a thin, porous pancake with a slightly sour taste. Now that teff is more popular, recipes using the flour and the whole grain are appearing in health magazines and blogs in new and creative ways.
The most significant nutrients found in teff are protein, calcium and iron. Teff has the highest amount of calcium of all the grains and is nearly a complete protein containing 9 of the 9 essential amino acids our body cannot make on its own.
Furthermore, teff has a high dietary fiber content which makes it a good source of resistant starch keeping you full and feeding all the good bacteria in your gut. You’ve probably been hearing all the buzz around pre- and probiotics and how good they are for you. Teff is just another healthy food source that those bacteria need. A healthy gut is a happy gut making a happy you!
While there are plenty of micronutrients in teff, what’s more impressive is how it tastes with all the other ingredients in our Teffola. Buckwheat groats add crunch and coconut oil gives you a dose of healthy fat. Maple syrup and dried cranberries are added in moderation to give a sweet balance to the nuttiness of almonds and walnuts.
We plant teff in hard packed soil in mid-May after any chance of frost has passed. Depending on moisture, the seeds can germinate in as few as three days. The field begins to turn a hazy light green after about nine days.
In mid July, we start to see the head of teff develop small green seeds and as August rolls around those seeds grow and turn brown or ivory depending on the variety.
By late August, the grains have fully matured. With a close eye on the weather forecast, we cut the teff and spread it in windrows to dry for several days, then use our combine harvester to carefully thresh (separate) the tiny teff grains from the straw.
Finally, the teff is cleaned which involves removing any bits of stalk, weed seeds, or dirt that was picked up with the combine.