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Teff is About to Become Your New Favorite Grain

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Earlier this week, the New York Times revealed their list of food prediction trends for 2017. Along with sorghum, spirulina, and whey, the publication also names teff as one of 2017's next big food. So, what is teff anyway?

Originating from Ethiopia, teff (or Eragrostis tef) is a tiny ancient grain that's high in protein and important minerals like iron. Evidently, it's been around for some time, but it didn't catch on in North America until about two years ago, when sales soared after there was a renewed interest in ancient grains.

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In addition to being low in fat and sodium, teff is a very nutrient dense food that contains eight essential amino acids, calcium, copper, aluminum, manganese, phosphorous, barium, thiamin, and of course, iron. It's also rich with vitamin C, which is not very common within grains.

Teff can also help to control blood sugar level with its relatively low glycemic index that can help diabetics better regulate their sugar levels and athletes like runners fuel up before a big race. As well, like flax before it, teff can help improve digestion by regulating bowel movements.

Perhaps most importantly, though, teff has actually shown to improve symptoms associated with celiac disease if it was eaten regularly enough as well as iron deficiencies.

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Health benefits aside, teff is an incredibly versatile grain that can be eaten in a variety of ways, from being eaten whole to being baked into cakes. Its nutty flavor can help add dimension to any dish, lending itself very well to such things as breads, pancakes, and much more.

Now that you know a little more about teff, try these recipes and start incorporating 2017's superfood into your diet!

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Banana bread with teff and chocolate

via Oldways Whole Grains Council

Ingredients
1 cup teff flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon, stirring with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until well-blended, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, beating until blended.

Add the banana and vanilla, beating until blended. Beat in the water. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into an 9-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

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Teff brownies

via WildFlours gfg

Ingredients
1/2 cup coconut sugar or maple sugar
2 cups dark Teff Flour
1/2 cup Tapioca Starch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbls cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
pinch nutmeg
pinch cardamom
2/3 cup softened coconut oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
Topping Ingredients (optional):

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup finely chopped sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
1 Tbls coconut sugar
1-2 Tbls melted coconut oil

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a glass baking dish (9×9) or square cake pan with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and mix well. Set aside. In a medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients except the coconut sugar with a whisk. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the oil, applesauce pumpkin puree and coconut sugar until well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat again. Stop and scrape down the sides.Then beat again until the dough thickens slightly.

Spread the dough into the prepared pan using a spatula. Even it out so that it is level and smooth. Sprinkle with prepared topping if using.

Bake for 20 minutes (do not over bake). Let cool completely before cutting into bars.

Teff is just another thing to add to your diet so you can make 2017 your best year ever. A varied diet featuring microgreens and such grains will help you ace those goals.

And, considering the versatility of teff, adding it into your diet can be as easy as blending it into your morning microgreen smoothie!

Will you be trying teff out in 2017? Had it before and have a great recipe featuring it? Let us know in the comments section!

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