Teff
Whole Teff Grains [Williams Lovegrass, Annual Bunch Grass; Taf (Amharic); Xaafii (Oromo); Eragrostis tef]

This grain is widely grown in Ethiopia and Eritrea, and is used to make the bread of the region, Injera . It is a variety of Lovegrass, related to Millet, but with very small grains, averaging about 0.002 inch wide (0.05 mm) and about 0.003 inches long (0.08 mm). Despite this small size, the grains are prolific enough to be worth harvesting. It is grown in both white and brown varieties, with farmers reporting most of their customers prefer the white, but it's the brown that's currently grown in North America.

Domesticated Teff has been harvested in Ethiopia for between 3000 and 6000 years, and is now a minor crop in India and Australia. It is increasingly grown in the western United States as a productive and very nutritious animal forage crop, alternating with alfalfa in the fields. This has made it more available for other uses as well. Ethiopia had a long standing ban on exporting Teff to keep it affordable, but improvement in agricultural practices allowed that ban to be lifted in 2015.

More on Other Grains.



Teff Ripening Seadheads In Ethiopia and Eritrea this grain is used to make Injera, the bread of the region. It is also the main ingredient in Tella, the beer of the region, combined with Sorghum and Gesho (Shiny-Leaf Buckthorn) as an antimicrobial bitter.   Photo by Rasbak distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

Buying:   "Not sold in stores". Teff Seed is available from Bob's Red Mill for 2016 US $4.26 / pound, plus shipping. They also have Teff Flour for 2016 US $4.86 / pound. Both are also available from Nuts.com at $4.99 / pound   Caution: there is another seed that looks very similar and is often labeled "Teff", but is totally unrelated - it is seed of London Rocket, a wild mustard plant, used in beverages in Iran, and now growing as a widespread invasive here in Southern California.

Health & Nutrition:   This is a very nutritious grain, and gluten free. It has a high calcium content and significant amounts of the minerals phosphorus, magnesium, aluminum, iron, copper, zinc, boron and barium. It is also high in protein, containing all 8 essential amino acids, and is higher in lysine than most grains. In addition, it has significant amounts of thiamine and dietary fiber.

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