Teff: Ancient, Gluten-Free Grain From Ethiopia

Teff, also known as dwarf millet, is the smallest grain in the world and is considered a trendy superfood. Gluten-free and rich in nutrients, it is said to help with weight loss as a flour and tea. You can find out what these claims are and what the little seed contains here.

Small but mighty? Teff under the magnifying glass

Teff flakes, teff flour, teff bread: These products can be found on the shelves of well-stocked supermarkets and drugstores, in health food stores, and health food stores. As a gluten-free alternative to wheat, spelt, rye and the like, the small millet is of interest to anyone who suffers from gluten intolerance or would like to avoid gluten. Teff is also said to be healthy and help you lose weight. The reason is the high nutrient density: the mini granules are rich in vitamin B1, iron, and magnesium, among other things. In addition, they have a favorable fatty acid composition and, thanks to the high fiber content, only allow the blood sugar level to rise slowly. This keeps you full for longer and can help you lose weight or maintain weight.

Use of teff in cooking and baking

In the countries of origin Ethiopia and Eritrea, teff has been a staple food for thousands of years and is baked in flatbread or used to brew beer. Since many celebrities swear by the dwarf millet, it also became known in this country and advertised as a superfood. You can use them in many ways in the kitchen. Unlike other gluten-free grains, the brownish, reddish, or whitish seeds are good for baking. Bread and cakes can be prepared wonderfully with the slightly nutty-tasting grain. Simply replace wheat flour with flour made from dwarf millet in recipes such as our baked pancake. The granules can also be used to thicken soups and sauces, as a side dish instead of rice or quinoa, and as an ingredient in muesli.

This is how you benefit from the pleasure of teff

Due to its healthy ingredients, the German Society for Nutrition recommends incorporating teff into the diet more often. The high iron content makes the granules interesting for vegetarians and vegans. Tip: Enjoy the grain together with foods rich in vitamin C, which improves iron absorption. A crunchy salad, for example, can be spiced up with the grains. But let them swell in water beforehand so that they become more digestible. Check out our gluten-free recipes for more ideas on how to use teff.

Which foods are gluten-free?

Foods are considered gluten-free if they contain no or only very small traces of gluten. Gluten is naturally contained in cereals such as wheat, rye, barley, oats, unripe spelt, spelt, triticale, kamut, einkorn, ancient grain, and emmer. According to the EC regulation on the composition and labeling of gluten-free foods, which has been in force since 2012, a product can be labeled as gluten-free if the gluten content is no more than 20 milligrams per kilogram. Such foods are also suitable for people who suffer from celiac disease or other gluten intolerance. Gluten-free products do not naturally contain gluten.

Unprocessed animal products such as meat, milk, fish, eggs, and seafood belong to the first group. Many plant-based foods such as fruit, potatoes, lettuce, vegetable oils (except wheat germ oil), nuts, legumes, all other types of vegetables, fresh herbs, maple syrup and fruit preserves are also gluten-free. As alternative grains to wheat and spelt, people with gluten intolerance can fall back on rice, corn, millet, amaranth and quinoa. With our millet recipes, for example, you can prepare both savory and sweet dishes. Despite its misleading name, buckwheat is also a gluten-free food – the plant from the knotweed family is not related to wheat and therefore serves as the basis for our gluten-free buckwheat cake. Flour can also be made from the konjac root and used as a grain substitute.

Since 2005, there has been an obligation to label the most common potentially allergenic ingredients on packaged foods. Gluten is one of the substances on this list that must be labeled. Even the smallest amounts of ingredients containing gluten must be declared. Completely gluten-free foods can also be labeled “gluten-free”. The crossed-out ear of wheat – the seal of the German Celiac Society – indicates that a product is easily tolerated despite gluten intolerance. Labeling as “gluten-free” or a crossed-out ear of wheat guarantees that no more than 20 mg of gluten per kilogram of food can be found in a product. The smallest residual amounts below the limit are also no problem for people with celiac disease.

Many processed foods are usually naturally gluten-free, such as tofu and soy drinks, sugar, natural cheese, mozzarella, and pure fruit juices. If in doubt, you should always take a look at the list of ingredients on the packaging for processed foods and convenience products. Due to its stabilizing and emulsifying properties, gluten is added to many products that at first glance do not contain wheat, such as instant soups, French fries, cream cheese with herbs, chocolate, or fruit yoghurt. Due to the labeling obligation according to the LMIV (food information regulation), this addition is easy to recognize (allergens have been highlighted on the packaging since December 13th, 2014 at the latest).

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