Iron Rich Teff

Teff is an ancient grain originating from Ethiopia, South Africa, and India and deserves some special attention, as it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, along with being a gluten free grain. Traditionally, teff is fermented into a bread called Injera but can also be cooked in the same way as other grains or cooked as a porridge with fresh fruit, nuts and/or seeds and your choice of milk or dairy alternative to enjoy in the morning.

Even though teff is an extremely small grain, its nutrition content is quite high as it’s a wonderful source of iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, as well as protein and fiber. Just a ¼ cup of uncooked teff has 8 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein with 21% of your daily value of iron!

I wanted to bring this unique grain into attention, specifically for it’s iron content, as individuals with Celiac disease or those who avoid gluten grains can be low in this vital mineral. Iron is important for immune and antioxidant function, along with oxygen delivery. To enhance the absorption of this mineral, pair iron rich foods such as grass fed beef, black-strap molasses, prunes, lentils, and cashews with foods high in vitamin C including the amazing berries currently in season, red bell peppers, lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit juice.

As iron is essential for children, here is a great recipe that the whole family will enjoy.

 Teff Porridge

  •  ¼ cup whole grain teff
  • 1 ¼ cups unsweetened hemp milk (decrease amount if you would like it thicker)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • ¼ cup banana, sliced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)

In a small pot, combine teff, hemp milk, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Continue to stir to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pan. Simmer about 10-15 minutes or until teff is done and porridge is desired consistency. Add banana and walnuts and enjoy!

This serves 1 to 2 people, double the recipe for the family to enjoy. For a thicker porridge, decrease the milk to ¾ cup.

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