Almost Lost, But
Not Forgotten

Teff (The name means "lost", because if you drop it on the ground you won't find it.) is another one of the ancient grains of the world finding a resurgence in the modern diet. It originated in Ethiopia as a foraged wild grass and was eventually cultivated by the highland Ethiopians. Seeds of teff have been found in a brick of the Dassur Egyptian pyramid built in 3359 B. C. Today teff straw is still used to make adobe in Ethiopia and it is cultivated for its hay in Kenya and Australia. In the U.S., teff crops are being grown in Idaho.

Ounce for ounce, teff, the smallest grain in the world, supplies more fiber rich bran and nutritious germ than any other grain! It also packs a high mineral content that boasts 17 times the calcium of whole wheat or barley. It takes 150 grains of teff to weigh as much as one grain of wheat which accounts for its high nutritional value - its about twice the size of the period at the end of this sentence. In any grain the nutrients are concentrated in the germ and bran. With teff the germ and bran make up the bulk of the grain and because it is too small to hull, its nutrients are abundant and stay intact.

There are three varieties of teff - white, brown and red. The grain we carry in our bulk bin is the brown variety. Each has an almost nutty flavor. The white teff is chestnutlike in taste; the darker colors are more earthy and taste like hazelnuts. Brown teff makes a rich breakfast porridge.

The Ethiopians use teff flour to make their staple bread, injera. The batter is fermented for several days and then cooked into large flat rounds. Its a highly digestible bread because it is fermented. Teff flour makes tasty quick breads, pancakes, and waffles. For leavened bread, use wheat flour with up to 20 percent teff flour added. It can also be added to gravies, soups or stews.

Whatever way you choose, give this ancient grain a try - its easy to use.
This grain can be ought online from Bob's Red Mill in Milwaukie, Oregon. (Sundance does not currently sell food online.)
Millet was possibly the first cereal grain to be used for domestic purposes and was the staple food in China before rice was introduced about 12,000 years ago. It is still an important staple food in parts of Africa, India and Asia. The grain has long aroused the interest of food experts, such as in the case of the Hunza tribe where millet is an essential item in the diet. The Hunzas are a remarkable tribe living in the Himalayan foothills and famed for their longevity and fitness. Every basic Hunza food such as yoghurt and millet is now coming under scrutiny by modern nutritionists.

Among the grains, millet is well balanced in essential amino acids. It has more iron than any other cereal. The protein utilization value of millet is greatly increased by the addition of legumes. To cook millet, bring 4-5 cups of water to a boil & stir in 1 cup of millet. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 - 25 minutes.

Teff-Millet Casserole
Measure 1 cup millet and rinse until the water is clear. Put it into a large pot.
Add 1/2 cup of teff grain, a pinch of sea salt, 2 sliced onions or leeks, 1 butternut squash cut into bite sized or larger chunks (Cut the skin of the squash off as well.), 2 cloves of pressed or chopped garlic and 4 1/2 cups of water.
Stir and gently mix up the ingredients, then simmer for 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
For a nice variation, add 4 tsp. tamari, Mock Chicken Broth or some other vegetable boullion

The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star.
- Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826) Physiologie du Gout

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This page built by Ray Neff andDavid ResSeguie Last minor update: June 26, 2000