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  • Jefferson Adams

    Teff, Ethiopia's Gluten-free Super Grain

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons--rasbak
    Caption: Photo: Wikimedia Commons--rasbak

    Celiac.com 04/04/2014 - Many people looking for gluten-free grains that pack a big punch turn to ancient grains like quinoa, sorghum, and millet. Now, more and more people are expanding that list to include teff, the ancient grain that is a staple in the Ethiopian culture.

    In fact, in some circles, teff is being called the next rival to quinoa. That may be due in part to the Ethiopian government's campaign to promote teff to western markets. The main selling points are that teff is gluten-free and nutritious, rich in amino acids, protein, iron and calcium. Teff also makes a good substitute for wheat flour in many recipes.



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    These facts, along with plans by the Ethiopian government to double the production of teff by next year could help feed the growing global demand for gluten-free grains.

    I've known about teff since around the turn of the century. There was, and I think still is, a great little Ethiopian restaurant in town that, with a few days advance notice, would make injera, the spongy traditional bread using pure teff and no wheat. Their food was delicious, and I've remembered teff fondly ever since then.

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    Just make sure that if you go to an Ethiopian restaurant you TRIPLE check that their injera is made from 100% teff. A lot of restaurants cut it with a small amount of barley, which I found out by getting violently ill (this was after being assured that the injera was gluten free. Afterward: "yes gluten free. No wheat flour. Just a little bit of barley". Ugh.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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