Thursday, October 25, 2012

Teff Polenta

I discovered teff six months after I adapted a gluten free diet. If you've never heard of teff here are some fun facts about this gluten free grain

  •  Teff is highly nutritious.
  • A staple of the Ethiopian diet. 
  • Teff is the smallest grain in the WORLD.
  • One cup of uncooked teff has 47% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin B-6, 50% for (B1) thiamine, 31% for riboflavin, 32 % for niacin and 18 % for pantothenic acid. B vitamins help metabolism, helping your body break foods down into energy
  •  1 cup of raw teff is sufficient to produce 51 %of the recommended daily intake amino acids for protein.
  •  1 cup of uncooked teff represents 62% of the recommended daily intake for fiber.
  • Teff contains omega 3 fatty acids and is loaded with minerals. Manganese is the most abundant mineral in teff; 1 cup of raw teff  has 892% percent! This mineral supports the production of bones, tissues and sex hormones. The grain also has 35% of the recommended daily intake for calcium, 82 % for iron, 89% for magnesium, 83% for phosphorous, 18% for potassium, 1%  for sodium, 47 %for zinc, 78 %for copper and 12 %for selenium.

There are two ways I serve teff that I really enjoy. One as a breakfast porridge with fresh sliced strawberries, bananas, and pecans. The second way I like to eat teff is a savory polenta side dish. It is similar to the polenta made with cornmeal, but has a higher nutritional value. 

Teff Polenta

1/2 cup of onion minced
1/4 tsp of sea salt
dash of ground black pepper
1/2 tsp of dried Italian seasonings
1/2 cup of whole grain teff
2 cups of water
1/8 cup of grated Parmesan cheese +more for garnish

Heat 1 TBS of olive oil in sauce pot on medium heat. Add onion, salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, and saute until onion is soft. Add teff and saute for 1 minute. Pour in water and stir. Cover with lid, reduce heat to low, and simmer until water is absorbed stirring occasionally to break up lumps of teff. Once water is absorbed remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Spread polenta evenly into a glass dish and top with Parmesan cheese. Serve warm. Serves 4-6.

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