Gluten Free Alternatives: Teff- The Wonder Grain- Thomas DeLauer

Gluten Free Alternatives: Teff- The Wonder Grain- Thomas DeLauer

What is Teff? It’s one of the newest (actually oldest) gluten free alternatives!
In this video, I will answer the simple question of, «What is Teff?» but I will also dive into why we have issues with gluten these days, and what can be done to solve the issue at hand.

-The demand for gluten-free foods in on the rise
-Gluten is known to cause inflammation in the body – yet wheat is one of the oldest known crops, so why are we having trouble digesting it now?
-Wheat has been selectively bred to increase yield and create ease of harvest and preparation, ignoring the nutritional impact (2)
-Example: durum wheat has been created by humans due to the looser husk, which makes it easier to use on a mass production scale (2)
-This change in wheat is likely one major cause as to why the common gluten in our food is so difficult to digest.

-There are benefits of diversifying our diets
-There are more than 50,000 known edible plants around the world, all with different nutritional profiles, yet we now have ⅔ of the plant food provided by three cereals – corn, wheat and rice (1).
-This dependence on very few crops leads to both crop risk due to climate change, as well as a lack of nutritionally diverse dietary options (1).

-Ancient grains, such as quinoa, millet, sorghum, teff and many others are starting to increase in popularity as both flour alternatives as well as additives to make cereals and other foods healthier (2).


-Teff is the smallest grain in the world, originating from Ethiopia (1). If you have eaten at an Ethiopian restaurant, teff is the grain in the spongy pancake injera (3).
-Highly pest resistant and easy to grow in many different climates, this grain is a promising addition to agriculture (3)
-Gluten free.
-Different varieties vary in color, from milky white to dark brown, with different colors having different flavors (4).
-Teff is known to have a nutty flavor

-Teff is a good source of protein, especially high in the essential amino acid lysine (4).
-Also a good source of iron, calcium, essential fatty acids, fiber and phytochemicals (4).
-Great for vegetarians and vegans due to high iron content that many of us get through red meat in our diets.
-Fiber is important for glucose levels as well as reducing LDL cholesterol levels. (4)
-Diets high in whole grains have been linked to a 20 to 30 percent reduction in developing type 2 diabetes (1).
How to Add Teff to Your Diet

1. Make a gluten free flour blend to use instead of flour in recipes: whisk together 5 ¼ cup teff flour, 1 ¾ cups brown rice flour, 2 ⅓ cups ground golden flaxseeds and 1 cup sweet rice flour and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer (5)
2. Use whole teff to make a breakfast porridge. Add whole nuts, berries and a small amount of maple syrup to flavor (6).

Tip: If you enjoy the nutty flavor and would like to heighten it, saute teff in a dry skillet for five minutes before heating it into a porridge (6).

There are many other recipes online, such as harder, almost polenta-like teff and other savory teff recipes!

You can find teff at some natural food stores as well as online through companies such as Bob’s Red Mill or The Teff Company (6).


1. Diversifying crops for food and nutrition security – a case of teff
2. A new wave of grains
3. Teff as a raw material for malting, brewing and manufacturing of gluten-free foods and beverages: a review
4. Teff: nutrition composition and health benefits
5. ATK whole-grain gluten-free flour blend
ATK Whole-Grain Gluten-Free Flour Blend
6. How to Make Whole-Grain Teff Porridge

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