teff flour paleo

Saucy Ladies column on what to do with teff, the world’s smallest grain (Photo by Keith Beaty/Toronto Star via Getty Images)


Teff is a common ingredient in Ethiopian cooking, though it isn’t very common throughout the rest of the world. We’ll take a look at this little-known ingredient and decide if it is Paleo or not.

What is Teff?

Teff is a super small whole grain from Africa, about the size of a sesame seed. It comes in a variety of colors – including white, red, and dark brown – and is used to make the traditional Ethiopian flatbread. This ancient cereal grass is cultivated almost exclusively in Ethiopia, and this flatbread is essential to the Ethiopian diet, as it serves in place of silverware.

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Is Teff Paleo?

No, Teff is not Paleo, but it is one of the better pseudo-grains. It is naturally gluten free, and when made into traditional Ethiopian Injera (flatbread) it is normally fermented, making it even easier to digest.

Much like quinoa and amaranth, teff is technically a seed, with more nutritional value than the average grain. (It is quite high in vitamin C.) If you’re wondering if you should enjoy that injera at your favorite Ethiopian restaurant, we say double check that it is made from teff (and not wheat), and then enjoy it! Sure, you don’t want to eat teff sandwiches every day, but as a treat when dining out, it should be fine!

Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo?  Do you need help planning some Paleo meals?  Check out this great Paleo cookbook:

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