Move over, quinoa—there’s a new trendy super grain hitting menus and store shelves. Teff, an ancient grain native to Ethiopia, is tiny (each grain is about the size of a poppy seed). But don’t let its size fool you: Teff packs high levels of protein and vitamin C and decent amounts of calcium—about the same as in ½ cup of spinach (123 mg), according to the nonprofit consumer advocacy group the Whole Grains Council.
And though each ½ cup has a slightly higher calorie count than ½ cup of brown rice (360 calories vs. 300), Teff is high in a type of starch that can help regulate blood sugar levels and make it easier to maintain a healthy weight, per the Whole Grains Council. Now we know why slender foodies Gwyneth and Victoria Beckham are reportedly big fans.
OK, so how does it taste? Teff has a similarly nutty flavor to quinoa. It may be too early to find it in your local supermarket, but look for it in organic- and health-food shops for now. You can use it as you would any grain: Eat it a side dish, top it with berries for breakfast, or sprinkle it on top of salads, muffins, or yogurt.