Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Mighty Miniature Teff Grain

Teff is an ancient grain, believed to have originated in Ethiopia between 4000 BC and 1000BC. The classic use of teff flour by Ethiopians is injera, a fermented flat bread. Today, teff is widely cultivated and used in South Africa, Ethiopia, India, and Australia. Teff is high in calcium, iron, and protein and has a good mineral profile of phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, boron, and thiamin. The amino acid composition is excellent, including all 8 essential amino acids along with a high lysine level. Due to its small size, teff boasts the highest fiber content of any other grain. 


Sources for this article:

"Chemical composition of teff (Eragrostis tef) compared with that of wheat, barley and grain sorghum", Melak H. Mengesha, Economic Botany, Volume 20, Number 3, 1966, 268-273

"Tef. Lost Crops of Africa", National Academies Press, 2008, 222.

"The orgin and evolution of Eragrostis tef (Poaceae) and related polyploids", American Journal of Botany, 2003, 116-122

www.nutritiondata.com


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nutrition Notes: Incredible Goji Berries

Goji berries, sometimes referred to as wolf berries, are small reddish fruit grown in the Himalayan foothills. They are high in calcium, potassium, and iron. Goji berries are also an excellent source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin, making them one of the richest plant based sources for these nutrients. These powerful berries have been shown to support eye health while reducing cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and cancer. Goji berries have been celebrated for centuries in Asia as a promotor of  anti-aging and longevity due to their high antioxidant content.

Sources for this article:

Gan L, Hua Zhang S, Liang Yang X, Bi Xu H (April 2004). "Immunomodulation and antitumor activity by a polysaccharide-protein complex from Lycium barbarum". Int. Immunopharmacol. 4 (4): 563–9.

Weller P, Breithaupt DE (November 2003). "Identification and quantification of zeaxanthin esters in plants using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry". J. Agric. Food Chem. 51 (24): 7044–9.

Gan L, Hua Zhang S, Liang Yang X, Bi Xu H (April 2004). "Immunomodulation and antitumor activity by a polysaccharide-protein complex from Lycium barbarum". Int. Immunopharmacol. 4 (4): 563–9.

SCW Sze, J. Song, RCC Chang, KY Zhang, RNS Wong, Y Tong (2008). "Research advances on the anti-aging profile of Fructus lycii: an ancient Chinese herbal medicine", Journal of Complementary & Intergrative Medicine, v 5 n. 1

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cooking School: Flaxseed Egg Substitute

A large, metal, egg-shaped tea ball works wonderfully here. Simply place whole flaxseed in the ball, close, and simmer with water. This helps to ease the straining process at the end. Or, for added fiber and texture, no need to strain the flax seeds at all.

Yield: 1 cup

Technique:

2 tablespoons whole flaxseed
1 1/2 cup water

In a small saucepan, combine flaxseed and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook mixture uncovered until water is reduced by one-half cup, approximately 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain seeds from mixture, saving the thick, clear gel. Refrigerate unused portion in a tightly sealed container for up to a week.