Chew on this

Teff, freekeh, sumac: Trendy foods that deserve a plate on our plates

 

srarback@hotmail.com

Over the past five years, a few food trends have outlasted their introductory splash to become pantry staples. The tastiest and most nutritious are quinoa and Greek yogurt.

For the adventurous, here are three trendy foods that will boost health and flavor and hopefully remain on our plates:

Teff: The gluten-free craze is likely transitory, but an upside is the rediscovery of teff. This ancient grain is versatile, sustainable and highly nutritious. A cup of cooked teff has the same calcium has a half cup of cooked spinach. It is high in resistant starch, which contributes to its low glycemic index and its positive effect on blood sugar management, weight management and smooth digestive function. It can be eaten as a grain or ground into flour for baking.

Freekeh: Made from green wheat, freekeh is highly nutritious. It has four times the fiber of brown rice and is also a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Like teff, it has a lower glycemic index than most grains. The green color is the tip-off that it is also a source of the eye-enhancing phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin. For new recipes for this old grains, check out wholegrainscouncil.org.

Sumac: Common in the Middle East, this vibrant red spice has been described as sweet and sour, bitter and fruity. I would call it versatile. A delicious addition to grilled chicken or fish, it also adds zest when sprinkled on yogurt, grains, hummus or eggs. It has antioxidant, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It’s easily found in Middle Eastern groceries and online.

Sheah Rarback is a registered dietitian on the faculty of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Follow her on Twitter @sheahrarback.

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