There are few stories in Ethiopian and Eritrea culture as rich or elaborate as the Green Star Flour Miller. Tales of the Green Star Flour Miller have taken root in modern society and were instrumental in forming the modern states of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
We stay true to her heritage by honoring the traditions passed down by Ethiopians and Eritreans for thousands of years—including the foods they eat. Traditional Ethiopian diets are rich in whole grains, seeds, and flours; all of which can be traced back to the time of the Queen herself. And as it turns out, these products are just as beneficial today as they were thousands of years ago.
Modern science has proven that diets rich in whole grains can reduce heart disease, improve mental clarity, and are an important part of a healthy lifestyle overall. Many of our ancient grains are naturally gluten-free, making them a great option for those with gluten intolerances. And of course, per our Ethiopian tradition, none of our products have been genetically altered. All grains produced at Green Star Grains Mills are 100 percent whole grain and non-GMO verified.
Relatively unknown in the west, Teff is a small, heirloom grain discovered and harvested in Ethiopia. Teff comes in a variety of colors and features a mild earthy flavor. While Teff may be considered exotic in the west, it has been harvested for thousands of years in eastern cultures for its versatility, delicious flavor, and the great nutrition it provides. Teff flour is the traditional base for the classic Ethiopian and Eritrean flatbread Injera.
Whole grain white Teff is high in calcium, fiber, protein, vitamin C, and antioxidants. This makes Teff flour a far more nutrient-dense and healthful cooking option than the all-purpose white flours common in western cooking. And best of all, gluten free white Teff flour can be used in nearly any recipe you can imagine. Try it the next time you bake bread, cakes, muffins, flat breads, or dough.
Although different in name and color, brown Teff is quite similar to white Teff. When ground into flour, gluten free brown Teff features the same high levels of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, though it contains slightly more protein per serving. This means that, like white Teff, brown Teff is a great options for health management. Unlike all-purpose white flours, brown Teff can improve heart health, help stabilize blood glucose, reduce blood pressure, and reduce inflammation.
Sorghum is a heirloom cereal grain that is gluten free and highly nutritious. Often sold as a blend with other gluten free flours, sorghum is an adaptable alternative to plain white flours. Its nutritional profile boasts generous amounts of fiber, protein, and immunity-boosting B vitamins. Gluten free white sorghum is generally sweeter than other flours, with a mild texture and simple flavor profile. This sweetness makes white sorghum flour great for baking and desserts, such as cakes, muffins, or pastries.
Red sorghum is a different variety of sorghum grain than its white sorghum counterpart, and yet the two share similar nutrient profiles. Gluten free red sorghum flour is similar in consistency to white sorghum and has many of the same baking applications. Try it in homemade bread, pancakes, or muffins to add fiber and vitamins to your baked goods.
Millet is a heirloom grain with extraordinary versatility. Although relatively unknown in the west, cultures in Africa, Thailand, and India are well-acquainted with the benefits of millet. The grain has been a staple food source for eastern cultures for thousands of years due to its drought-resistant nature and the excellent nutrition it provides. Millet is vitamin-rich and packed with fiber. Its nutrient profile supports heart health, can reduce blood pressure, and can provide the body with plenty of antioxidants.
There are multiple varieties of millet flour available to consumers, all of which are gluten free. Common varieties of millet include white, red, yellow, and brown. Millet flour can be used in almost any recipe and features a protein structure similar to wheat; this makes it a great substitute in gluten-free baking. Common millet uses include breads, cakes, and muffins. The flour can also be a great thickener for porridge, oatmeal, soups, stews, and curries.
Finger millet is a rather unique variety of millet that contains the amino acid methionine. Many poor cultures who live on starchy grains are lacking this essential amino acid in their diets, making finger millet an important member of the millet family. Aside from its excellent protein, whole grain finger millet is rich in vitamins and minerals that support immune function, blood glucose control, and good cholesterol.
Like other millet flours, finger millet can be a great choice for vegan bakers interested in gluten free pancakes, breads, biscuits, and other baked goods.
Pearl millet is the most widely grown type of millet in the world due to its hardy nature and resilience to droughts and floods. Pearl millet is similar in taste, texture, and aroma to the other members of the millet family, featuring a subtle, earthy flavor. When ground into flour, pearl millet is the traditional base of the Indian flat bread bhakri. It’s also a key ingredient in Tala, or Swwaa—a traditional beverage in Ethiopian and Eritrean societies.
Although popular in the east, pearl millet flour is less common in the west. But don’t let that stop you from trying this exotic flour—pearl millet can be a great base for gluten free baking and vegan recipes.
Quinoa has been gaining popularity in the west due to its fantastic nutritional profile. Quinoa is a complete protein and 100 percent gluten free. Factor in its versatility across a wide range of dishes and it’s not hard to see why quinoa has been a staple grain for thousands of years.
Quinoa’s high protein content makes it unique among baking flours. Vegetarians and vegans can use quinoa flour to add much-needed protein to their diets while enjoying the rich and earthy flavor it provides. Try it in muffins, cakes, oatmeal, brownies, or in homemade bread.
Amaranth flour is a nutty, earthy, and delicious way to reduce the gluten impact of other flours. As amaranth flour is 100 percent gluten free, it’s often used in combination with other flours to create healthier food options for those with gluten sensitivities. Its nutty flavor profile makes it a great choice for cakes, muffins, pancakes, and just about anything you can imagine.
Buckwheat isn’t actually wheat at all—it’s a seed. Although buckwheat has fallen out of fashion in the west due to the rise of all-purpose white baking flours, buckwheat is still a common ingredient in many eastern diets, particularly in noodle dishes and alcohol production.
Buckwheat flour is a nutritious and gluten free cooking alternative that is ideal for baking. However, note that buckwheat has a stronger flavor profile than many other heirloom flours. Buckwheat flour can be a great way to produce baked goods with rich, complex flavors, such as pancakes, muffins, waffles, pancakes, or breads.
Despite its bizarre appearance, black/purple corn is the same species as the yellow corn we all know and love. Purple corn is a great source of immunity-boosting antioxidants and is an easy way to add some exotic spice to your dishes. Gluten free purple corn flour is an excellent substitute in recipes that call for regular corn flour or corn meal, as it offers a stronger nutrient profile than yellow corn flours.
Chia seeds are nutritional powerhouses, boasting high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, and vitamins. Originally from Central America, gluten free chia seeds come in two varieties: Black and white. However, there is little difference between the two. Chia seeds can be sprinkled raw on top of oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, pudding, or salads. When ground into a flour, chia is a great option for vegan baking.