What the Teff? A "new" ancient gluten free alternative - Peopletail

What the Teff? A "new" ancient gluten free alternative

May 13, 2020 Report

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I’m not sure why I decided to buy teff one day. I think it came from searching gluten free alternatives and suddenly there it was. I didn’t give it much thought until I was shopping in my local health food store and saw Bob’s Red Mill brand of whole teff, so I decided to drop it in my cart, bring it home and start the experimenting.

Teff is known as a grain originating from Ethiopia, however it is actually considered a seed, almost resembling a brown poppy seed. It works in the same manner as a grain would however and has many nutritional benefits.

Teff is gluten free and therefore does not compromise our digestive system. It is a fantastic source of protein and fiber helping manage our blood sugar and colon health. This tiny grain is also high in magnesium – a mineral which most individuals are severely depleted in, but is essential for our muscular, cardiovascular and central nervous systems. Teff also offers minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, manganese, potassium, zinc and loads of B vitamins. Although the whole grain variety offers the most nutritional benefits, it can also be purchased in flour form (another experiment for another day).

Teff can be cooked and eaten similarly to how one would cook oatmeal or quinoa. I initially thought of it as an old style “cream of wheat” (remember that stuff?) or even a soft polenta. After trying many different recipes, I came up with my own version coupled with ingredients that I believe compliment the delicacy of Teff.


Cinnamon Teff with Toasted Bananas and Walnuts


¼ cup, Bob's Red Mill whole grain Teff

¾ cup of water

½ tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp coconut oil

I banana, sliced

¼ cup chopped walnuts

1 tbsp coconut sugar

½ tsp pure vanilla extract

¼ cup plant-based milk

2 tbsp hemp hearts



In a small saucepan on medium heat, toast teff for 2-3 minutes. Add water, cinnamon and half of the coconut oil. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat another pan to medium heat and add walnuts. Toast for 3-5 minutes. Add remaining coconut oil and banana. Leave bananas for approximately 3 minutes or until golden brown and then flip to brown the other side. Once browned, add vanilla extract on bananas and sprinkle with coconut sugar. Remove from heat.

When teff is ready, add to a bowl and top with bananas and walnuts. Add hemp hearts and almond milk.

Serves 2.


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