Trip to Ethiopia? Teff please!

Teff.  The tiniest grain of them all, but he boasts a whole lot of nutrition!  It’s ancient, is used for cereal in other countries, and is similar to quinoa.

WHY is it so good, you wonder? Well, I’ll tell you.  It’s higher in protein than wheat and it’s high in fiber.  It’s very popular to make gluten-free foods AND it can help give you a zap of energy.  It provides calcium, thiamin, and iron.  In my research, I also found it can help regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes!  Pretty cool!

What?  You want to know a FUN FACT about teff?  Ok.  In Ethiopia, teff translates to “lost”.  Like, I would be lost without using teff.  Some believe Ethiopians have such amazing long distance running abilities because of this little tiny babe.  That’s what caught my eye!  Obviously, now I believe I will become a running elite…oorr I will eat more.  Aw well.

Anyways, it’s a neat little grain. I found it ground into flour at Wegmans (thank God for Bob’s Red Mill).  I want to check out other places, or try to order it online to try the actual grain as a cereal.  But flour it was for this try!

I made Injera.  Ethnic foods are so fun to experiment with, when I do it.  I can just picture having an “Ethiopian Dinner Night” in the future w Brax and Bri (and maybe little Brianna Jr. the III?).  This is incredibly easy to make, and it’s used in Ethiopia almost like a plate for dishes.  It’s like a pancake.  Here’s the CRAZY easy recipe:

Injera

http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/bread/recipe-injera.html

• 1/4 cup teff flour
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or another gluten-free flour)
• 1 cup water
• a pinch of salt
• Peanut or Vegetable Oil (I used coconut)

1. Put the teff flour in the bottom of a mixing bowl, and sift in the all-purpose flour.

2. Slowly add the water, stirring to avoid lumps.

3. Put the batter aside for a day or more (up to three days) to allow it to ferment. In this time, your injera batter will start to bubble and acquire the slight tanginess for which it’s known. Note: If you find that your injera batter does not ferment on its own, try adding a teaspoon of yeast.

4. Stir in the salt.

5. Heat a nonstick pan or lightly oiled cast-iron skillet until a water drop dances on the surface. Make sure the surface of the pan is smooth: Otherwise, your injera might fall apart when you try to remove it.

6. Coat the pan with a thin layer of batter. Injera should be thicker than a crêpe, but not as thick as a traditional pancake. It will rise slightly when it heats.

7. Cook until holes appear on the surface of the bread. Once the surface is dry, remove the bread from the pan and let it cool.

I was new to this, so I just grabbed some hummus and dipped…it was good and I felt healthy just eating it!  And if you were wondering, my taste tester, little b. was a BIG fan!!  Baby approved=good recipe!  I’m sure it would taste great with anything- like a stew, or jam, or ice cream and sprinkles!  I’ll let you know, because I plan on trying a lot more!

Another recipe I have not tried yet, but I plan to from www.glutenfreegirl.com

Chocolate Banana Bread with Teff Flour

In making this bread, I used a round enamelware pot, instead of a loaf pan. This lent itself to the cake-like quality of the bread, which I found I loved. If you want a more traditional quick bread texture, then try the loaf pan.

1 cup of gluten-free flour of your choice 1 cup of teff flour 3/4 cup sugar 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons high-quality, unsweetened cocoa powder 2 teaspoons cinnamon 3 overly ripe bananas 1/4 cup plain yogurt (make sure it’s gluten free) 2 large eggs 6 tablespoons melted butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° degrees. Move the rack to a position in the lower half of the oven. This will prevent the crust of the bread from burning. Grease the pan you intend to use.

Stir together all the dry ingredients, making sure to tame the lumps of cocoa powder with a fork. Set aside.

With a standing mixer or hand mixer, beat the eggs lightly. Then, add the yogurt, vanilla extract, and melted butter. When this assemblage is completely mixed, then gently add in the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until they are just mixed.

Scrape the dough into your pan. Pat down the top to make a flat surface. If you wish, toss a few pecans or walnut halves onto the top. Place into the oven and bake for about forty minutes, or until the knife you insert gently into the bread comes out again clean. Let the bread sit in the pan for five to ten minutes, then turn it over onto a wire rack. Serve warm, with cream cheese, if you wish.

So there you go, your lowdown on my new favorite super food, teff!  Happy trying!

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