Basic Toasted Teff Porridge + 3 Flavor Options

This morning I woke up to a frozen apartment.  I mean the windows were covered in a solid layer of ice and our baseboard heaters were cold.  The heat must have broke sometime during the night (probably a burst pipe?) and I was subjected to putting on three layers of pants, a winter jacket, and standing over a pot of boiling water in my tiny kitchen, next to an oven preheated to 400 F and partially open.  After working up the courage to shower (I’m a MAJOR baby when it comes to showering in the cold), I bundled up and braved the sub zero weather to trek to the store and buy more teff, as I only had 1/4 a cup left.  You might think I’m crazy, but 1/4 a cup is not nearly enough for me let alone me and Nick (as he works from home on Fridays).  And I’m going through a teff phase, so there’s no reasoning with me. Fast forward and I survived the terribly cold outdoors, successfully purchased 2 lbs of teff, and our landloard fixed the heat.  I’m now sitting cozy on the couch, big bowl of cinnamon blueberry banana teff in hand, studded with pumpkin seeds and fresh pear and topped with homemade almond butter, typing up this post so you all can get on my teff-loving level.


If you’ve never heard of Teff before, let me introduce you.  It’s a super tiny, truly amazing grain that’s not actually a grain but instead a seed, so it’s naturally gluten-free and can be used in a variety of dishes.  Native to Ethoipa, Teff is packed with health benefits including 10% daily calcium, B6, and zinc plus 20% iron, 25% magnesium, 4g of fiber, and 7g of protein per serving!  It also contains an array of other health benefits like being a complete protein and the only ancient grain to contain vitamin C.  I could get super technical here and start listing out all the wonder in this power seed, however all I really care about it it’s delicious and a great addition to spruce up your morning breakfast.  Or lunch.  Or afternoon snack.  Dinner would be stretching it (?).

What I love most about teff is it’s super easy to prepare.  Simply pan-toast the seeds for a minute or so, then add water on a 1:2 teff to water ratio, and simmer until tender.  The total process takes about 10 minutes and there are endless flavor combinations you can enjoy.  Think of this basic porridge as a blank canvas to be covered in whatever craving your heart desires on any given day.  While I encourage you to go crazy and create your own flavor explosion, I’ve included three of my go-to recipes that I keep coming back to.

Basic Toasted Teff Porridge

1/3 cup teff

2/3 cup water

Directions:

Add the teff to a small sauce pan and turn the heat on medium high.  Stir constantly for about a minute, or until you smell a nutty aroma.  Add the water and bring to a boil before turning the heat down and covering the pot.  Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes, or until a thick, porridge consistency is achieved.

 

Flavor option 1:  Figgy apple pie

I actually was so obsessed with this flavor that I made a HUGE batch of it in my RV kitchen when we traveled around Nevada, Arizona, and Utah hitting up a bunch of national parks.  Pretty tasty stuff 🙂

 

1 recipe basic toasted teff porridge

2 figs, diced small

1 apple, diced

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

maple syrup (to taste), optional

1 Tbsp almond butter, optional

Directions:

Follow the recipe for the basic toasted teff porridge above, and add 1/2 the diced apple, vanilla, cinnamon, and figs when you add the water.  Top with the other 1/2 apple, almond butter, and drizzle with maple syrup before serving.

Flavor option 2: Blueberry chia jam explosion

My love of chia seeds has no boundaries, and I’m always looking for an excuse to add them to meals.  I enjoy topping this flavor with peanut butter because it reminds me of a giant, hot, and messy pb&j!

1 recipe basic toasted teff porridge

1/2 cup blueberries

1 tsp chia seeds + more for topping

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp orange zest (optional)

1 Tbsp fresh orange juice

1-2 tsp raw honey or date paste

1-2 Tbsp peanut butter

Directions:

Follow the recipe for the basic toasted teff porridge above, and add the blueberries, chia seeds, vanilla, and honey when you add the water.  Top with peanut butter and a sprinkling of chia seeds.

Flavor option 3: Banana bread

Who doesn’t love banana bread.  Am I right?!

1 recipe basic toasted teff porridge

1/4 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 1/2 medium banana)

1/2 medium banana, chopped

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

pinch sea salt (optional)

1 tsp honey

2 Tbsp toasted walnuts, chopped

Directions:

Follow the recipe for the basic toasted teff porridge above, and add the mashed ripe banana, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, honey, and 1 Tbsp walnuts when you add the water.  Top with the remaining 1 Tbsp walnuts, 1/2 chopped banana.

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