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Teff, the traditional grain of Ethiopia, dates back to 4000 BC and is the smallest grain in the world. It’s produced in Ethiopia, India, Australia and…Idaho. Teff’s name is derived from the word “teffa” meaning lost, which is easy to do with this minuscule little grain, and one of my daughter’s favorite breakfast foods.
Rich red and brown color teff has a nutty sweet flavor. It is ground into flour for baked goods and fermented as a drink–and teff thickens really well. Use it to thick up soups, stews, gravies and sauces. Or eat it as sweet or savory porridge. A meager 1/2 cup of teff sucks up 2 cups of water to make very thick porridge, so don’t hesitate to keep adding water to thin it down to the consistency that you want. For fun, pop a little dry teff in a skillet over medium heat until little white puffs appear.
In 2 quart pan, bring water to boil. Add in teff, stir to just integrate the teff in the water. Cover the pan. Teff is tiny and light and will rise up out of the pan.
Cook over medium low heat for 15-20 minutes, occasionally stirring and pushing the teff that has risen to the sides of the pan back down into the water. If you are using dried fruits such as apricots, add them in during cooking so they soften. Increase water by 1/2 cup for each 1/4 cup of dried fruit.
Remove from heat, add in vanilla and pinch of salt. Serve teff in individual bowls. Serve with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, nuts and milk if desired.
Healing highlights: High in protein, vitamins and minerals, teff builds strength and stamina--like other grains. However, teff drains dampness, phlegm and mucus. Warming, bitter, and sweet, teff enters the Stomach and Spleen and nourish the Earth element.