You may or may not have heard of teff flour or teff grain but it’s certainly not new. It’s an ancient grain native to Ethiopia and Eritrea and predominantly known as the ingredient for injera, the traditional pancake style of that region. But turns out teff is a lot more versatile than just a spongy roti for curry.
So, what is teff?
Teff is a fine, super tiny grain that’s gluten-free and naturally high in iron, fibre, B vitamins and protein. A nutritional powerhouse! It grows as long grass and the seeds are harvested and known as teff.
If you’re familiar with other grains, it’s looks and cooks in a similar way to amaranth, quinoa or millet but much tinier and cooks far more quickly, within minutes actually.
As mentioned, teff flour is used to make Ethiopia and Eritrea’s staple fermented injera bread, which is eaten like a soft flatbread with curries and stews. But you can also use teff flour and teff grain to make porridge, add to savoury dishes, make muffins, banana bread and best of all, cookies.
Tobia Teff, a London-based brand producing teff products (you must try the snack bars) kindly sent me some to try – here’s a summary of my experiments with teff…
Teff cookies recipe
There’s not a huge amount of teff recipes on the internet but by chance I came across a winning cookie recipe on precisionnutrition.com. I’ve converted the recipe from cups to grams for ease and I actually only made half (as I’m just one person!).
- 1 cup / 115g teff flour
- 1 cup / 96g almond flour
- 1 cup nut / 250g butter
- 1/2 cup / 95g coconut sugar
- 1.5 cups / 450g banana mashed (about three bananas)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp water
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Makes: 20 cookies
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Blend all the ingredients, apart from the water, into a high-power blender or food processor until a thick dough forms. Add the water and pulse until the dough is thick and creamy.
If you don’t have a blender, blend together the banana, water, and almond butter in your blender, transfer to a bowl, add remaining ingredients, and stir until well combined.
Using a small ice cream scoop or medium-sized spoon, scoop cookie dough and flatten onto a tray lined with parchment/ baking paper. Wet hands with water if cookie dough starts to stick to fingers.
Cook for about 20 minutes (until the top of the cookies have little holes in them and no longer stick to your fingers when lightly touched). The cookies might feel a bit soft but the outer shell will crisp.
Remove them from the oven and let them cool. Then try your best not to eat them all at once.
Teff porridge – my new favourite breakfast
Every day after my morning training session I refuel with muesli / oats and protein powder. Since the teff has arrived on the scene, it’s been my new favourite ingredient to bump up the recipe.
I’ve been adding Tobia Teff Flakes and enjoying a great new texture in my post-workout ‘proats’. It’s nutty and creamy and cooks up like the texture of polenta and when mixed with oats or other grains, there’s a variety of stronger textures too.
In a small milk warmer I simply add a tablespoon (or two) of Tobia Teff Flakes, 25g of oats or muesli and then cover it with hot water to cook. The teff cooks within minutes and then I just leave it a bit longer for the oats to soften. Sometimes I add frozen berries too.
Then, I add a splash of non-dairy milk and mix in my protein powder and continue adding liquid (water / milk) until it’s the consistency I like, close to porridge. I finish with the toppings such as seeds, nuts and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Yum!
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day so the teff flakes have just made it even better. And when I’m refuelling after a hard session, my breakfast needs to be super nutritious too, so the teff also ticks that box.
Would love to know if you’ve been using teff and you’re a fan too. Leave me a comment or message on @yanarfitness.