Teff flour and Chocolate goodness – I’m sure the word chocolate grabs your attention and definitely sounds like some yummy ‘good-ness’. But does the ‘teff flour’ stop you in your tracks just a bit? Make you say, WHAT is teff flour?
I’d never heard of it either – and I’m pretty in the know about different flours since I tend to stay away from wheat flour these days.
Side note * in the past few months I’ve rather fallen off my THM bandwagon. And I’m feeling the effects. Not only are my skinny jeans feeling a bit too snug, but my regular jeans are straining just a bit too. And more concerning than that is the fact that I don’t feel so great again. I’m dragging, and it’s getting hard to find the joy in life again. Definitely time to get back to avoiding all refined flours and sugar!
Anyway. On to the Teff flour.
A few weeks ago, Claire from Tenera Grains contacted me about trying out their teff flour. I’d never heard of the stuff so I did a bit of research.
Turns out Teff is an ancient grain, and is a great source for people who are gluten intolerant. Used along with other gluten-free flours it is an excellent replacement for wheat flour.
Here are some facts I found online:
Teff Flour is a pleasingly light, uniquely flavored, 100% whole grain flour. Ethiopian households have been using teff flour in their baking for ages. A favorite teff dish eaten at almost every Ethiopian meal is a flat, crepe-like bread called Injera. source
It has more calcium than any other grain, is a complete protein, is the size of a poppyseed, is the only ancient grain (or seed) to contain Vitamin C, is completely gluten and grain-free, and is rich in iron, magnesium, Vitamin B6, fiber, and protein. source
History. Between 8000 and 5000 BC, the people of the Ethiopian highlands were among the first to domesticate plants and animals for food. Teff was one of the earliest plants domesticated. Teff is believed to have originated in Ethiopia andEritrea between 4000 BC and 1000 BC. source
Perhaps the most enjoyable way to read about teff flour I found here.
Of course, I jumped at the chance to try a new flour when the opportunity came my way. Or rather, try an ancient flour if you will! I have to say I was pretty impressed when I opened the bag – The flour is super fine – more like white wheat flour than any flour I’ve used. Perhaps due to the fact that the grain/seed starts out the size of a poppy seed.
Tenera Grains sent me a bag of brown teff flour and a recipe to use for my first try at using teff flour. Teff Chocolate Loaf, and it was not only easy to make but it tastes pretty fine too!
Tenera Grains also sells Ivory Teff Flour which has the same nutritional profile but is lighter in color and taste. I plan to try it sometime too.
See how fine the flour is? Larger pieces are ground almonds – ground using my Vitamix blender, which grinds things pretty fine. The flour is much, much finer than the ground almonds.
The recipe stated that it was really good with fresh raspberries. Unfortunately I didn’t have any fresh raspberries so I pulled out my all-fruit, strawberry jelly and some cream to go with my first slice of the teff chocolate loaf. Yummy!
I also tried it with some butter. Irish butter to be exact. My 18yo discovered Irish butter and loves it. While it is delicious, the price tag prohibits me from serving it daily. I bought her brick of it for Valentine’s Day and ‘borrowed’ a bit of it when testing out my teff chocolate loaf.
After adding the butter I decided I liked the jelly and cream better so I pulled that out again. And let me tell you, the jelly, cream, AND butter was really wonderful!
Something else I discovered – just one smallish piece of this mid-morning and I wasn’t hungry till well after lunch-time! Which was a good thing because it happened to be a day I was running errands and wasn’t home at lunchtime.
Working with gluten-free flours is not the same as using wheat flour, whether you use white or whole wheat, and does take some getting used to. For tips and some great recipes Tenera Grains has put together a great source on their website.
I plan to do some experimenting with the teff flour in the near future. I really like how fine it is. Probably the biggest thing I had to get used to when using non-wheat flours is the fact that they are so much coarser than the white wheat flour I was used to working with. The finer the grind, the lighter and fluffier the baked goods, seems to me. Even whole wheat flour does not give you the fluffy, light baked goods that white flour does. White flour may be the best for those delectable, decadent desserts and pastries, but when you need gluten-free that is not an option. And while I am not gluten intolerant, I feel better and am much healthier when I stay away from wheat.
I hope you will give teff flour a try – I think you will find it a wonderful addition to your pantry.