Mediterranean Teff Breakfast Porridge

Your mind may be a little scrambled right this moment.

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Teff is a tiny Ethiopian grain that is used to make a large sourdough flatbread called injera. When I say tiny, I mean tiny. The diameter of these seeds is less than 1 mm. So tiny that its name is assumed to come from the word “lost” in Amharic (a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia), as they are easy to lose. Teff is a grand idea if you’re looking to add to your collection of gluten-free grains. Plus, it is a low-glycemic index (hello!) and calcium-rich (123 mg of calcium per cup of cooked teff) grain. Today, I’ve taken the liberty of preparing it in a Mediterranean manner.

I love this dish because it combines two starkly different cultures in one bowl, just the way I love when different cultures come together in real life (it doesn’t get cornier than me, folks).

Pistachios, rosewater and dates provide the Mediterranean flair and character to this original brekkie.

Let’s talk pistachios. Pistachios claim to be the lowest fat/lowest calorie nut out there, when in reality, they are among the lowest. As per the International Tree Nut Council, almonds, cashews and pistachios are all tied – all have 160 calories per ounce. What is one ounce? 24 almonds, 49 pistachios or 14 walnut halves. This means that you can eat more actual nuts before reaching that one ounce serving when you are consuming pistachios, which is psychologically satisfying as you feel like you are eating more.

Rosewater adds a wonderful rose fragrance to dishes and is also great for your skin. Just dab some onto a cotton pad and apply to your face morning and/or evening. It acts as a natural toner and smells naturally flowery. It is also used to make perfumes so don’t be surprised if you find it smells like very potent perfume when you get a whiff from the bottle.

I have a very special place in my heart for dates. They differ from sugar/honey/maple syrup in the sense that they provide fiber (as evidenced by their fibrous interior) and are a source of potassium.

This breakfast porridge recipe is easy as ABC.

To yield two portions of teff porridge, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add 1/2 cup of teff, let simmer on low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring often to prevent the teff from sticking to the bottom of the pan (hehe…bottom – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac–MGZQO5E ). Once teff is cooked, top with chopped dates, pistachios, rosewater and honey.

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This meal is great for carbivores and athletes as it provides slow and sustained energy. Moreover, choosing low-glycemic index foods more often than not helps synthesize glycogen (the energy/sugar stores you have in your muscle and liver). It’s no wonder then that many of Ethiopia’s famed long-distance runners attribute their energy and health to teff.

Happy discovering teff!

Source: Whole Grains Council

One Comment Add yours

  1. Lori says:

    Wow, what am intriguing dish!!

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