Friday, February 25, 2011

Teff Porridge with Coconut, Almonds and Dates

I modified this recipe a couple years ago from the Bob's Red Mill package and love it. Teff is another grain you must try if you have not already. It is the grain of Ethiopia, used to make their traditional sour flat-bread called injera. Teff is the smallest grain in the world, smaller than the tip of a needle. It is high in fiber, protein and iron. It is also gluten-free. Cooked up, it produces an almost chocolate-y essence that reminds me a bit of chocolate Malt-o-Meal, so I think is best lent to sweet applications.

They usually carry it at Clark's, though lately they've only carried the flour. You can order it online. It is more expensive than other grains since here in the US it is only grown at one farm and sold by Bob's Red Mill. But it is still cheaper than animal products and lends variety to my vegan breakfasts. For those that aren't coconut fans (like my husband), you really don't taste the coconut if you use the coconut milk, it just makes the porridge slightly creamy.

Start this recipe the night before you want to have it for breakfast. Like I said, it is high in fiber so don't say I didn't warn you. Also, because the grain is so small you should chew very thoroughly. All that said, it is delicious. This recipe also has 12 grams of protein per serving, as much as 2 eggs.

Serves 2

1/2 cup teff
1/2 cup canned coconut milk or 1/4 cup raw coconut butter (Sold by Artisana in healthfood stores, coconut butter is very rich. It is made by pureeing coconut oil with coconut meat. It will make the recipe more rich, flavorful and higher in fat. It is expensive and I do not have any on hand, so coconut milk works fine as well)
About 2 cups water, more or less as needed
8 deglet noor or 6 medjool dates, chopped (I use kitchen shears and cut in half lengthwise then a few times cross wise)
1/2 tsp ground cloves (really makes the flavor of this recipe)
1/4 cup slivered or chopped almonds
Salt to taste

Stir teff and 1/2 cup of water in a glass container, cover loosely with a towel and leave to soak overnight on the counter.

In the morning pour the entire contents into a saucepan, add about 1 cup additional water and bring to a boil. Stir, lower heat and add coconut milk (if using coconut butter do not add at this point yet) a wire whisk is best for the stirring. Simmer on low for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Teff soaks up a lot of water, much like polenta, so you may need more than the recipe calls for. Add half of the dates, the ground cloves and about 1/2 cup more water. Wisk/stir and simmer about 10 more minutes. The dates will almost dissolve in the porridge and become a natural sweetener.

Remove from heat and stir in chopped almonds, remaining dates and if using coconut butter, the coconut butter at this point. Add a pinch of salt, to taste. You can also add a bit of honey if you like it sweeter.

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