Chai Teff Porridge with Coconut Milk (Vegan, Gluten Free)
It's happened. I've become a morning person. Or at least the sort of babe that looks forward to the mornings. The soft light that fills our bedroom. The quiet before the world enlivens. The two of us making our way to the kitchen with soft throw blankets settled over our shoulders. Shuffling around in sock feet. Chatting and laughing and talking of dreams. Me at the range making something good to eat. Him at the Chemex brewer, fiddling with the coffee grinder. Holding each other as we wait for the coffee to percolate, the porridge to cook.
It’s not always like that, of course. Most mornings we at least do coffee together. Sometimes I choose to go to a long yoga class in the AM. Or to get straight to work editing photos and writing before he wakes up. He often has errands to run or an early shift at work.
We try to hit that sweet spot, where we get some time together before the day gets going. It’s been hard to leave bed lately. Leave that magic and sweetness in sleepy conversation while tucked under our comfortable duvet. I know that when my feet touch the floor my brain will want to begin the process of making. Breakfast, blog posts, recipes, emails, articles, yoga classes. The list goes on. Infinite creative accomplishments are possible in a day. And that hustle in my mind alights as soon as I turn upright. But before I get oriented to the fire of the day, there's coziness. Quiet steam lifting from my cup. Soft smiles shared over avocado toast. The sound of cardinals settling, curious, on the branches of our persimmon tree.
Breakfast is that lovely inhalation before the day gets going. Before I have to set down to my notebook and sketch out my intentions. Before Logan gets into reading the comparative charts from his recent coffee roasts. Before the dalliance with worldly tasks.
I suppose that makes it my favorite time of the day.
As we sink into cool Autumn I find myself craving warm cereals for breakfast. Oats, millet, einkorn, teff. Teff in particular is great for the fall. It has a grounding, warming quality that I find balancing.
Some of you may remember teff from my turmeric cashew butter chocolate chip cookies. Teff is a gluten free super grain, high in protein and calcium. It has a mild, nutty flavor. It pairs well with warming spices and chocolate. In savory dishes I like to use it like polenta. And it can sub 1:1 for buckwheat flour in baked goods. One of the more curious qualities of teff, both the flour and the grain, is how filling it is. I find it even acts as an appetite suppressant. A small serving of this Chai Teff Porridge keeps me full for most of the day until dinner. It's kind of a trip.
In this teff porridge I whisk teff flour into a creamy spiced coconut milk base. You'll want to use the flour, as opposed to tiny whole teff grains. Using the flour gives the porridge a silky-smooth texture. The recipe takes no more than 5 minutes, all in all. Teff might even be the fastest cooking cereal grain. I mean, you can't beat 5 minutes for a stovetop hot cereal.
I encourage you to play around with the toppings to your hearts content. Here I've used goji berries and hemp hearts. But cacao nibs, nuts & seeds, chopped dates, shredded coconut, etc. would also be great. It's up to you. You could also whisk a teaspoon of ground maca into the recipe for some extra energy and super powers!
- 2 cups coconut milk or unsweetened nut milk
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (plus more to taste)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- pinch black pepper
- tiny pinch sea salt
- 1/2 cup teff flour
- [i]Optional toppings[/i]: handful goji berries, handful hemp hearts
- In a small pot, combine the coconut milk / nut milk, coconut sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, clove, ginger, black pepper, and pinch of sea salt.
- Whisk everything together and set on low heat, bringing the milk to a simmer.
- Add the teff flour a little bit at a time, whisking it into the milk as you go. Continue until you've whisked in all of the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, or until the mixture has thickened up and begins pulling away from the sides of the pot.
- Serve immediately with a drizzle of coconut milk, a sprinkling of coconut sugar, goji berries and hemp hearts (or top as you like!).