Chocolate Teff Porridge
Hello honeybees! I have a quick recipe for you all today. It’s a chocolate breakfast porridge that comes together in less than 5 minutes featuring one of my favorite naturally gluten free flours: teff. The foundation of this recipe is water and teff flour, which are stirred together cold then set over heat for 5 minutes while stirring constantly. The result is a creamy, custard-like porridge that you can vary to your hearts content — it’s almost like a very silky polenta. In the recipe I have here today I’ve added cocoa powder, cashew butter, coconut oil, cinnamon, a pinch of sea salt and maple syrup to sweeten. It’s as easy as can be, and makes for one heck of a power breakfast!
Teff is an Ethiopian grain that’s barely the size of a mustard seed. Inside of that tiny grain is a whole lot of nutrition. Teff is a very concentrated calorie source, containing about 250 calories per 1 cup serving, with 10 grams protein, 50 grams carbohydrates, and a generous dose of minerals like iron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, zinc. Teff is a natural source of B vitamins too, containing thiamin, niacin (B3), B6 and riboflavin (B2). Teff is well known for providing the body with ample energy even when consumed in small portions. A 1/2 cup portion of cooked teff is more than enough to satisfy most people as a breakfast or mid-day snack.
Teff is one of those grains that hit the scene a few years back and hasn’t entirely made it to the popularity level of quinoa or amaranth, despite how incredible it is. I think this is due to teff being yet another gluten free grain / flour that has its own character and quirks — and it’s not like all of these GF flours come with an instruction manual! Almost all gluten free flours have unique qualities that can be off-putting or exciting, depending on your perspective.
I’ve been working with teff for about eight years now, and I can say from experience that it’s definitely in a class all it’s own. It’s a heavier weight flour like rice or millet due to its density and protein content. But it’s also a “thirsty” flour like lighter-weight coconut flour or medium-weight corn flour. In baked goods it tends to hold moisture, which on the plus side can result in very tender, moist desserts; on the downside if too much moisture is used you can end up with a sticky, gummy center in cakes, cookies, bread, etc. It also tends to have a “drying” quality in the mouth (like coconut flour) if it’s used in a recipe without the right moisture balance.
I like to take advantage of teff’s naturally thirsty quality by making a porridge out of it, which requires lots of liquid. This chocolate teff porridge recipe, for example, is 2 cups water to 1/2 cup teff flour. The flour drinks up all of the liquid and, when heat is applied, thickens like an egg custard. And when it cools it firms up like polenta.
If you’re a fan of super creamy steel-cut oats, I really think you’ll love this recipe. It’s faster to make, just as cozy and it “sticks to your ribs” in that same way — it’s very filling and satisfying.
I hope you all enjoy! xo — Renee
Chocolate Teff Porridge
Author: Renee Byrd / willfrolicforfood.com - Active prep time: 5 mins - Inactive prep time: 0 mins - Total cook time: 5 mins Makes: 2 large servings or 4 smaller servings
Notes: 1. Teff is very nourishing and filling, and many even consider it an appetite suppressant! I find a small serving to be more than enough to fuel me until lunch time. 2. You can use ivory or brown teff flour for this, there’s no difference aside from color.
2 cups water or plant milk
1/2 cup teff flour
3 tbsp Cocoa powder
3 tbsp cashew butter
2 tbsp maple syrup + more according to taste
1 tsp virgin coconut oil
pinch sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon + other spices, as you like
Optional garnish ideas: berries, cacao nibs, chopped nuts, nut butter, thinly sliced citrus, hemp hearts
In a small sauce pan, combine the water, teff flour and cocoa powder, stirring together until all of the lumps have dissolved. Be sure to do this with the heat off, you want to stir everything together in cold water first.
Cut on the heat to medium low and stir constantly for 3-5 minutes until the mixture thickens to a thick custard-like consistency. Make sure to scrape the edges and the bottom of the pan as you stir as teff easily sticks to the pan.
Continue to stir and cook until the porridge is thick like an egg custard — it will thickly coat the back of a spoon. Then cut off the heat and stir in the cashew butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, sea salt, cinnamon and other spices. Serve and garnish as you like.
One of my favorite combos is a topping of hemp hearts, cacao nibs and sliced kumquats or marmalade. The brightness of citrus is a nice contrast to the chocolate teff porridge.
To store left-overs: store in a lidded glass container in the fridge. To reheat, add a portion of the teff porridge to a sauce pot along with 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water or plant milk (the quantity of milk depends on how thin you’d like the porridge to be). Set the sauce pot over medium low heat and stir constantly until the teff is warm and creamy.