Baking with Teff, a Nutritious African (Ethiopian) Grain

I love cooking with ancient grains when I feel like eating less but getting full quickly! The whole grains I love including in my cooking include Amaranth, once a sacred food of the Aztecs and Quinoa, which was consumed 3,000 to 4,000 years ago by the populations living in the Andes.

Bob’s Red Mill, one of the top sources for whole grains offers numerous ancient grains including amaranth, buckwheat, bulgur, farro, freekeh, kamut, millet, quinoa, sorghum, spelt and teff.

Most whole grains, with the exception of brown rice and sorghum are good sources of protein, meaning that one serving supplies 10%-19% of the daily recommendation.

This weekend I played with a lot of grains, Teff being one of them. Teff is the world’s tiniest grain which is believed to have originated in Ethiopia thousands of years ago. It contains more calcium than most grains and has a toasty, sweet-bitter flavor.

There are different ways you can enjoy whole Teff. It can be cooked like polenta, used to thicken soups, stews and casseroles. Teff flour becomes dense and slightly gelatinous when wet, making it good for certain baked goods that you want to be moist or fudgy.

So this weekend I decided to make a chocolate cake using Teff flour for the kids…and for myself…lol.


1 cup Teff Flour

1 cup spelt flour (or any other whole wheat flour or even unbleached all-purpose flour)

1 tsp baking flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

1 cup coconut sugar (or whatever your sugar preference)

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup almond milk (or any nut milk or regular milk)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs or 1/3 cup flaxseed gel (binding agent)

1/2 cup cacao (you can hold back if you wish…i think i used almost 1 1/2 cups). Just make sure your batter has enough sugar when using cacao which can be very biter.



Pre-heat oven to 350*

Combine  all the flours and next ingredients on the above list until all spice, stirring with a whisk.

Place the rest of the ingredients in the mix and blend until well blended.

Spoon the batter into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in Pan on wire rack. Remove loaf from pan and cool on rack.



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