Thursday 24 May 2018

Superfood teff love is here to stay

Move over quinoa and amaranth, there's a new superfood in town and teff is here to stay

A field of superfood teff
A field of superfood teff
Susan Jayne White

Susan Jane White

Teff is a wholegrain that boasts similar nutritional strengths to quinoa and amaranth, but is smaller.

A single grain of teff measures less than 1mm in diameter. Think of it as mutant quinoa, ranging from black to red, and from ivory to brown.

Teff is mild in flavour and naturally sweet, giving gluten-free-ers, like Gwynnie and Victoria Beckham, something new to scream about.

Essentially, this means move over, quinoa. Your 15 minutes of fame are now up.


Teff is rather reasonably priced, too, at just one cent per gram. And, remember, it also swells to four times its volume once it's been cooked.

If you suffer from pesky cold sores, teff will help ramp up your system with banks of lysine.

Lysine is an important amino acid, responsible for confusing the herpes virus and preventing, or lessening, outbreaks of honking cold sores.


When that tingling sensation arrests your lip, it's also useful to steer clear of foods rich in arginine, which is the virus's preferred fodder. Arginine-rich foods include peanuts, red meat and spinach. Oh, well. This dessert will help bolster measures such as these.

A field of superfood teff

Supergrain Custard Pudding with cinnamon and vanilla

Dear Pope Francis, I concede. There really must be a God. Have you tasted this pudding?

You will need:

500ml/17fl oz water

¼ teaspoon sea salt

100g/4oz teff

3 tablespoons honey, maple syrup or brown rice syrup

3 tablespoons tahini or almond nut butter

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 large eggs, beaten

500ml/17fl oz soya, almond, hemp or oat milk

1 banana, mashed

100g/4oz dates or prunes, chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

2 tablespoons coconut sugar or other, to dust



Fire up your oven to 170°C, 325°F, Gas 3. Bring the water, the sea salt and the teff to a soft boil in a small saucepan with a lid. Cook the grain for 25 minutes, or until the water is fully absorbed.

While the teff is happy dancing, in a jug, blend the honey, maple syrup or brown rice syrup, whichever you are using, with the tahini or the almond nut butter, whichever you are using, with the ground cinnamon, until the mixture is sumptuously smooth. Now add the beaten eggs.

Pour this mixture into a bowl containing the soya, almond, hemp or oat milk, whichever you are using, and add the mashed banana, and the chopped prunes or dates, whichever you are using, and a splash of the vanilla paste or extract, whichever you're using.

Remove the cooked teff from the heat, stir it briskly and add to the milky mixture in the bowl.

Pour and scrape the milky teff mixture into a medium-sized pie dish, about the size of a magazine page. You're aiming for a pudding 2.5cm-4cm (1in-1.5in) in depth.

Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes. It should wobble slightly in the centre when removed.

Dust with the coconut sugar, or your preferred sugar, whichever you're using, and allow the pudding to cool for 45 minutes. This is an important step, so please quarantine all family members from the kitchen.

If you refrigerate the pudding, it will make a crazy, delicious breakfast for the week ahead, provided you don't annihilate it in one sitting. Good luck.

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