One of the best things about being Celiac (can you even believe I’m saying that?!?!) is that I’ve discovered grains I might never have discovered! I was first introduced to the idea of exploring alternative grains when I met with my nutritionist, right after I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. She highly recommended that I begin experimenting with millet and teff and quinoa and a whole assortment of other grains.
One of my faves: teff. If you’ve ever had the good fortune to dine at an Ethiopian restaurant, you might’ve used injera bread to sopp up all the delicious foods they serve. Injera bread is made from teff flour. But beware, don’t assume that it’s gluten free. Sometimes, teff is mixed with wheat, so you ALWAYS have to ask the waitstaff about what the injera is made with. But if it’s all teff, you’re in luck. It’s spongy and lovely and great for dipping! I remember reading that the Ethiopian athletes who win marathons do so because of all the teff they eat – it’s full of protein! Maybe it’s a myth, but it sure makes sense to me.
I haven’t been fortunate enough to come across the teff grain, other than in ground flour form. Someday, I hope to try my hand at cooking the actual grain, but for now, teff flour has become a staple in my gluten free flour arsenal.
I got the recipe for Teff Banana Pancakes from a new book in my cookbook collection called Going Wild in the Kitchen and is written by Leslie Cerier. I love this cookbook for a number of reasons. First of all, it is filled with recipes that use grains that are gluten-free like teff, quinoa, amaranth, sorghum, and bhutanese red rice. And the other cool thing about this cookbook is that at the beginning of each chapter, the author has a page of “Mix and Match”, where she makes suggestions for substitutions. How great is that?!? I mean, how often has it happened to you, where you decide to make something from a recipe and you have every ingredient but one? Leslie makes it easy to substitute by making suggestions. Plus, after reading it, I felt empowered to begin thinking about making ingredient substitutions as a regular rule. It has helped me be a more creative cook. This cookbook, though not specifically gluten-free, has already become, in the short time I’ve had it, one of my go-to cookbooks.