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Feeling like Goldilock? Have Cream of Teff!

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It’s still summertime, right? Felt a bit chilly this morning! Which was why I wanted something hot for breakfast. Ever have Cream of Wheat? Or cornmeal cereal AKA grits? I used to, when I was sick of oatmeal. Now, those two aren’t an option anymore. But oatmeal still is. How much oatmeal can one really eat, though? I used to love having it every other day or so, but now if I have it once in two weeks, that’s more than plenty for me. Looks like I’ve had more than my share of oatmeal these days.

Brown teff grains

So what else can I have? I looked in my pantry, to see if I could find anything. Then a bag stood out to me. I’ve used it only once before. Teff grains. I’ve had teff flour before. Been using it for years. But the grain itself? So I thought to myself, why not? Many people aren’t familiar with teff, and they are missing out! It’s an AMAZING grain! It is native to Ethiopia, and has an abundance of nutrients! Including 8 essential amino acids (including lysine, more than wheat or barley), protein (perfect for vegetarians and vegans alike!), calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, aluminum, iron, copper, zinc, boron, barium and thiamine. Teff is also high in carbohydrates and fiber. Did I convince you yet? No?

It has a nutty taste to it, almost brany, yet its different. It feels lighter to me, and when you cook it in a porridge form, it’s as if you’re eating a darker version of Cream of Wheat! Now, that might be a hyperbole, since I do not remember what it tastes like. All I know is that Cream of Teff is a delicious way to start off my day! And it’s SO easy to cook with. Really.

For one person:

1/2 cup teff grain

1 1/2 cup water

Cooking Teff

Cream of Teff

1.) Combine in a small saucepan, and cook until it’s boiling. Reduce to simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the water is mostly absorbed.

2.) Eat it.

Seriously, that’s all it takes. You can find teff at health food stores, including one of the most well-known ones around: Whole Foods. Running there yet? By the way, if you want more or less, just keep this in mind: it’s 1 to 3 ratio, teff to water. Which means if you want to cook a cup of teff, use 3 cups of water.

I ate mine with rice milk and blueberry honey for breakfast today. Mmmmm! I think I’ll make some more later this week, if the weather stays cool. Sure, it’s August, but if it’s a rainy day like today? I want something hot. So teff, it is!

Now it’s obvious that I think highly of Teff! I’ll move on to this fantastic eatery in the town of Amherst, MA. Heard of Judie’s? Well, if you haven’t, now you have! Check it out. I promise it will be worth the drive! It does not have a separate menu for those with food allergies, but if you let them know, they will take care of you. They do have a section on the menu saying to ask about gluten-free selections.

When I got there with my boyfriend and his family, we were greeted by the owner, Judie. After listening to some of her recommendations of what we should order, I told her that I couldn’t have what she suggested due to my food allergies. No wheat, no corn, no soy, I said. Did that freak her out, or disappoint her? No! Instead she saw it as an exciting challenge. After being shown the way to our table by Judie personally, we all sat down and opened our menus. The beautiful restaurant was vibrant with colorful paintings that reminded us of this game called Dixit. If you don’t know what that is, go and google it. Seriously. One of the best games EVER.

Anyways, back to the restaurant. Judie proceeded to tell me to try this dish, Drunken Scallops. I was about to point out that it was a pasta dish when she stopped me with a kind, knowing smile. Instead of pasta, I would have risotto, she said. Oooo. A delicious substitute, already? Judie’s is famed for their popovers, but understanding that I couldn’t have it, she offered a larger salad with almonds. Was I interested in that? Boy, was I ever! She transformed the dish on the menu into something edible for me. Instead of beer batter, she was having scallops cooked in a way that wouldn’t make me sick. With a smile, she told me that it would be worth my time. Believing her, I felt confident in the dish that would appear before me.

The servers were extremely attentive to us! Our glasses remained full of water, our salads lush with its greens, and smiles were shared all around.

Then the food arrived.

A bed of collard and leeks, topped with risotto, mixed with vegetables, and HUGE scallops on top of it all. My first bite? Judie was there to witness a delirious smile appear on my face. I gobbled it all up. It was a huge dish, yet not one morsel of rice was left on the plate.

And the day after? No stomach pains, no itchiness or headaches. I call that a success! Mmmm, I’m already looking forward to my next visit at Judie’s!

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