Where to begin with this post. I feel like I haven't blogged for a long time, and it's only been what? A week? I guess that's partially because I've been busy multitasking and working on other things at the same time. I just finished a job designing and setting up a website and a few other things too. Whew! that can be time consuming. Great work though, and lot's of fun when you get creative with it. Especially the logos. If you're interested check out Back to Balance Health and have a look.
Anyway. I'm back!
In case you might be wondering I'm still going strong with the gluten free grain series. I know it's been a while since my last Great Grains post but I'm back with a new one today. And just to recap if you haven't been following along I've so far covered Millet, Buckwheat, and Amaranth. Now lets get to it shall we?
Today is all about Teff, which also happens to be one of my fave's next in line to amaranth.
Teff Notes & Qualities
Teff is actually a cereal grass that originated from Ethiopia many years ago and is cooked just like a grain. It is now grown a little closer to home, namely Idaho, and it can grow where many other crops won't. A handful of teff is enough to sow a whole field, and it cooks quickly. Its very tiny being the smallest grain in the world (less than 1mm in diameter – similar to a poppy seed). So tiny that its name literally means "lost". It has a mild nutty flavour like most other whole grains, with a really nice sweetness similar in taste to molasses. Its perfect for baking with! It makes a great alternative to wheat flours and contains no gluten.
One of the most nutritious grains (actually a seed) in the world, teff is very nutrient dense. Its a slow digesting carbohydrate which makes it the perfect addition to breakfast. Its and excellent source of fibre and protein and is extremely high in minerals with lots of iron (5mg), calcium (123 mg), magnesium (126mg), manganese, as well as phosphorus, potassium. Check out the nutrition profile for 1 cup cooked (1/4 cup dry):
If your are trying to make sure you get enough iron into your daily diet. It is important to note that certain vitamins (such as vitamin C) will enhance your body's ability to absorb the nutrient. A great example would be adding some sliced strawberries, kiwi, dried currants or raisins to your morning bowl of teff. Its very filling and provides plenty of good quality energy to get you through a busy morning. Its also great pre-workout fuel that makes for great workout performance.
Where to Buy
If you cannot find teff at your local health food store, bulk barn (if you're in Canada), or grocery store you can buy it online from http://www.teffco.com/ in 4, 5 and 25 pound bags. Both the grain and flour. The 5 and 25 pound bags come in either ivory or brown coloured teff. Bob's Red Mill also sells the grain and the flour, but their flour is not ground as finely. When in doubt Whole Foods is always sure to carry it, which is where I got mine.
Preparing & Cooking
Lately I've been spending a lot of time trying to come up with the perfect red fife scone recipe. I've had a couple of request's for them and have since been trying a few test recipes out. With Mother's Day just around the corner I also thought it would be nice to make them special for my mom. Scones have always been a special treat on my mom's side of the family. There also one of her favourite things, so I figured they would be perfect.
Being British and all you wouldn't expect anything less would you? hehehe.
These would be perfect for brunch, breakfast, or even with a cup of evening tea.
You might already have noticed how I like to do a lot of baking with red fife flour. It's a whole grain Canadian heritage flour that's healthy, high in protein and tastes great.
The red fife gives these scones a nice light texture with the perfect crispy outer crust that could rival any coffee shop bought scone. If you're one of those people that don't like the dry scone variety, then these are for you.
Red Fife Cinnamon Scones (makes 6 individual scones)
- 1 1/2 cups red fife flour
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1 large egg
For the topping:
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar or sucanat
- 2 tsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Scatter butter over the flour mixture and continue to blend (or cut in with a pastry cutter) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- In a small bowl, whisk together milk and egg. Add to the flour/butter mix and stir gently to combine just until there is no more dry flour visible.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently press and form into 6 individual scones or a 6 inch circle.
- Mix together topping ingredients, stirring with a fork. Then sprinkle over the dough.
- Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the tops and bottoms are lightly browned. Cool slightly and serve with butter.
- Depending on the heat of your oven you may want to cook the scones closer to the 20 minute mark, which is what I did having a rather hot oven.
If you like scones, here is my grandmother's classic english recipe Grandma's Currant Scones.
Happy Mother's Day!
Whenever I take a trip to Whole Paycheck, I mean Whole Foods, which doesn't happen as often as I might like, lunch is almost always planned at the hot and cold salad bar. There's just so much to choose from and you want it all! Every kind of veggie and greens you can think of, hot soup, I still have yet to try out the stir-fry station, and the bakery goodies are so tempting. But one of my favourite things to get is the Detox Salad. I've really wanted to re-create this one for a while now. I love how they list the ingredients on the label. The ingredient list is quite simple. There's broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, sunflower seeds, currants, parsley, lemon juice, raisins, kelp granules, salt, and pepper.
No wonder it's called a detox salad. Talk about your raw cruciferous vegetables! The broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots are the main body ingredients to the salad. They contain tons of vital nutrients that will help your body's natural detoxification system along the way and give it a little boost.
I love having this salad for lunch because it's one of those fast make ahead lunches that will have you set for the whole week.
It's super healthy and tastes great!
Once you start to add the sunflower seeds and dried fruits the salad really starts to come together. The sunflower seeds add some extra satisfying crunch and the currents and raisins give it some much needed natural sweetness to contrast the raw veggies.
The parsley and lemon juice add a nice fresh taste, but little did you know they also play a part in the detoxifying process. I didn't bother to add the kelp granules, but I did add pumpkin seeds.
Of course you could most definitely add whatever fresh herbs you prefer. I imagine mint and diced pinapple would be quite good in this together.
Detox Salad gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian (makes 8-10 cups)
- 2 heads of broccoli (stalks removed, and cut into florets)
- 2 1/2 cups of roughly cut cauliflower florets
- 3 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup dried currants
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/8-1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Place the broccoli florets into a food processor and pulse until chopped very fine. Empty out into a large bowl.
- Do the same with the cauliflower florets. Depending on the size of your food processor you may have to work in batches.
- Next add the carrots and pulse until finely chopped and add to the bowl along with the broccoli and cauliflower. Give it a good stir to mix everything together.
- Stir in the parsley, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins and currants. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
To store: keep refrigerated in a tightly sealed container. I like to keep it in a big sealed glass container because I find that the glass keeps the salad fresher than plastic.