At the Table

Fudgy Teff Brownies

Apparently we’ve been on a weird food kick at the Walkup house the last couple of days.  My mom has been reading Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, and filling me in on the interesting parts.  Most recently has been the discussion of phytic acid, soaking grains, etc.  I can’t claim to know everything about the topic, but you should Google it if you’re interested.  Anyhow, the moral of my story is this: refined grains and flour don’t really bring that much to the table, and whole grains aren’t necessarily better for much more than added fiber.  I don’t know about you, but I want to get the most out of my food, money- and nutrition-wise.  I am trying to cut back on how much wheat we’re eating, substituting ingredients that are a little more nutritious and (hopefully) better for our bodies.

Which brings me to teff.  It isn’t the cheapest grain – it took about a dollar’s worth to make an 8″ pan of brownies, but it does have lots of fiber, protein, and minerals.  Skip the Pie (here) is a helpful site that shows nutritional comparisons of lots of different foods (like this one).  Teff has very little  phytic acid, so the body can take advantage of all its minerals, and it is a complete protein.  Oh, and it’s gluten free.

Teff Brownies

These are soft and moist, and not really gritty like I thought they might be.  The teff doesn’t have exactly the the same texture as wheat flour,  but I wouldn’t say that’s a negative thing.  It’s just different, though I can’t quite describe how.  Honestly, the alternative flour probably helps these brownies stay fudgy and gooey and chocolatey and other good words that end in -y.   The brownies are made with the baking trifecta of brown sugar, chocolate, and butter, for a rich, dark flavor.  I wouldn’t exactly say that they’re healthy, but at least there’s a little hippie food snuck in there.

Gluten Free Teff Brownies – Makes one 8×8″ pan, about 16 brownies

This recipe is adapted from Gluten Free Girl.

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
Scant 1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, only loosely packed
2  eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100 grams teff flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease an 8×8″ pan, or line with oiled parchment paper/foil.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring every so often.  Let it cool for 5 minutes or so.  Add the sugar and stir until it is dissolved. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring in between, and then add the vanilla extract. Add the teff flour and stir the batter thoroughly for at least 1 minute. Stir in in the nuts and chocolate chips

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake until the edges have begun to pull away from the pan and the center is just starting to set, 30-35 minutes.* Cool slightly, then remove the brownies from the pan (if you used parchment). Once the brownies have cooled sufficiently, have at them – cutting optional.  We just went at the pan with a fork.

*Note: The original recipe called for baking 20-25 minutes in a foil-lined metal pan.  We used parchment in a glass baking dish, and they were nowhere near done at that time.  It might be a good idea to check at the 25 minute mark, though. The top will start to look dry, and the inside fudgy (if you toothpick-test it) when they are done.

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