I personally love the teff grain and experienced it a few years back in an Ethiopian restaurant and admired the taste of the flour they used to make their flat bread called enjera.
One of the smallest grains in the world, it dates back to over 4000 years on this planet. I think what I love about eating gluten-free baking is that the grains and flours can be so densely nutritious. Teff is about 12% protein and it leads all other grains in its calcium content. A cup of cooked teff offers about 123mg of calcium which is comparable to a half-cup cooked spinach. Teff is also an excellent source of vitamin C, a micronutrient not commonly found in grains. It’s also very high in fibre and B vitamins.
Due to it’s earthy flavour, I thought it would make a fantastic brownie. I took the teff grain I had in the cupboard and put it in my Vitamix to whip and pulverize it into flour – so easy! After trying a few different combinations of ingredients, I came up with this incredibly delicious recipe.
Teff Brownies (Gluten-Free and Vegan)
1 Tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3 Tbsp water (let sit in separate bowl to thicken)
1/2 cup coconut oil or canola oil
1/2 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life are dairy-free and gluten-free)
3/4 cup sucanat or coconut sugar
1 cup apple sauce (or ½ cup applesauce plus ½ cup banana puree – love the texture)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup teff flour (teff flour and teff grain can be found in Whole Foods and other natural grocery stores)
1/4 cup sorghum flour (you can also use garbanzo bean flour or brown rice flour)
1/2 cup tapioca starch or arrowroot starch
1/3 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp sea salt
Heat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 or 9×9 square cake pan with parchment paper. (Either size is fine; you will get a deeper/higher brownie with a smaller diameter pan)
Add chia seeds to water and let sit for a minimum of 5 minutes to thicken.
Melt chocolate chips with the coconut oil over a double boiler. Add the sucanat or coconut sugar. Stir until combined. Remove from heat.
Place applesauce, balsamic vinegar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and stir. Add chia seed and water mixture and fold in.
Add the melted chocolate mixture to the applesauce mixture and stir with a sturdy spatula (my preference).
Place teff flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, xanthna gum and sea salt in a separate medium sized bowl and whisk to combine.
Now you can add the dry mix to the wet mix and stir well with a spatula. You don’t want to incorporate air bubbles by using an electric mixer so stir until well blended.
Pour batter into the parchment-paper lined cake pan and spread with a spatula if needed.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overbake. Brownies should always look a little raw to the touch if you want a gooey, dense brownie.
The finished brownie looks simply delicious. To cut it more easily, I let the pan cool first on the counter and then put the pan in the freezer and then when I take it out frozen, it’s much easier to cut and less breakable.
Let me know what you think!
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