In the ongoing effort to get more nutritional bang for my buck, when cooking AND baking, I’ve been turning more and more to what I call “better” grains. Quinoa, farro, and the like not only provide so many more nutrients than their simple-carb relatives, they actually taste better too! Rather than simply serving as a backdrop for whatever I mix in/add on, these grains stand on their own, with great texture and complex flavor.
And my newest favorite grain? Teff. Long a staple in Ethiopian cooking and baking, teff has recently gained popularity in the states, appearing on many 2015 food trend lists (with the likes of pistachios) and has been coined “the new quinoa.” Though it is the world’s tiniest grain, it is jam-packed with nutrients: fiber, protein, iron, and calcium (to name a few). In addition, it is naturally gluten-free — a real bonus for those looking to bake and cook without flour.
An easy way to start incorporating teff into your baked goods is to swap out one fourth of the all-purpose flour called for in any of your recipes for the same amount of teff flour (which is now commonly found in many grocery stores, including most large chains and natural food stores). This works best in cookies, muffins, and quick breads.
Or you can dive right in and make these delicious Teff Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies! Made with only a few simple ingredients, these came together very quickly, and had the same texture and flavor as classic peanut butter cookies. They are easily made vegan with dairy-free chocolate chips, and you can substitute any nut butter you like for the peanut butter.
My family can typically sense a “healthy” cookie from a mile away and prejudge accordingly. But no one was the wiser as the taste test began. And everyone agreed that these were a bona fide success — a nice balance of salty-sweet, with the crispy on the edges/chewy in the center texture that my guys love!
Teff Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Bob’s Red Mill
Makes: 2 1/2-3 dozen
- 1 1/2 cups teff flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup peanut butter (or any nut butter)
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Flaky sea salt, for garnishing on top (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a mixer or food processor combine all ingredients except chocolate chips. Blend until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Chill batter until firm enough to shape (at least 30 minutes). Using a tablespoon or small scoop, form small balls and place on your prepared baking sheets. Use a fork to slightly flatten the balls, making a crisscross pattern. Top each cookie with a bit of flaky sea salt, if desired.
- Bake for 13 minutes. Remove from oven and cool cookies on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.