Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gluten-Free Breakfast : Teff Grain + Sucanat


Ever since going gluten-free thanks to Celiac Disease, I have been a huge fan of Teff grain for breakfast. This is what takes the place of the old pre-gluten-free days morning cereals (like Cream Of Wheat, e.g.). In fact, though my memory of Cream of Wheat is rather dated now, I would swear that the tiny little Teff grain, once cooked, has a very similar consistency to Cream of Wheat, but with considerable added flavor and the advantage of being Gluten-Free (plus high-fiber too!).

I absolutely love teff for a morning meal - filling, nutritious, and delicous!

I simply use Bob's Red Mill Teff Grain and cook it on the stovetop. Sometimes I will add some molasses into the mix, and/or cinammon, but another more recent variation for me has been the addition of Sucanat to the equation. To borrow from Wikipedia the definition of Sucanat:
Sucanat (a contraction of "Sugar Cane Natural") is non-refined cane sugar. Unlike refined and processed white sugar, Sucanat retains its molasses content; it is essentially pure dried sugar cane juice. The juice is extracted by mechanical processes, heated and cooled at which point the small brown grainy crystals are formed.
I was lucky enough to find Sucanat for the quite-reasonable price of $1.30 per pound at a county store near our new house.


That is a picture of the same cooked gluten-free teff cereal with a bit of sucanat on top. And, Teff is not the only receiving-dish for sucanat in my household... I love the stuff on baked Acorn Squash, Pumkin, and more. Sucanat is quite handy and versatile. I consider it much like molasses or brown sugar, but with the advantage of being able to shake it onto my foods easier and more accurately, and with a different texture.

Moving (in progress)...
Not only is that cooked teff cereal great tasting, it is simple to prepare, and has been saving me a ton of time in the morning lately. I find Teff filling enough to keep me going for many hours, which has been necessary with all the long days of putting fresh paint on the rooms in our house as we prepare for our move which is to commence shortly if all stays on schedule.

Been busy packing, and since I never did come up with any super idea for how to unload my current gluten-free recipes cookbooks inventory in a hurry, I still have to move those. I donated a few cases of books to various charities and Celiac-Disease organizations around the country that promised to donate the proceeds of any sales to charity too, so that helped some... but, the rest of my current Gluten-Free Desserts books are soon going by way of truck to the new house and office [note: I am not looking forward to moving those things! eek!]

Spring has sprung...
In the meantime, I hope all my Gluten-Free Blog readers are enjoying Spring. I snapped some pictures (in our current yard) showing my favorite season at its best. Here's one thing I will miss at the new house: a yard of beautiful large trees - in this case, a large Locust tree - but, trees make gardening on a larger scale a bit rough, so a change is required.


And, our current side flower-garden is starting to take shape for the year...


Now, this next picture may freak out all you spider-haters out there...
My wife discovered this little ball of life huddling together under a lily leaf... it is a mass of baby garden spiders (those yellow and black type that get HUGE when they grow up)...

They sure are neat looking, are they not?! And, just lightly blowing on them causes them to temporarily disperse, and then contract back together again shortly after. Quite a sight to see.

Well, back to packing and preparations for moving. Just figured I'd quickly share some pictures and my love of gluten-free teff (and sucanat) while I had a spare moment during a Spring rain downpour that started a few minutes ago and seems to be concluding already. enjoy!

11 comments:

Sarah said...

Thanks for the Teff Tip. Always looking for new and delicious/healthy breakfast options. And I am an avid spider-hater, although I kinda like them because of their benefit to my garden. Thankfully, Alaska really is the place to live if spiders aren't your thing...I'm sure glad we don't have those yucky spiders up here.

Lynnette Kraft said...

Sounds interesting. I'll have to give it a try.

kitschen said...

Hey Mike! I am LOVING the cookbook, it's so inspiring!! I didn't even realize before buying it that you don't use any gums, that was a wonderful surprise :)

Just wondering...have you ever ground your own teff flour?? I bought a bag of whole grains thinking it was flour, and I've been trying to decide if I can do it in a coffee/spice grinder. Any thoughts?

Becky, slave of Christ said...

That spider picture is amazing. Baby scary critters can be deceptively cute.

I bought some teff a while ago, but I haven't tried it yet. I will now!

Gluten free Kay said...

My local Kroger stores used to carry sucanat in their "healthy food" section. But I've been to three stores and I'm betting they discontinued it. Rats! The health food stores all carry Now brand. I've had some reactions to their products and would like to avoid them. Maple sugar prices have skyrocketed in the past few months.

I found some coconut palm sugar I'm going to try. First time I've ever seen it. I've tasted a bite. It's sweet. I like it.

I might give your teff breakfast a try. I own some teff, but have been scared to try it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Mike Eberhart said...

Sarah, I will have to keep Alaska in mind if I ever develop a spider-allergy to match the gluten-allergy :)

Kitschen; nope, have not ground my own teff flour. In fact, a flour-grinder is on my "wish list" for the year, and I want one that makes really, really fine flour for cakes, etc. Glad you like the book, and even more glad you enjoy the gum-free nature of the recipes (gums, especially Xanthan, "destroy" me it seems... nearly like gluten).

Kay, sorry your store does not have Sucanat anymore. I have stumbled upon it at a few places, but this Amish/Menonite country store I found was by far the cheapest I have ever seen. Good luck with the teff if you get around to trying it.

Marty said...

Oh, I'm so excited! I'm allergic to most grains, but teff is a grain I can use and I like it. I never thought about cooking the whole grain, but tomorrow I'm heading to the health food store to buy the whole grain. I miss cereal for breakfast so badly!

Thank you!

mikeleaf said...

great informational blog! keep up the good work, check out my blog while your at it!

Cheap Soma Online said...

I've never had this before. Is this as good as cream of wheat or better? and where do you get suconat?

Tereza said...

I've never heard of Teff but will be on the lookout next time I go shopping. Newly gluten free over here:)

wayne said...

If any of you have trouble finding teff, it is a click away at teffco.com
Wayne