Move over oatmeal, give another hot breakfast cereal a chance.

I first tried teff last year when I randomly added a bag of it onto a Bob’s Red Mill order I placed. In an effort to expand my “whole grains and legumes” repertoire, I began experimenting. You might be familiar with teff if you have eaten Ethiopian food. The bread, injera, is made with teff flour. This cereal is made with the full grain, though the particles are so small, it looks like it is ground. 

A recipe for this breakfast cereal is on the back of the Bob’s Red Mill package so it seemed like an obvious place to get started with whole grain teff. I have an affinity for clove scent and I love hot breakfast cereal so I expected to enjoy the porridge. The first time I ate it, I not only loved the flavor, I had a huge boost of energy afterwards. The following days after eating the porridge, I experienced a similar boost leading me to believe it was no coincidence but something in this magical grain that gave turbo energy.

One of my friends suggested that Ethiopian runners (known to be some of the best long distance runners in the world) may get their energy from teff in their diet. I also heard from someone that it is high in iron and I often have a deficiency.  Whatever the reason, I am convinced that this cereal keeps my engine running strong.

I must admit that I am the only one in my family that liked this porridge. My husband has an issue with the texture and the kids…. well, they are kids.

I recently read this post on the Harvard Common Press blog, Blog EATS and got a chuckle over Dan’s rant about trendy ingredients including kale and quinoa. Well, if you want to steer your ship into less chartered waters, teff is something new for you to explore. Go ahead, do it now and when everyone else discovers its magical powers, you and I can roll our eyes and tell them we’ve been eating teff for years.


Teff Porridge with Raisins, Walnuts & Clove
Adapted from Bob’s Red Mill
Makes 6 servings

1 cup whole grain teff (not teff flour)
3 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
toasted walnuts (or pecans)
heavy cream or milk for serving (optional)

Toast the teff grains in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the grains emit a toasty aroma, about 3-4 minutes.

Slowly add the boiling water, butter and cloves. Stir well. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent any lumps from forming. Stir in salt and honey. Cover and continue cooking until the grains are tender and the porridge is at your desired consistency. Add more water, if necessary to thin out the mixture.

When the porridge is completely cooked, remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Ladle into individual serving bowls and sprinkle with walnuts, raisins and an extra drizzle of honey. Top with cream, if desired.