I have become more aware of what I've been eating lately, since Nick and I have been thinking about having a baby (yes, the cat's out of the bag if it wasn't already). I know I'm healthy, and my diet is prety stellar (if I do say so myself), but before getting pregnant it's important to make sure you're in tip-top shape both physically and mentally. I had quite a scare the other day when my doctor told me my liver enzymes were high, and of course I went right to WedMD and saw that it could mean I have Celiac Disease (but that was of course the only thing I saw out of a list a mile long of possible reasons). I was tested last year, but only via the blood antibiody test (ie: not the gold standard) but thankfully my doctor assured me that my results weren't high enough to warrant any concern. Phew! Either way, I've been trying to do as little gluten as possible, as I do know that I'm mildly gluten sensitive, and if my body needs to be ready to house a baby for 9 months, well, I better start eating to make it the healthiest it's been! And yes, that means little to no alcohol, and very little caffeine (I won't lie, that caffeine one has been tough. I'm down to 1.5 cups a day from about 3). So in mid-March I made a late resolution, of sorts, to start experimenting with new gluten free grains this year. I've tried amaranth, different colors and varieties of quinoa, and now it's teff time.
What's teff? It's a gluten free whole grain, duh! And here's a little more from the Bob's Redmill website;
|Teff. Raw. Beautiful|
I can see how this could be "polenta-like"....it's the same exact consistency of polenta once it's cooked. Kind of funky if you ask me.
When Jessie suggested I make teff pudding, I was.....confused. This stuff can turn to a delicious pudding? Yes, she said she makes teff pudding often and really enjoys it. I didn't quite understand. But after making the following recipe, I understood the obsession. Brace yourself. This polenta-like cooked grain can indeed turn into something wonderful and heavenly.
Chocolate Teff Pudding
2 cups water
1/2 cup raw teff grain
3 T cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 T maple syrup
2 t vanilla extract
pinch of salt
In a small pot, bring water and teff grain to a boil, then cover and simmer over very low heat for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Let cool to room temperature.
In a blender or food processor, blend cooked teff and remaining ingredients until smooth and light. Add additional water if it's too thick (**I liked it extra thick, but you may not!).
Pour into serving bowl, chill, and serve
When I showed the picture of this pudding to my mom, she sort of winced a bit. I insist, it's amazing. I actually ate this alone or with a little PB2 on top. I also found myself adding it to my morning fruit and yogurt "parfait". I think I'm done experimenting with teff because I've found its calling! Jessie, you were right, this is fantastic!
|Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1-serving|
Nutrition Highlights: Excellent source of fiber, good source of protein (hey, for a dessert, that's pretty cool, right?!)
The next gluten free grain on my list is millet. We'll see if it can top teff and amaranth! Any suggestions for millet recipes? I've already been given a few, but I'd love more!
Thanks for reading everyone, and enjoy your weekend! Tomorrow I get to ride in a 30-mile bike race for the Tour De Cure (a bike race put on by the American Diabetes Association). I'll admit it's been a while since I've ridden a bike, but I think my legs are in great shape so I'm pretty pumped (pun intended).
The Candid Rd