This week marks the one year anniversary of my blog, Notes from a Gluten-Free Kitchen. I never really envisioned myself as a blogger, but the experience of keeping this rather public cooking journal has been both a satisfying and challenging part of my year. I’ve loved having the opportunity to meet so many new friends, both “virtually” and at cooking events. I also appreciate the accountability that has come along with it. Working on new recipes and posts each week keeps me on my toes!
Perhaps most importantly, though, the passage of time has taught me a little more about my personal style, which appears (to me) to be that of a cooking instructor. I’m a curious cook, always trying to explore new ingredients and cuisines of faraway lands, and I like to share that knowledge with others. I think knowing how to cook is an indispensable skill that every person needs to learn. And while I’m probably not the one you’ll turn to for intimate family stories or anecdotes about my day, if you’re looking for straightforward cooking instruction and great new recipes then I’m your gal.
Personal retrospective aside, I also looked back over the recipes of the past year to make sure I’m covering all the bases, especially in terms of gluten-free ingredients. There was one glaring omission. Where’s the teff?! How could I forget to include this tiny gluten-free gem? The minuscule teff (sometimes spelled tef) grain, indigenous to Africa, packs a nutritional punch, being high in protein, calcium, and vitamin C. Purchase teff either as a whole grain (brown or ivory) or ground into flour. (Sources for teff flour include Bob’s Red Mill and The Teff Company.) The most traditional use of teff is in the Ethiopian bread injera, but do use caution when ordering that in a restaurant as they’ve likely added wheat flour as well. Personally I love teff cooked into a savory polenta, a sweet porridge, or these simple waffles.
Assuming you have a waffle iron, whipping up a batch of waffles takes no time at all. I used teff flour alone as the waffle base–no collection of starches and gums here–with surprisingly pleasant textural results. A hint of allspice flavors the batter (my daughter says the waffles “taste like Christmas”), but you can use cinnamon if you’d rather. Fresh raspberries taste great on top–I suspect other berries would, too–along with a drizzle of warm maple syrup. I hope you enjoy them!
What are some ways you incorporate teff in your cooking? Leave a note in the comments. Cheers! ~LbR