Creamy Banana Walnut Teff Porridge

 I swear this Teff porridge tastes a lot like “Malt-o-Meal.” Given that this whole grain has been used in Ethiopia for thousands of years, I am convinced Teff was probably the original “Malt-o-Meal.”

If you’ve had Ethiopian food, then it’s very likely that you’ve tried Teff before. When ground into flour, Teff is used to make injera— a fermented bread that is eaten with different sauces (like curries). The grain is more seed-like and can be used for porridges and stews.

Adding unsweetened plant-based milk (like almond, coconut, or soy), with banana and/or dates, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and chopped walnuts or almonds are a great way to jazz-up Teff and make a tasty, healthy breakfast!

When I made my teff porridge, I started following this Maple Walnut Teff Porridge Recipe from Oldways, but added more plant-based milk  and thought that a warmed banana would taste lovely in it too.  I also used cinnamon (to taste) and a little nutmeg instead of cardamom— turns out I don’t have cardamom in my pantry. Well, it was delicious! By the time I was done adding more plant-based milk, I found that the recipe made enough for at least 2.5- 3 people. I highly recommend adding more plant-based milk to the recipe if you want more of a creamy dish, and adding 1-2 bananas and/ or a few chopped dates to naturally sweeten it up. This makes it taste like banana bread.

Nutritional Spotlight

1/2 cup cooked teff  has 127 calories,  5 grams of protein, and 3.5 grams of fiber— making this a nutrition packed grain with high protein and fiber. Teff also contains a number of vitamins and minerals, such as calcium (6.2% DV), iron (15.6% DV), zinc (9.33% DV), thiamin (15.4%), Vitamin B6 (6.1% DV), Niacin (5.7% DV) and Folate (5.75%).For people with celiac disease, this is a gluten free grain.

Contrary to the book the Grain Brain (which honestly, I haven’t read)— whole grains are not the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. We can look at research of populations where people have had the low rates of Alzheimer’s disease— and see how diet changes impact disease outcomes.  When countries start to adopt “westernized” food patterns — more animal products, less plants— they start to see rates of chronic diseases like we see in the U.S. Whole grains have been found to lower risk for heart disease ,  type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer.

Creamy Banana Walnut Teff Porridge
Serves 4
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  1. 1 cup teff (grain not the flour)
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 1-2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk (I use soy)
  4. 3-4 ripe bananas (I used frozen ones)
  5. 1/2 cup walnuts (crushed/ chopped)
  6. 1 teaspoon cinnamon (add more to taste)
  1. In a pot, bring water to a boil and then add the teff. Reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook for several minutes until the teff starts to thicken.
  2. Add in the plant-based milk and continue to stir.
  3. Chop the bananas and add them to the pot. Allow the bananas to cook down. Continue to stir.
  4. Remove the porridge from the heat as it starts to thicken. Add in the chopped walnuts and stir.
  5. Serve the porridge immediately, or allow it to cool and continue to thicken.
  1. Note: I like to prepare my porridge the night before and store it in a glass container. It makes for a really fast breakfast in the morning. If you find that the porridge has thickened more as it sits, add additional plant-based milk for your liking.
Kristina DeMuth