Spring Teff Breakfast Porridge
Looking for a quick, hearty, easy to make breakfast? Try teff!
Growing up I loved hot cereals for breakfast and while oats were always available at our house my favorite was cream of wheat. I noticed however that it didn’t give me the energy or digestive support I was looking for. The answer I found was switching to teff! Similar in consistency to cream of wheat, but slightly heartier and nutritious this became one of my favorite go-to breakfasts for the whole family. Teff was introduced to me as a beloved staple of Ethiopia where it grows as lovegrass and later is harvest for the grain. Often made into a delicious savory slow cooked stew we also enjoy it for breakfast spiced with aromatic herbs and island spice it feels nourishing yet easy to digest as we start the day.
In Ayurveda breakfast is consumed often as ghee, warm milk and the intake of medicinal herbs upon the first signs of hunger on rising. Somedays though we really feel more is needed and porridge is usually just enough to be satisfied and still hungry for lunch. Before jumping into the recipe let’s talk about the qualities of teff to make sure it is right for you!
Who is teff best for?
Teff is a dry warmer grain which makes it ideal during the cooler, damper days of Spring or if you have a damp Autumn. These qualities help dry excess mucus from the system which is different to most grains which are more heavy in nature. It is light and easy to digest so perfect when you feel hungry yet are looking for something that won’t weight the system down. Those those with more heat or lightness in the body (excess Vata or Pitta dosha) adding oils, sweets or fats can help balance out the light, dry, heating aspects of teff which can make it suitable for most people during the Spring season. We share a few variations in our recipe below making it suitable for each constitution in moderation. If you have a greater tendency towards excess Kapha dosha teff might be a great staple for your regular diet. For those with more Pitta and Vata we would recommend you eat it in moderation.
For those of you looking for a heavier, sweeter more nourishing dish for breakfast try our Rice Pudding recipe. We like to toggle between the two depending on the state of our digestion and the season. For example as mentioned in the Spring we look for lighter, easier to digest foods that help keep ama (undigested food particles) from accumulating and help lighten the system after the building phase of winter. You will notice naturally however the sun takes a toll on digestion so as summer intensity increases, digestion naturally decreases and by autumn we usually feel like we need to build ourselves back up. This is a great time to try the Rice Pudding instead of teff, unless you have days of sluggishness or gloomy rain when teffs light, dry heat are welcoming.
Feel confused of what to eat when? Try teff this Spring!
We totally get it! This is why instead of focusing on dosha diets we like to talk about the qualities of food, the qualities of how you feel, and what is happening in the world around you. It may seem overwhelming and a stretch at first to shift mindset in this way but over time it gets easier and easier. We promise! The best way to start is to look at the examples we share on this site. Read about the food discussed and then try it and take time to notice how you actually feel. Over time this creates a subtle awareness and new groove of knowledge that makes food choices become easier and easier for both you and your family. Best yet our team of Ayurvedic Health Advisors offers a FREE 30 Minute Digestive Wellness Session where they can simply and swiftly discuss with you where you are at now, where you want to be in terms of gut health AND give you a few simple tips to jump start the journey. Be sure to sign up for your session today! Now for the recipe!
Spring Teff Breakfast Porridge
Prep Time: 2 Minutes
Cooking Time: 10 Minutes
Total time: 12 Minutes
- 2/3 cup dry teff
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 clove buds
- 1 dry bay leaf
- tiny pinch of Himalayan Salt
For Heavy or Sluggish Digestion (excess Kapha, Meda, or Ama expressed as phlegm, brain fog, lethargy, excess weight, poor digestion)
- 1/8 tsp dry ginger
For those with easy digestion, warmer days, already feel light and clear (Pitta, Vata, Early Summer, Autumn and Early Winter)
- 1/2 tsp ghee or coconut oil
- 1/8 cup raisins
- maple syrup to taste
- almond slivers or coconut topping