Bowls Over Plates: Teff Luck

The best vegan cooking combines nutrition, flavor, simplicity, and affordability. Few foods embody these qualities as well as teff. Teff is a dark ethiopian grain that’s the smallest, and one of the oldest, cultivated grains in the world. It has a rich, sweet, nutty flavor and a silky texture. It’s a great source of calcium, iron, protein, and fiber. Plus, it’s cheap and super easy to prepare. I use Bob’s Red Mill brand and–even with the added cashews, cranberries, raisins, and agave nectar–a hearty serving of teff porridge costs about a dollar.

Who says it’s too expensive to go vegan? Who says it’s bad for your health? Who says it requires a personal chef? Who says it takes too long?

People who haven’t had teff.

Teff Porridge:

  1. Boil teff in water at a ratio of one portion teff to four portions water (1 serving=1/4 cup teff).

2. Add agave nectar, toasted cashews, cranberries, and raisins to taste.

3. Enjoy.


About James McWilliams
I'm a historian and writer based in Austin, Texas. This blog is dedicated to exploring the ethics of eating animals and animal-based products.

7 Responses to Bowls Over Plates: Teff Luck

  1. John says:

    Please consider alternative to Bob’s Red Mill while they still fund vivisection in Oregon — and let Bob’s Red Mill know you are buying from a competitor!

    We need a critter friendly iphone app (and an agreement on what that might mean) to scan stuff at the health food store to make sure we do not enable an infrastructure of cruelty.

    The Teff looks good by the way and is a welcome recipe as my own vcooking is in a bad place at this time and everything tastes the same. Maybe i need a v intervention.

    John T. Maher

  2. John,
    Thanks. Yeah, I knew about this, but was (perhaps too easily?) persuaded by Bob’s claim that, “I assure you that no part of our donation will be used to fund animal research.” Here is his full response (as I’m sure you’ve seen):

    This is a tough issue, one that flirts with a slippery slope. If we boycott Bob for funding a hospital that does animal testing should we also boycott fruits and vegetables from farms that practice rodent control or use pesticides? I struggle with these kinds of questions and I wonder, if we keep asking them, if we’ll end up having no choices at all.

    My mind is open on this one.


  3. brian lindberg says:

    now you’re talkin’….will try eating and growing this.

  4. John says:

    Very valid point James. Wouldn’t it have been better for Bob to attach strings to his donation that all viv animal reserach cease? So easy for institutions to play a shell game with funding and, say, hypotheticaly earmark Bob’s dobnation to building new restrooms and buying a cetrifuge and therfeore freeing up other budget funding to be used for viv? We are all guilty of killing animals everyday so I am not saying do not kill, but we must take responsibility for such acts as preventing viv when we have a choice. We all also support the US Army through our tax dollars and the Army conducts viv on lots of critters — so we do not have a choice as to that but we do with Bob, who I believe may be being disingenuos in order to maintain a feel good pretense that his donation was for some sort of “good”. Aporia unbound.

    So yes we need full disclosure of smallholder and corporate farming practices in order to make a choice as to supportung those who use mousetraps or shoot deer nibbling the veggies or not. I try to purchase from one or two smallholders in NY associated with th non Happy Meat contingent of NOFA, but this is a self-limitation on choice and if I buy lettuce or hipster kale from California in the healthfood store I have no way of knowing who or whom the growers may kill and by what means. At least the NOFA smallholders do not make $25 million corporate donations which go to places which conduct viv andwhen the means of knowledge and choice is before me I do take responsibility for the choice to support viv or not. Derrida’s “Eating Well” may need not mean absolute but a relatve term indeed.

    Part of having choice must be demanding choices — and I do not mean the so-ca;;ed choices that a neoliberal economy pretends to offer. Ayer’s just wrote a very spot on piece in Stanford ALJ recently about the ability to even have choice in the consumer economy.

    John T. Maher

    • John,
      Very well put, and thanks for the useful link. I could not agree more about disclosure. So many of our choices are necessarily hedged by lack of information–much of it, of course, willfully withheld.

  5. John says:

    By the way, great post earlier this month in NYT on “sustainable” meat: The NYT usualy publishes what amounts to disinformation so I was surprised in a good way they published your piece which is critical to challengng assumptions. Greta job!

  6. India-Leigh says:

    sounds simple and satisfying. Have you made injera bread? It is on my list.

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