Gluten Free Recipe of the Month: Teff Flour Brownies

December 6th, 2012 by

Managing the holidays with food allergies can tricky, and this month’s gluten free recipe provides an allergen free holiday treat you can bring with you to festive parties.  These brownies are also allergen free; free of peanuts, dairy, wheat, and gluten and are suitable for celiacs.  These teff flour brownies also use nutrient dense dates as a sweetener instead of processed, refined sugar.  
About Teff

Teff is a cereal grain native to Arabia and Southwestern Africa.  If you have ever dined on Ethiopian food, the main unleavened bread served is made with teff flour.  Teff comes from the Amharic word meaning “lost″ because teff grains are so small you could sow an entire field with what you could hold in your hand.  It wasn’t until late in the twentieth century that teff has become well known in the US thanks to some experimental farmers; even though it has been a dietary staple in other parts of the world for thousands of years. 

Teff has a mild, nutty flavor and is seriously nutrient dense.  Loaded with iron and calcium, teff contains a great deal more protein than other grains.  For a versatile gluten-free substitute, teff can be ground into a flour and used in baked goods.  It can also be cooked whole, steamed or boiled, as a great side dish.

Teff Flour Brownies

This gluten-free recipe has been adapted by Mum Mum’s dietitian and is sure to please anyone with a sweet tooth.

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 10 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup teff flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/3 cup bitter cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips (Sunspire chips are a great option)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a small saucepan, boil the water, then remove the pan from the heat, add the dates and cover.   After the dates sit for about 5 minutes, puree in a food processor or blender with the water. Transfer the puree into a mixing bowl and add the oil, vanilla, and maple syrup.  In a separate bowl, sift in the dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir to combine. Pour the stiff batter into an oiled 8″cake pan. Bake brownies for 40-60 minutes; brownies will be done when the center is firm and begins to pull away from the edges of the pan.

Helpful Hint:

The dates in this recipe provide a more wholesome replacement to sugar.  Allowing the dates to soak not only re-hydrates them, but also helps bind ingredients together since there are no eggs in this recipe.

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