Teff Date Nut Coffee Quick Bread

datenut (1)

teff date nut coffee quick bread photo by vsimon

Is this temping or what?

I like to play with my food, and new ingredients. There was a bag of teff flour in the freezer, calling me.

There were a couple of ideas floating around in my head. And I searched online for other ideas. There aren’t many recipes online for teff. Maybe because teff is hard to find, it is expensive, and it is brown.

Yes, the flour is beautifully brown. I hear there is an ivory variety, but not at my store. Still, it is a highly nutritious gluten free whole grain. And it tastes good. Learn more about teff, seeds and flour, here.

Most often I use it for simple pancakes. Just teff flour, no mixtures. And the pancakes are brown. I think they are lovely, but some folks will object to the color.

I easily converted a wheat based date bread recipe from allrecipes. This uses just teff flour. Who wants to mix 15, or even three gluten free flours together?

And starches? Forget about it! They are as devoid of nutrition as sugar, so you won’t find them here. Also, there is only half as much sugar as the original recipe. The dates make it plenty sweet, I didn’t want a tooth ache.

Adding xanthan is a must. Using 3 mini tins instead of a regular loaf pan helps too.

The final dish must still taste great, have normal texture, and look inviting. This recipe does it all.

Teff Date Nut Coffee Quick Bread

yield 3 mini loaves

1 cup chopped dates

1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

1 cup very hot water

1 1/2 cups teff

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup oil

1 egg, beaten

Warm oven to 350 degrees.

Oil 3 mini loaf pans and put on a rimmed sheet pan for easy movement in and out of the oven.

In a small bowl: mix dates, coffee powder, and water. Set aside while dates plump and the mixture cools a bit.

In a big bowl: mix teff flour, pecans, sugar, xanthan, salt, and soda. Mix thoroughly so there are no clumps of xanthan or soda. Pinch any little clumps of soda with your fingers to break them up.

Add oil and beaten egg to the liquid date mixture. Stir it up well.

Add liquid date mixture to flour mixture. Stir to combine thoroughly. Allow mixture to rest for about 5 minutes so the xanthan can hydrate.

Equally divide batter into 3 mini pans.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Completely cool before cutting.

These freeze beautifully, very nice for make ahead gluten free gifts.

Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Or, if you must, chance warming in the microwave to thaw. Sans any metal tins of course.


You may like our Chocolate Angel Food Cake, also made with 100% teff flour. See that posting here.

There is a tasty gingerbread recipe by Jacqueline Mallorca here. Scroll way to the end. I made it in a 9” round pan for prettier presentation. And topped it with whipped cream and diced candied ginger.


This post was submitted to the January 2011 edition of Go Ahead Honey, It Is Gluten Free. Hosted by the amazing Lauren at Celiac Teen.

Sorghum Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies

What is an easy way to convert a popular wheat flour recipe to gluten free? And ensure it is successful, with a soft texture, and even whole grain?


sorghum, peanut butter, chocolate chip blondies photo by vsimon

Three steps to convert a baked treat to gluten free.

  1. Substitute whole grain sorghum flour for the wheat flour, measure for measure.
  2. Add xanthan. Start with 1 teaspoon per 1 cup flour.
  3. Add some water to batter if it seems too stiff. Xanthan needs water to hydrate it. There was no water in the original recipe. I started with a tablespoon, that didn’t seem like enough. I added another and it looked good. Bingo, it cooked up perfectly.

Texture, yeah! It is good!

Not dry, not crumbly, not gooey, not slimy.

These bars are light textured, yet they compress to a pleasant chewiness when you bite into them.

It is fun to serve them with extra chopped peanuts and chocolate chips. (These are not included in the ingredients below.)

This blondie is soft and holds together well. So you can press the edge of the bar into the extra tasty bits on the plate and they stick.  Interactive food, I like that.


If there are any bars left over, they last several days without getting dry. Be sure to cover them tightly though.

You can also double the recipe and freeze some for later. Bake in two 8×8 inch pans, or one 9×13 inch pan. When I double the recipe I use 3 whole eggs, instead of 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites. It is just easier.

Additional changes

I added chopped peanuts to the original recipe for more crunch and flavor. And reduced the total sugar, switching to dark brown sugar instead of white sugar. These are still plenty sweet for me.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies

Adapted from Cooking Light

Yield 16 servings

Ingredients Metric measures
1 cup sorghum flour 135 gm
1 teaspoon xanthan 4 gm
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips 45 gm
¼ cup chopped peanuts 30 gm
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 2 gm
1/8 teaspoon salt pinch
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar 180 gm
1/4 cup peanut butter 65 gm
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 15 ml
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 5 ml
1 large egg 50 gm
1 large egg white 25 gm
2 tablespoons water 30 ml

Preheat oven to 350°.

Oil the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan (do not coat sides of pan).

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.

Combine flour, xanthan, chocolate chips, soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

Combine sugar and remaining ingredients in a bigger bowl; stir until well-blended. Add flour mixture, mixing thoroughly.

Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean.

Cool on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.

Allergic to peanuts?

I have not tried tree nut or seed butters in the recipe, but I think they would work. Please let us know if you try them and how you like the result.

C is for Corn


Corn flour, masa, grits, corn meal, whole kernel. Let me count the ways I love corn. It is the flavor, texture and aroma I crave. The best way to describe it is, well corny.


 Naturally gluten free corn products are available in white, yellow, and even blue. With many, many textures and shapes. Think of curly, crisp and crunchy tortilla chips. Flat and chewy corn tortillas. A puddle of smooth and filling Italian polenta. Or grits to southerners, or even called corn meal mush by some. And tender, pleasantly crumbly, and slightly gritty corn meal muffins. Here you expect and enjoy crumbly and gritty. It’s not the same as the unpleasant qualities found in so many gluten free baked goods.

 Muffins are what we will make today. Double corn muffins, with corn flour and corn meal. You could even change it up to Triple Corn Muffins by adding about a half-cup of corn kernels if you like.

Masa harina is flour made from corn soaked in lime then dried before grinding. In a side-by-side taste test, it is a tiny bit sweeter than regular corn flour. But not enough to notice otherwise. You might notice the difference in a savory corn bread recipe, maybe. You surely would not notice in a sweet recipe.

A few words about corn flour versus cornstarch. Corn flour is ground from the whole kernel. Cornstarch is so highly refined it has only calories, not any other nutrition. IMHO, gluten free baked goods rely far too heavily on refined starches and empty calories.  Masa harina in the ethnic section of my grocery store is much cheaper than certified gluten free flour. You will have to be the judge if it is safe for you to eat. I suggest calling the manufacturer and asking how it is made.

So our recipe uses corn flour. It is available as wholegrain flour. Organic or not. Enriched or not. White or yellow. Certified gluten free, or not.
Another (small) benefit of Masa is nutritional. Soaking the corn in lime adds calcium, and makes the thiamine easy for our bodies to use. Still, you need to eat an awful lot of masa to get significant amounts.


My preference is masa harina. Usually I love whole grain flours, but whole grain corn flour has an unpleasant “off” flavor that stays too long in the back of my throat. And, yes, I store flours in the freezer, so I doubt it was rancid. Like many people, I hate throwing food away. So I used the whole bag. But I ended up mixing it with other flours to dilute the taste. To be fair, maybe I just got a particularly strong tasting batch. Please let me know if you like the flavor of whole grain corn flour and I might reconsider.


A few words about corn meal. It is available in medium or coarse grind. In white, yellow or blue. A restaurant nearby makes outstanding blue cornbread. But at home, I use yellow cornmeal. I like a sunny yellow corn muffin and I use the same yellow cornmeal for polenta too. Blue polenta just does not appeal.


Double Corn Meal Muffins



Double Corn Muffins photo by lsimon

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup yellow corn flour or masa

½ tsp xanthan

2/3 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk, lactose free works well

1/3 cup oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


Oil muffin tins or line with muffin papers. I like to spray the paper liners with cooking spray. Just make sure it is gluten free.


In a medium bowl, completely blend dry ingredients together (cornmeal through salt).


In a small bowl, thoroughly combine eggs, milk, and oil.


Add the egg mixture to cornmeal mixture and combine thoroughly.


Allow batter to sit and thicken for at least 5 minutes. This gives the xanthan and flour time to hydrate. You will be rewarded with pretty rounded craggy crowns on your muffins.  


Spoon into muffin cups.


Bake for 20-22 minutes.



To make savory cornbread– omit the sugar and bake in 8” square or round pan. Using a cast iron pan is traditional and you can increase the iron content of the bread.