By Tanya McCausland of Home Cooked Healing

Love ginger snaps? Me too. I have a fabulous recipe to share with you, but first I want to introduce you to a very versatile grain that you’ll need for this recipe: Teff. You may not have heard of it before, but here’s why you’ll definitely want to know about it…

If you’ve eaten the bread in an Ethiopian restaurant (known as injera) you’ve eaten teff. It’s a miniscule grain native to Ethiopia where it is a staple and important carbohydrate source for the country’s elite runners. If teff gives them the fuel to run at the speed of light,  just imagine what it can do for you.

Teff is a good source of protein and fiber both of which are important for managing blood sugar, keeping you satisfied and clear of the office candy bowl. Plus, it’s loaded with calcium and vitamin C to help keep your bones and immune system strong and it’s gluten free. You can buy it at most health food stores as the whole grain or as teff flour.

You can use teff grain as a replacement for rice in soups and salads or cook it into a creamy porridge for breakfast. To cook teff combine 1 cup of teff grain with 1 cup of water, bring to a boil, lower to simmer for 6-7 minutes. Shut off the heat and let stand covered for five minutes. For a creamier texture combine 1 cup of teff grain with 3 cups of water, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Now, about those ginger snaps! My favorite way to use teff is to bake with the flour. As we get closer to the holidays it seems like cakes, cookies and pies start surfacing everywhere we look threatening our svelte waistlines. But, not to fear my dear! Here is my recipe for Guilt and Gluten Free Ginger Snaps that will whittle your waistline and tickle your taste buds!

Guilt and Gluten Free Ginger Snaps

Ingredients:

2 cups brown teff flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup all natural peanut butter or almond butter (if your nut butter is thick set it out on the counter or near the preheating stove while you’re gathering your other ingredients)
½ cup molasses
½ cup real organic maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl. Pour wet ingredients over dry and blend until just combined. Be careful to not over mix. If your batter seems to thick to mix add a tablespoon of water and continue to mix. Add small amounts of water if it’s still too thick.

3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silpat. Scoop small balls of the batter with a spoon (a little smaller than golf ball size) and place on the parchment paper. No need to flatten, you can just leave them in mounds. Place in the oven and bake for 11 minutes. Remove from oven immediately and place directly on wire rack to cool.

About this Contributor: Tanya McCausland is a Health and Culinary Coach in Alameda, CA She inspires, encourages and motivates her clients to create a life of health and balance through delicious food and simple lifestyle changes. She believes that our kitchens have the ability to heal – we just have to stock our pantries with real food and not be afraid to wield a wooden spoon every so often!