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ritual (and teff banana bread granola)

My experience of late, and that of many others with whom I’ve talked, is one of time hurtling forward. Faster and faster. Dizzying and relentless. Defying nearly all efforts to rein it in.

One thing I’ve found allows me to pull back just a bit. To pause. To notice the moment and savor it. And that is ritual.

Not elaborate or time-consuming ritual (indeed that’s the very thing I am trying to avoid—the rapid consumption of time). Rather: ritual as slow, mindful attentiveness in what would otherwise be a routine moment in my day, so as to bring me back to the present.

Most often, the opportunity to weave ritual into my day arises during my morning routine. Coffee: boil the water in the gooseneck kettle, measure and grind the beans, watch the coffee trickle through the glass carafe. Nourishment: a morning meal that will give me energy and strength to move through my day. A meal like this teff granola.

I’ve sung the praises of teff before, and will take this opportunity to do so again—an appropriate moment as today is National Gluten-Free Day! Teff is an ancient grain, best known as the key ingredient of the Ethiopian flatbread injera. The flavor is nutty, reminiscent of hazelnuts. The grain and its flour are versatile, and can be used in everything from breads, muffins, and cookies, to veggie burgers, “polenta,” and falafel. It is a nutritional powerhouse, high in protein, iron, and calcium. Once I discovered it, teff became my go-to flour for waffles and baked goods. The flavor and texture are superior among gluten-free grains.

Here, I incorporate Maskal brand Teff into a crunchy, nutty, flavorful, and nutritious banana bread granola. Maskal Teff offers a variety of premier teff products, from the whole grain (which also makes an excellent porridge) to teff flour, in both brown and ivory varieties. The flour is ground fresh daily and is of the highest quality—I order it in bulk. The grain is delicate to the tongue but hardy in the field; Maskal Teff is grown in my neighbor state of Idaho. I cannot recommend it highly enough! This granola recipe provides a great introduction to teff if you’re wanting to give it a go. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about it—please just drop a note in the comments!

Teff Banana Bread Granola

This breakfast is the best of two worlds: granola (obviously!) and banana bread. Sweetened with maple syrup and banana, warmly spiced with cinnamon and vanilla, and studded with walnuts, the teff and oat clusters (those clusters!) bake up crunchy and pair perfectly with yogurt or your favorite milk. Plus the kitchen smells heavenly when it’s baking!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and that your breakfasts offer an opportunity to savor and enjoy a ritual pause in your day.

Ingredients:

Dry ingredients: 1 C (200 g) whole grain Maskal Teff 2 C (200 g) gluten-free rolled oats 1 C (100 g) roughly chopped raw walnuts 1/2 C (25 g) coconut flakes 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp sea salt

Wet ingredients: 1/4 C olive oil 1/4 C real maple syrup 2 medium, ripe bananas (~200 g, peeled) 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 300F (150C).

  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.

  4. Place the wet ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.

  5. Pour the wet ingredient mixture over the dry ingredients and stir with a large spoon until well-combined.

  6. Place the granola mixture onto the parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet and use a spoon to press it down into a relatively uniform layer about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.

  7. Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through the cooking time.

  8. When done, the granola will have dried out substantially, but will still have a bit of moisture. It will harden as it cools. If you think it needs a bit more baking time, stir and place back in the oven for 5-minute intervals, ensuring it does not burn.

  9. Give the finished granola a stir and let it cool on the baking sheet.

  10. When cool, store in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze for longer storage.

Disclosure: this post is sponsored by Maskal Teff. All text and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Coffee and Woodsmoke!

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