Teff pancakes

On Valentine’s day, start your day with these great-tasting and heart-healthy pancakes made with teff flour. Native to Ethiopia and the surrounding African region, the flour is gluten-free and a wonderful option for people with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. Even people who are not sensitive to gluten can enjoy this light and easy-to-digest flour.

Made from small grains that look like poppy seeds, teff flour (the white kind) has a mild nutty flavour. Packed with protein, fibre, calcium, iron, minerals and vitamins, teff is very good for you.

Because it is a whole grain flour, baking or cooking with teff can promote healthy blood vessels and reduce the risk of heart disease. It also has a low glycemic index, making it beneficial for people who need to manage their blood sugar levels.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Teff pancakes

Makes 7 pancakes

Wet ingredients

  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce + 1 tablespoon (tbsp) ground chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk + 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar (see note below for a smoother batter)*
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil

Dry ingredients

  • 1¼ cups white teff flour
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar (date, cane or maple sugar)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) baking soda
  • 1 tsp powdered cinnamon (option)

*Notes: You can add a bit more almond milk (1 – 2 tbsps) for a smoother batter, but don’t over do it as you don’t want a batter that is too thin and end up with crepe-like pancakes. You can grind chia seeds with a small coffee grinder or blender. You can substitute the apple sauce with ½ cup mashed banana and omit the chia seeds.


1. In a small bowl, mix the applesauce with the ground chia and let this sit for 5-7 minutes to thicken.

2. Add the apple cider to the cup of almond milk and let this sit for 5-7 minutes to make non-dairy buttermilk.

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

4. Pour the almond milk and applesauce into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Add the oil and hand whisk to combine. If need be, add 1 or 2 tbsps of extra almond milk.

6. On medium-high, heat a skillet lightly greased with vegetable based butter. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low.

7. Drop the batter in the hot skillet 1/4 cup at a time, lightly spreading the batter with the back of a spoon to form a 1/4 inch thick (under 1 cm) pancake. It doesn’t have to be perfectly round. Fry for 2-3 minutes – until you see some air holes at surface and the edges turn golden. Flip over with a stainless steel spatula and fry the other side for one minute, or so.

Serve immediately with maple syrup and fresh fruit.

If you are making many, fry one pancake at a time and stack them up on a dish in the oven on low heat. If you are extra fussy, you can separate each pancake with a small piece of parchment paper. Serve immediately.

Store leftover batter in a container for one day in fridge. When making pancakes with leftover batter, add 1 to 2 tbsps of almond milk since it will be slightly thicker.

Important pancake tip from the cook:  Have you ever noticed how the first pancake is never as well done as the subsequent ones? It’s always the trial pancake that the cook eats, right? Why is that? That’s because your skillet needs to heat up evenly across the surface. And, when you make that very first pancake, it absorbs just enough of the fat on the cooking surface so that the subsequent ones will cook evenly. That very first pancake is the one that preps your skillet. So, just make that first pancake very small, be quiet and enjoy it! The other ones will be perfect! I promise.

Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

5 thoughts on “Teff pancakes

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