Add a Boost of Flavor to Your Coffee By Grinding These Spices With the Beans

Sugar and syrups are a pretty standard way to add flavor to your coffee, but if you’re looking to add flavor and complexity without upping the sweetness, take a gander at your spice rack.

One of my least favorite habits is my tendency to buy a bottle of spices, use them once, and then let them sit on a shelf until they lose their flavor, potency, and dignity. Luckily, one of my favorite habits can help with this problem, as those “extra” spices are just begging to be brewed with coffee.

The process is super easy and requires no extra work on your part. (Which is great, because no one wants extra work in the morning.) Instead of grinding the spices and sprinkling them over your cup of caffeine, just grind them along with the beans and brew as usual. To find out which spices, seasonings, and flowers (yes, flowers!) would be good candidates, I raided my own semi-neglected spice rack and experimented.

Source: Add a Boost of Flavor to Your Coffee By Grinding These Spices With the Beans

Cleaning out the grinder only works for blade grinders. And blade grinders are not what you want to use for your coffee.  Two reasons: inconsistent grind and oil extraction. Both are extremely important to a good cup of coffee.

The more you get into coffee, the more it becomes a pain in the ass. The more you can taste it, the more you can taste what’s wrong with it. What used to be fantastic… is now inferior and rancid. Nothing is ever good enough. And there’s always a merchant to peddle you a solution.

So you need a steady supplier of the good stuff. Vacuum containers that attempt to stop time but eventually fail. Special upon special grinder that’s somehow never good enough. Oodles of machinery, always more expensive than the next, never as good as some Italian industrial apparatus but you keep trying.

This is not good enough so you start roasting your own beans, which is another arms race against dissatisfaction. Or looking for coffee that came out of the ass of a wildcat because it’s the most precious. On & on & on…

Have Granola Whenever You Please With This Super Quick Stove Top Recipe

The only drawback to homemade granola (superior to store-bought, on all counts, in my book) is finding the foresight to make large batches of it in advance. Maybe it’s just me, but my motivation for making anything is pretty closely tied to how soon I’m going to scarf it down.

Source: The Shortcut to Homemade Granola

The basic sequence of events is this: Add your fat and sweetener to your pan over medium-low heat and blend until everything is nice and liquid. Add in the grains and a pinch of salt and toast until golden (8-10 minutes). Mix in whatever nuts and seeds you like and cook for another couple of minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and sprinkle with your favorite spices (or toasted coconut and chocolate chips!) and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Break it up and throw it in some yogurt or milk and you have a tasty homemade breakfast.  Or anytime snack; granola shouldn’t be confined to the morning.

Transform Your Hot Chocolate by Simmering It With a Banana Peel

You’ve probably had a hot chocolate recently. And it probably came from an envelope. Today, we’re going to push that envelope. We’re going to push it far, far away.

The gold standard hot chocolate recipe is creamy, sweet, and a little rich. It’s almost perfect as is, but it can get better. Much better. Here are eight ways how.

Source: 8 Things You Can Do To Make Your Hot Chocolate Better Right Now

For lactose-intolerant, stir up your own hot cocoa mix with:

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder mixed with
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice optional

You can reduce the sugar a bit to taste. 2 1/2 tablespoons of this stirred into a cup of hot lactose free milk or soy milk or almond milk or whatever makes a wonderful, winter treat!

Make Granola from Anything You Have On Hand With This Ratio

Memorize this technique, and you’ll never buy granola again.

Source: Granola Is Better and Easier to Make Without a Recipe

Having trouble finding cost effective rolled oats?  Look for Quaker Rolled Oats in the cereal aisle.

Bonus: If you are making granola and you want big chunks, pack all your ingredients tightly together on a baking sheet (I find it easier on a lipped baking sheet but plain should work fine). Once the granola is baked and cooled, you can break it into chunks.