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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Multiple Uses for Electrical Coffee Bean Grinder - Besides Coffee beans

In my kitchen I have one of those small black Krups electric coffee grinders that I love to use every morning. I have had this gadget for about twelve years as it was a Christmas present from my parents. There is some definite satisfaction to the whirling sound and pulse of grinding up the beans to begin the day. I also enjoy the pleasant aroma produced by grinding up coffee beans. I believe this gadget seems too limited to be used strictly for coffee beans. There are a number of practical items that this device can safely chop and grind before reaching for other gadgets. I understand a bean grinder was designed for coffee beans only and coffee purists will tell you so. There are those times though when laziness sets in and you can get by using a coffee grinder to grind up many other items without having to reach for the bulky food processor or blender. As long as the grinder is wiped clean of debris before and after each use, it should do a great job of grinding and not cross contaminate tastes for your next cup of joe. I hate to state the obvious here but when it comes time to clean the gadget, never immerse in water or any cleaning solution!


Ok. So here is my list of items that I consider grind worthy, other that coffee beans. If you can think of more grind worthy items, feel free to share.

Nuts

One of the best ways to use chop up peanuts, pecans, and walnuts is through an electric coffee grinder. Shelled pistachios are also great ground up in this grinder. Hold off on this endeavor if you will be serving coffee in the near future to someone that has tree nut allergies. As good as you may manage to wipe the inside and outside clean, there is still potential for peanut dust to remain which could be disaster when serving a future cup of coffee to a nut allergy sufferer.

Granola

Ever get that tasty large box of granola that contains really large honey oat clusters that need to be broken down? Why not use the coffee grinder? The grinder gets the oat blend small enough to be a perfect topping for yogurt snack.

Peppermints

Usually around the Christmas holidays there will be a cake frosting dessert or ice cream recipe that requires crushed peppermint candy canes or Starbright mints. The coffee grinder is an excellent way to get this confection broken down even further. Put a few broken pieces and set aside for additive to hot chocolate. Avoid over grinding the mints or any sweet confection as the blender will get hotter the longer the pulse, which could melt done some of the sugar dust, leaving a mess.

Spices and Herbs

The gadget works perfectly for sizing down sweet spices such as fresh nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. If you prefer to blend or finely mince herbs such as dried oregano or parsley, place them in the grinder for about ten seconds and give it whirl.

I do hold to one golden rule to alternate electric coffee grinder use. Do not use an electric coffee grinder for wet or moist ingredients such as fruit, vegetables, or any water based items. Those items should be broken down in food processor or blender.

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