Coffee Extract

You can buy coffee extract in the store for about $7 per ounce or you can make your own! The Jody Victor crew came across a recipe for just that!

Ingredients
1 1/2 to 2 cups of vodka (for gluten free, choose a non-grain alcohol)
1/2 cup of coffee beans, ground coffee beans, or instant coffee

You will grind your beans if you are using whole beans (grinding enough to equal 1/2 cup.) Place the vodka into a blender and add the coffee grounds to the blender. Blend for about five minutes. Don’t let the mixture get too hot.

After this you will need to strain out the grounds. In the blog post, the author said the coffee didn’t drain well through a filter and recommends using a muslin bag to extract the grounds.

If you want an even stronger extract, you can put the strained liquid back into the blender and add more grounds and straining again. You can use the extract along with chocolate flavors to make a lovely mocha flavor. Use it to make coffee flavored ice cream as well.

Read the full post.

How Much Butter in Your Coffee?

While it is not an entirely unheard of practice in the West, many might turn their nose up at the concept of mixing butter into their coffee or tea. However, this unusual combination is popular around the world. The practice is popular in places like Tibet where heavily salted yak butter is mixed in strong black tea.

This traditional beverage is probably a little intense for first-timers. However, fear not. Nutritionist Lily Nicholas (RDN, CDE, CLT), has some recipe suggestions and some information about the potential health benefits of using butter in your coffee or tea.

Nicholas suggests that newbies start with a low dose of butter as many people are no longer used to “real food fats”. Too much at once can trigger cramping or diarrhea. A newbie’s digestive system will need time to adjust.

She also suggests that some people may prefer coconut oil as an alternative to butter to get those good fats (and MCTs), but the beverage won’t whip up in a creamy fashion if you use only coconut oil. Nicholas states that using high-quality, unsalted butter from grass-fed cows is ideal. Regular off-the-shelf butter may not produce a high-quality beverage—Nicholas admits to being a butter snob, however. Finally, blend-blend-blend is her mantra if you want a beverage that resembles a latte and not a cup of coffee with oil blobs of butter floating around.

Nicholas notes that those who have trouble eating breakfast in the morning might find this unusual beverage beneficial because:

  1. It doesn’t overwhelm your digestive system with a heavy load of food, but does provide some necessary calories (from fat) to carry you through part of your morning.
  2. Because that energy is coming from fat, it does this without giving you rebound hypoglycemia (or in real talk, crazy hanger, low energy, and cravings that you usually get after a typical high carb meal, like cereal or oatmeal).

Next she suggests the coffee-butter-beverage to those who, despite their best efforts, are always starting before lunch. She writes, “Since fat stabilizes your blood sugar without raising or lowering it, adding it to your coffee or tea is the perfect addition to make breakfast more satiating long term. It’s fantastic for those of us who easily go hypoglycemic (ahem- me!).”

While it might not be the most pleasant thought, Nicholas suggests the beverage as a possible, natural cure to frequent constipation as fats are essential to keeping your digestive system working smoothly. She also suggests butter as an additive that will benefit people who are hyper sensitive to caffeine, “Anecdotally, having fat along with your morning dose of caffeine can dampen its effects.”

She notes also that this beverage could be a major boon to those trying to lose weight. She notes that in the morning the body is less efficient at breaking down carbs and that the body favors fats as morning fuel. She also notes that such a beverage could be part of a ketogenic diet, which relies more on fats than carbs. Nicholas also back tracks to remind readers that this beverage should help people hold out until lunch with fewer snacks.

Finally, she notes that while both coffee and tea have excellent antioxidant levels, milk proteins negate their benefits. Butter, on the other hand, contains very few milk proteins making it an excellent real dairy substitute for those looking to benefit from antioxidants in coffee and tea.

Coffee and Cooking: Amish Pot Roast

While coffee is probably one of the most common beverages in our world, presumably being consumed by millions of people every morning, coffee can play more roles than that of a beverage. In fact, coffee is often used as an ingredient in baking and cooking.

One recipe including coffee as an ingredient that has made the rounds on the internet is one called “Amish Pot Roast”. While you are sure to find many variations on this recipe if you search, the recipe found below is standard recipe based on Google’s top hits for “Amish Pot Roast”. It is straight forward and sure to become a family favorite. Especially for anyone who is a “meat and potatoes” person.

Ingredients
• 3-4 lb. beef roast (rump)
• 1 tbsp. oil
• ¼ c. soy sauce
• 1 c. coffee
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 garlic clove minced
• ½ tsp. oregano
• 2 onions, sliced

Instructions
1. Sear roast in 1 tablespoon oil on all sides in heavy Dutch oven.
2. Pour sauce over meat.
3. Put half of onions on meat, the other half in sauce.
4. Cover and roast 4-5 hours at 325 degrees.

Experiment with the amount of coffee. Some recipes call for instant coffee rather than regular grounds. Many people elect to include carrots and potatoes to the recipe so you’ve got a “one pot meal”. You can add these veggies straight to the pan with the roast, though 4-5 hours is a long time for carrots and potatoes. You can also substitute a round or tip roast if you prefer – with the price of beef these days you may want to buy whatever is on sale. Remember that in cooking spices are all “to taste”. If you want a bit more garlic or want to leave out the Bay leaves, go for it! Make the recipe your own.

Cooking with Coffee

Ever consider making a dry rub with finely ground coffee. Mix in your favorite spices, maybe some chili powder, some sugar, salt, and pepper. Simply sprinkle over the steaks and pat it in. Let rest at room temp for about half an hour. Either broil or grill the steak 4-6 minutes each side for medium-rare (or preferred doneness).

Here are some suggested amounts:
3 TB finely ground coffee
1 TB chili powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper

If you have a favorite ingredient, you can add it as well or substitute any of the above for your favorite (just leave in the coffee!)

Rosemary Coffee

The Victor crew came across an interesting flavor profile for coffee: Rosemary Coffee. There is a hotel in Charleston, SC called The Restoration that has a coffee bar called The Rise in their public space. They receive coffees and teas from all over the world. They also blend teas with notes of poppy, chamomile, and lavender. The thought of rosemary iced coffee sounds wonderful! But I can’t go all the way down to Charleston to get it!

Search engines to the rescue! Here are some variations we found:

Rosemary Simple Syrup:
3-5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water

Bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring constantly until dissolved. Add rosemary and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Turn to low and for another 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit 15-30 minutes to desired flavor. Add to your cold-brewed coffee in the amount you crave.