Having a little grinder appliance around your kitchen is very handy when you want to impress someone with a super-fresh cup of coffee or a bowl of oatmeal sprinkled with just-ground flax, but there’s a limit on the number of appliances that the average cook wants in his/her kitchen (unless you’re Jeffrey Steingarten). Thankfully, if you have a masticating juicer, there’s no need to run out and buy a separate grinder. As you’ve probably noticed by now, your juicer can do lots of things other than juice: churn out fresh nut butter, whip up icy-sweet sorbets, and squeeze out a batch of fresh nut milk. And now, it can grind up your coffee and flax for the best breakfasts ever.
Why not just buy pre-ground coffee? Um, don’t ever let a Chicago/Seattle/NYC/Portland/LA barista hear you saying that. There’s honestly no comparison between pre-ground and freshly-ground beans. When you’re making a cup of joe early in the morning (or late in the evening, HI GRAD STUDENTS), you want to grind the beans as close to brewing as possible, because the flavor of the beans starts to escape the moment you grind them up. In other words, if you get your beans ground at the grocery store, you’ll be trailing that delicious coffee flavor all the way home.
And why grind flaxseeds, for goodness sake? Apparently it’s way healthier that way. The nutrients start escaping the flax once it’s ground, so for maximum nutrients, grind only what you need, and store the rest of your flax as whole seeds. Here’s a good article on grinding flax fresh–and yes, it’s from a horse nutrition site.
Convinced yet? Great.
Here’s how to use your juicer to get some aromatic, flavorful, nutrition-packed grinds:
1. Put in the homogenizing blank (I describe what that is here). Set out something to catch the grinds.
2. Measure out the amount of coffee or flax that you need. Remember, only grind as much as you’re going to use. That’s the whole point of this nonsense! And yes, making a solitary cup of coffee or grinding some fresh flax to sprinkle on one bowl of oatmeal may feel time consuming, but think of it as living in the moment.
3. Carefully and slowly pour the coffee beans or flax seeds through your juicer. Stay back a little in case a stray coffee bean decides to jump out of the juicer and bonk you on the forehead.
4. If grinding coffee, please take a moment to appreciate the wonderful smell.
5. Done! Enjoy the taste of true freshness, and never go back those terrible pre-ground days of yore.
photo attribute: Mac Pale