You miiiight have noticed by now that Birchbox staffers have an ever-so-slight obsession with food—from colorful veggies and delicious smoothies to festive cookies and fun cocktails. That’s why we’ve enlisted our in-house kitchen geek Nicole to share her cooking tips every week: seasonal ingredients, nifty tools, and must-try recipes.
I’ve been a coffee fiend since my high school days, when I’d consume too many mochas with whipped cream to mention. Now I keep it to the coffee-and-cream-no-sugar variety, but like many people, it’s still a part of my daily ritual. It just recently occurred to me to try coffee for something other than drinking, and while researching I discovered that there is WAY more to these beans than just a morning beverage. (Probably no-duh for some of you, but I was surprised by the long list of other uses!)
Coffee’s been waking people up since at least the fifteenth century in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen—and it’s said to have been waking up goats in Ethiopia long before that. Today, 54 percent of adults in America consume the caffeinated beverage daily.
As with everything though, moderation is key. Too much caffeine can land you with questionable breath (eep!), and you certainly should consult your doc if you have any medical issues. However, the reported possible benefits range from protecting your brain to helping to prevent Type 2 diabetes. Coffee is a great source of antioxidants, and can be a secret ingredient in sweet or savory recipes. This says nothing of its unconventional uses around the house or in your beauty routine.
Whether it’s a neat shot of espresso or an iced frappa-whatsit, most people enjoy their coffee from a drinking vessel. If this is you, read on for five tips on how to get the most from your grind.
The Grill. Coffee grounds are perfect for tenderizing grilled meats. Take a look at these rubs and marinades from SheKnows.
In Your Garden. And don’t waste those grounds! Used coffee grounds are awesome to fertilize your garden.
Neutralize Odor. Whether ridding your fridge and car of an invasive scent or taking a sniff between sampling fragrances, coffee is key here to start fresh.
Brighten Your Complexion. You can also use coffee grounds to exfoliate your face with a coffee/olive oil mask.
Are there any unexpected ways that you use coffee ingredients at home? Tell us in the comments below!
Looking for more ingredient and recipe ideas? Here’s more from the Birchbox Test Kitchen.