When I married Joe, we registered for 2 coffee grinders. Everyone assumed we'd made a mistake, but we hadn't.
Joe uses one of the coffee grinders to grind coffee beans every night before he goes to bed.
We use the other one for all kinds of things, including many from this list:
10 Ways to Use a Coffee Grinder
- Grind fresh spices. Not all coffee grinders will work for this, but we use ours to grind peppercorns, cinnamon, and other spices into a fine powder. Simple Bites did a nice explanation of this idea a while back.
- Homemade spice blends. You can find dozens of spice mix recipes online. My favorite index at the moment is from About.com's Home Cooking section. It has a recipe for everything from curry powder to salt-free seasoning mix to BBQ seasoning to 5 spice powder. Almost all require a grinder to create the mix.
- Ground vanilla. Did you know that you can use ground vanilla beans in place of alcohol-based vanilla extract? You can. Just grind up the vanilla beans and then let the powder dry thoroughly before storing it in an airtight container.
- Homemade chili pepper flakes. If you like having hot pepper flakes on pizza and pasta, you'll love having fresh hot pepper flakes. It is very easy to grow hot peppers in a pot near a sunny window, and each chili pepper plant will produce dozens of tiny peppers. Hang them by the stems to dry out completely, then buzz through the coffee grinder. Homemade hot pepper flakes!
- Grind your own flax seeds. If you're eating flax seeds for the health benefits, hopefully, you're already grinding them. If not, start! Grinding flax seeds breaks down the undigestable hull, unlocking their omega-3 oils that your body needs. You can toss the ground seeds into almost anything for an instant nutritional boost.
- Make your own flour from any grain. We've never gone this far, but you can easily make your own flour using any grain, from wheat to quinoa, and a coffee grinder.
- Grind lavender flowers. In addition to smelling wonderful, flowers from your backyard lavender plant can be finely ground and used in a variety of recipes. They add color to salads, aroma and color to sugar, and can often replace rosemary. For even more uses, read this article.
- Grind oatmeal. Ground oatmeal can be used in two very different ways. First, ground oatmeal is perfect for babies. Grind it up, prepare as the box directs, and then feed it to baby. It's much healthier than the instant cereal you may be buying at the store. (Brown rice works well used the same way.) Second, oatmeal baths are very soothing for the skin. Almost any skin irritation (from eczema to poison ivy to bug bites) are much improved by adding a ½ cup or so of finely ground oatmeal to a warm bath and soaking for 20 to 30 minutes. When Grace's eczema flares up, she specifically requests an oatmeal bath. It really helps.
- Make superfine sugar. Superfine sugar dissolves very quickly, making it perfect for making drinks (like sweet tea) and in baked goods. If you are making a recipe that requires superfine sugar, why pay more for it? Whirl some normal sugar around in a grinder. It will soon become super fine. Be careful that it doesn't overheat, though, or else it will melt.
- Make a body scrub. This one is cheating a little, but I found some fabulous recipes online for making coffee-based body scrubs in a coffee grinder. I adore the smell (but not the taste) of coffee, so these really piqued my interest.
Do you have a coffee grinder? What do you use it for?
Have you seen the rest of the series?
- 10 Things to Make with a Bundt Pan
- 10 Things to Make with a Muffin Pan
- 10 Foods and 10 Crafts to Make with Cookie Cutters
- 10 Things to Make with a Scoop
- 10 Things to Make with a Mandoline
- 10 Things to Make in a Springform Pan
- 10 Uses for an Icing Decorator
- 10 Foods and 10 Crafts to Make with Bamboo Skewers