Top Health Benefits of Coffee – Tips on Preparation of Coffee

Coffee

Coffee is probably the one thing that you absolutely cannot live without. If you feel like this then you’re certainly not alone – millions of Americans are addicted to this delicious beverage. Not only does your morning cup give you the energy to face the rest of your day, but it’s actually also full of surprising health benefits of coffee.

However, due to the caffeine content and the risks associated with consuming high quantities of caffeine, you should try to keep your consumption to a minimum. Coffee is naturally low in calories, which makes it an acceptable drink to consume if you’re on a diet; but be careful if you’re not drinking it black, because adding sugar, milk or any other flavorings immediately makes it more fattening. Coffee is also a diuretic, which means that it will make you urinate more often, and if you drink too much this could result in dehydration. So ideally you should drink one glass of water for every cup of coffee that you consume in order to ensure that you stay properly hydrated.

Health Benefits of Coffee

Burn Fat

Black coffee is naturally low in calories, with an 8-ounce cup containing only 2 calories and 0 grams of fat. The caffeine found in coffee is actually a natural fat burner, which works by speeding up your metabolism and stimulating your central nervous system.

There is after all a good reason that in most fat-burning creams and supplements, caffeine is the main acting ingredient. So don’t hesitate to incorporate coffee into your diet if you’re trying to lose weight – but as with most things in life, moderation is key, and be very careful with whatever ‘extras’ you add as they can add lots of unnecessary calories to your intake.

Taking green tea also helps to burn fat, blood sugar, and blood cancer prevention. You can look around my article health benefits of green tea for a healthy life.

Antioxidants & Vitamins

Packed full of antioxidants, coffee can help reduce your risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation in your body. At the moment, Americans get the most antioxidants from regular consumption of coffee, compared to both fruits and vegetables combined. Antioxidants can also help prevent several types of canc`11ers, such as liver, breast and colon cancer, making coffee is a good health tip that great ally in staying fresh. Coffee also contains a surprising amount of vitamins; specifically, one cup contains 3 percent of your recommended daily intake of potassium and manganese, 11 percent of your vitamin B2 RDI, 6 percent of your vitamin B5 RDI and 2 percent of B1 and B3 vitamins. So the more cups you drink, the closer you are to reaching your daily vitamin intake goals.

Diabetes Prevention

Studies have shown that people who drink coffee on a regular basis can benefit from a 23 – 67 percent reduction in the risk of contracting type II diabetes. Furthermore, every additional cup you drink lowers your risk by another 7 percent. Or more simply stated, the more coffee you drink, the less chance you have of becoming a diabetic. This is thanks to both the high antioxidant content of coffee, but also to coffee’s ability to reduce high blood glucose levels.

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Prevention

Coffee also has the power to protect you from certain age-related degenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Coffee drinkers actually have a 60 percent less chance of developing these two diseases, so make sure you drink up while you’re still young!

How to Find and Buy Coffee

Finding coffee is not only incredibly easy, but it’s probably also second nature to you by now. Ground coffee can be found in supermarkets and health food stores, as well as some convenience stores. Whole coffee beans can be a little bit harder to find, and I would highly recommend heading to your nearest coffee grinder where you can find the best quality beans, and even get them ground on the spot, if you prefer.

Of course there is also instant coffee, which is very easy to find at the supermarket, and is even easier to make. Instant coffee can come in all sorts of flavors as well, so if you like drinking cappuccinos but can’t be bothered to go through the whole process of making one, you might want to look into some of the brands that make instant ones.

You can also now find high-quality coffee in capsules or pods, like those made by Nespresso or Senseo. Nespresso can only be found in their own stores or online, whereas Senseo pods are a bit more readily available.

How to store coffee

The way that you should store coffee depends on what form you buy it in.

Pre-ground coffee loses its freshness much faster than the actual beans do, so if you buy coffee in this form, you should make sure to consume it as quickly as possible. Ideally, you will want to finish a can of ground coffee in a maximum of two weeks, assuming that you are storing it in a sealed, airtight container.

Whole beans last a bit longer, staying fresh for up to about a month. If you do buy beans, then you should only ground them at the very last minute in order to ensure that your cup of Joe is as fresh and tasty as possible.

You should ideally store your coffee, in whatever form, at room temperature, or in a cold, dark place. Make sure that it won’t be exposed to sunlight or any form of heat, and be sure to keep it in an airtight container. Avoid the freezer at all costs, as not only will it dry out your coffee, but it can also affect the taste – and you definitely don’t want your cup of coffee tasting like the inside of your freezer. If you absolutely must store your coffee in the freezer, then make sure to wrap it extremely well in aluminum foil and seal it to the best of your ability; it can keep this way for up to a month.

But whatever you do, don’t ever open a bag of pre-ground coffee and then store it in the freezer after you’ve opened it, taking it out and putting it back in every time you want to make yourself a cup. This repeated change in temperature will ruin your coffee grounds beyond repair, resulting in a very unpleasant tasting cup.

Tips on Preparation

There are so many different ways to prepare coffee apart from just having it black. First of all you can try adding some milk or half and half to dilute it and make it creamier. Sugar can be added according to taste, just as other flavorings like cinnamon, cacao powder, chocolate or nutmeg. You can also try experimenting with artificial flavorings to recreate your favorite Starbucks beverage; try adding a shot of vanilla, hazelnut, caramel or mocha syrup to add some extra flavor.

You can also try making your own cold coffee, which is perfect for the summer time. All you need to do is make your coffee how you like it, and then add loads of cold milk or ice cubes. Nothing beats an ice latte on a hot summer day.

Super Energy Bars

Like sugar and trans fats, caffeine has snuck into processed foods while we weren’t watching. Even jelly beans come with caffeine now. However, one of the many benefits of preparing your own food is that you know what you are putting into your food, and this bar is a great way to get a dose of caffeine (and you know it is there!).

Servings: 20

Ingredients:

  • Two (2) cups of flour, whole wheat
  • One (1) cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Half (1/2) cup of sesame seeds
  • Half (1/2) cup of pumpkin seeds
  • Half (1/2) cup of sunflower seeds
  • Half (1/2) cup of flax seeds
  • 3/4 cup of raisins
  • Half (1/2) cup of chocolate chips, dark
  • One (1) and a half (1/2) cups of peanut butter
  • One (1) cup applesauce
  • Fourth (1/4) cup of agave nectar or honey
  • One (1) teaspoon of vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Heat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Stir the dry ingredients in a bowl
  3. Pour in the vanilla, honey, and peanut butter. Mix together.
  4. Butter or oil a large baking pan and put the mix onto the pan.
  5. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Let it cool and then cut into pieces. Refrigerate.

Coffee-Balsamic Marinade

Coffee can be quite acidic. I like to prepare the exact amount I’m going to drink, although I do often end up with a cold pot of coffee at the end of the day. I turn off the burner to reduce acidity. Growing up my parents had a pot on the burner all day long and by the end of the day it seemed like if they spilled the coffee it was so acidic it would eat a hole right down to the bedrock. This marinade uses the natural acidity of coffee to add flavor and depth and it works really well with strongly flavored meat such as lamb, goat, or beef.

Ingredients:

  • Half (1/2) teaspoon of Instant-Coffee
  • Half (1/2) cup of hot water
  • Three (3) tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • Three (3) tablespoons of dark brown sugar
  • One (1) tablespoon of Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Three (3) cloves of minced garlic
  • Two (2) teaspoons of black pepper, crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

Method:

  1. Pour the coffee into the hot water and dissolve in a bowl.
  2. Mix in the brown sugar, garlic, salt/pepper, vinegar and oil.
  3. Pour 1/2 a cup over beef or lamb to marinate. Keep the rest of the liquid for basting.

Coffee Salad Rio

Servings: 3

Ingredients:

  • One (1) 3 oz. package of orange flavored gelatin
  • One (1) tablespoon of instant decaf coffee
  • One (1) cup of boiling water
  • Fourth (1/4) cup of cold water
  • One (1) 8 3/4 oz. can of crushed pineapple
  • Fourth (1/4) cup of chopped nuts
  • Half (1/2) cup of coconut, flaked
  • One (1) 3 oz. package of soft cream cheese

Method:

  1. Put the instant coffee and the gelatin into boiling water and dissolve.
  2. Pour in the cold water and blend the cream cheese in until it’s thick.
  3. Mix in the coconut, nuts, and pineapple.
  4. Pour into separate molds and chill until it turns firm.
  5. Serve on top of greens.

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Pops

Made with Vietnamese iced coffee (super strong brewed coffee and condensed milk) this is a frozen pop that I wouldn’t suggest that you give to children.

You will need a mold for iced pops and wooden sticks. Place the sticks into the pops about an hour and half after you place in the freezer.

Ingredients:

  • Three fourths (3/4) cup of strong roast coffee grounds
  • Two (2) cups of water
  • One (1) 14 oz. can of condensed milk, sweetened
  • One (1) cup of heavy cream

Method:

  1. Brew up the coffee with the water, makes about 1.5 cups.
  2. Put the coffee and the condensed milk in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Pour in the cream, cover and refrigerate for two hours.
  4. Stir the mixture and pour into popsicle molds. Freeze for 6 hours.

Perfect Iced Coffee

Although I like to drink my coffee in the magic anti-oxidant window of fifteen minutes after brewing, I usually can’t drink all of the coffee I make. I turn off the burner, and often end the day with a half pot of coffee. I will use the coffee for a quickly made, impromptu iced coffee drink but recently it occurred to me that I could do it properly and after trying some recipes came across this one that will produce a great cup of iced coffee.

Servings: 24

Ingredients:

  • One (1) lb. of ground coffee
  • Eight (8) quarts of cold water
  • Half-and-half for each serving
  • Condensed milk, sweetened, for each serving

Method:

  1. Mix the coffee grounds into the water. Let it sit for 8 hours, covered.
  2. Put cheesecloth onto a strainer. Pour the coffee mixture through the strainer. Let all of the liquid go through and get rid of the grounds.
  3. Put the coffee into the fridge and let it cool. Use when needed.
  4. Put ice into a glass and fill the glass with coffee. Add a bit of half and half. Pour in some condensed milk and mix. Adjust the milk as needed.
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