By Sara, Contributing Writer
One of the few not so normal kitchen gadgets I have come to really love is my burr grinder (a type of coffee grinder) devoted to spices and other small seeds!
My grinder is just a normal coffee grinder from Starbucks. I made sure to buy it before I no longer had an employee discount. It isn’t an everyday use item, but one I use to stock up or use for special occasions.
Spices and flavor can change boring but frugal beans into an amazing meal. And if you have a picky hubby or kids in the house you can also make their appearance and texture disappear into your favorite meals. Have you heard all the hype about freshly ground, or fresh cracked pepper? Well it is true – there is a world of difference.
It’s frugal. Whole dried herbs and spices retain their flavor much longer, so by grinding your own – as you used them – they last longer. You can also make your own spice mixtures and really get the flavors incorporated throughout the dish.
What can you grind?
- Most commonly I grind peppercorns, ’cause I use it in most every dish and I have yet to find a pepper mill I like, that actually lasts!
- Grow and dry your own herbs and prepare them for cooking flavorful dishes this way.
- Flax, chia or other small seeds. I’ve also made small amounts of oat flour.
- Anything small and dry! Dry your own organic lemon peels and make stuff like lemon pepper or lemon salt.
Try these yummy blends and dishes:
- Grind some coarse salt to “clean” your burr grinder, then use a dry cloth to wipe out. Now you have an [insert spice here] Salt all ready to use at your next meal.
- Grind prepared eggshells to sharpen the blades.
- Always use a funnel (and close windows) when pouring – will save you a mess! I have also used a clean sheet of paper to empty the dregs in the grinder, then folded that to get into the spice container.