To you, nothing tastes better than a cup of coffee infused with hazelnuts, cashews, or almonds. You’ve tried nut extract, but it doesn’t beat the real deal that your favorite café adds to a cup of coffee. Then you had the thought that you too can make nutty coffee at home by grinding nuts in a coffee grinder. Is it doable?
Yes, you can grind most nuts in a coffee grinder, especially a burr grinder. That type of grinder will ensure the nuts are ground into a fine powder that you can then stir into your coffee. Try grinding some spices as well!
This article will be your guide to using your coffee grinder to grind ingredients other than coffee beans. You’ll learn which grinders are best for the job, how it’s done, and whether nuts lose their nutritional value when they’re grounded.
Let’s get started!
So, Can You Grind Nuts in a Coffee Grinder?
There comes a time in every coffee lover’s life when they’ll wonder if their coffee grinder can grind things outside of beans. Although this curiosity might sound like the path to a broken coffee grinder, if you choose your ingredients carefully, you’ll learn that most grinders are useful for way more than just coffee.
Does that include nuts? It does indeed, but with a caveat. If the nuts are roughly the size of coffee beans or smaller, then you can safely grind them. Yet if they’re too large, they can potentially damage the coffee grinder.
For example, almonds can go into a coffee grinder, but chestnuts? More than likely, not.
The Best Type of Coffee Grinder for Grinding Nuts
If you’ve read this blog, then you should know that not all coffee grinders are created equally. Blade grinders, for example, have a reputation for creating static electricity that leaves the coffee beans (or in this case, nuts) stuck to the sides of the grinder. What’s worse is the inconsistency of the ground product.
We’re sure you want a fine nut powder, not shards of hazelnut or almond in your coffee, right? That’s a choking hazard, after all.
That’s why we can’t recommend a burr grinder enough. Burr grinders are named after the burrs within the grinder. A burr is a long plate-like piece that has serrations on the sides. They’re ceramic or metal for durability.
The burrs move in tandem to produce consistently ground coffee every time, the same of which you cannot say if you use a blade grinder. Whether you like a flat or conical burr grinder better, both will do a great job at grinding nuts.
Yet burr grinders are admittedly expensive, costing more than $50 on average, especially for a good machine. If you need a grinder on a budget, the Quiseen one-touch electric coffee grinder is quite renowned. It’s not only that this grinder is inexpensive (under $20), but it’s made for grinding nuts and grains as well as coffee beans.
Do be forewarned that the Quiseen is a blade grinder, so consistent results from one session to another are not to be expected, but this machine is one of the only coffee grinders made for nuts as well.
How to Grind Nuts in a Coffee Grinder
You’ve decided you’d like to grind some nuts in your coffee grinder. How do you do it? Here are the steps to follow.
Step 1: Plug in your coffee grinder if it’s not already.
Step 2: Pour in the nuts, but only half the quantity you want at a time.
Step 3: Turn on the coffee grinder. Keep an ear out as you go. If you hear the machine straining, then either the type of nut you chose was too large for the coffee grinder or you added too many nuts at once. We’d suggest stopping, emptying the grinder, and restarting from there.
Step 4: After a few seconds of grinding, pause the machine and check the status of the nuts. If you’re pleased with their consistency, then repeat step 2 with the other half of the nuts.
Step 5: If the nuts need a bit more time to break down into a powder, then run the coffee grinder again.
Can You Store Ground Nuts? For How Long?
You just finished using your coffee grinder to grind some nuts. One sip of your coffee and you’re in love. You can’t believe how much you used to pay at cafés around your town to get a nutty cup of coffee when you just can make it at home!
The only problem is you got a little overzealous and ground too many nuts. You’re not going to be able to use them all in one day, but you want to keep them fresh for another time. Can you store ground nuts?
You can certainly store ground nuts so you can enjoy them in your coffee later. Transfer the nuts to an airtight container such as plastic Tupperware. Then stash them in a dark, cool environment.
Yes, this can include your fridge, but keep the Tupperware away from the fridge light as well as the back of the fridge, as this is closer to the heating elements in many refrigerator models.
Don’t forget about the ground nuts for too long, as they’re only good for a few weeks even in an airtight container. You can store whole nuts in the fridge for up to four months. If you freeze whole nuts, they’re good for six months.
Do Nuts Lose Their Nutrients When You Grind Them?
Nuts are a great snack that is full of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. According to a collection of studies, consuming nuts could lower your stroke and heart attack risk, lessen inflammation, control bad cholesterol, and even help you shed a few pounds as part of a nutritious diet.
The minerals and nutrients in nuts make them healthy as well, including selenium, manganese, copper, phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamin E. When you break down a nut, such as through grinding, the question becomes, do you take some of those nutrients away?
According to plant-based and vegan food brand Wyldsson, blanching nuts would cause nutrient loss, but flaking and grinding nuts would not.
A study published in the International Journal of Food Science & Technology from 2016 says otherwise. In that study, the researchers reviewed how oil extraction, blanching, particle size reduction, and roasting almonds affects their nutrients.
Like Wyldsson said, blanching nuts is rarely recommended since it increases water uptake and reduces micronutrients as you lose the skin of the nuts. Roasting by far causes the most changes to nuts, but particle size reduction doesn’t leave nuts the same way they started either.
Although particle size reduction, as it’s referred to in this study, doesn’t mention grinding specifically, you are technically reducing the size of the nuts when you grind them, so we’d say it fits.
The International Journal of Food Science & Technology study states that nut particle size reduction can cause “rupture of the cell walls particularly on the surface of the almond particle.” Further, the researchers state that particle size reduction does “release some of the nutrients.”
You do still get a portion of the nutritional value of nuts when you grind them with a coffee grinder, just not as much as if you ate whole nuts as a snack. Most coffee drinkers don’t mind that too much.
What Else Can You Grind in a Coffee Grinder?
As we touched on earlier, lots of ingredients can safely go in a coffee grinder besides coffee beans and nuts. Let’s discuss your options now.
Why keep buying your flour at the grocery store when you can grind your own by putting some grain kernels in your coffee grinder? One of the biggest benefits of grinding grains is that you can control all the ingredients that go into your flour. You won’t have to worry about preservatives to increase the flour’s shelf life so you can bake and cook with greater peace of mind.
When that loaf of bread goes stale, don’t throw it out! Old bread has plenty of uses. If you have a blade grinder, you can make chunky croutons. A burr coffee grinder will produce breadcrumbs that will come in handy in all sorts of recipes, such as shrimp cakes, breaded chicken, Greek potato casserole, baked macaroni, coconut shrimp, and breaded pork chops.
Why buy overpriced spices when you can purchase whole cumin seeds or cardamom pods and then break them down yourself? First, you’d have to toast the spices, then wait for them to cool. Only then should you grind them so they’ll have a full depth of flavor.
You love the aromatic deliciousness of fresh herbs, but when a few leaves go stale, you might feel inclined to throw them away. Don’t! Like stale bread, you can give those old herb leaves new life by putting them in a coffee grinder and breaking them down into herbs. Blade grinders are especially useful for this.
Grinding nuts in a coffee grinder may delete some of their nutrients, but the nuts aren’t completely nutritionally void. Plus, the inclusion of nuts will liven up any cup of coffee. Whether you use a burr grinder or a blade grinder, these coffee grinders also come in handy for grinding spices, herbs, stale bread, and grains.
Now that you’ve realized what your coffee grinder can do, the possibilities are endless!