Coffee and health- are we drinking too much?
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world and whether it’s needed to kick start our mornings or keep ourselves awake to finish a late-night project, most of us can appreciate its caffeine boosting power. For many, coffee has become part of their lifestyle and a cup not only raises energy levels but also their mood. But why is it when these coffee lovers pour themselves their 4th cup of the morning, they are often told they should probably cut back, especially if they want to lead a healthier lifestyle? With conflicting and constantly changing information regarding its health benefits, it can be confusing at times to know what coffee actually does to your body and whether you are drinking too much. We’re here provide some clarity to fellow coffee lovers, weighing up the scientific research, before suggesting some tasty ways you can incorporate coffee into your cooking!
One reason coffee has often been demonized is its caffeine content. Caffeine is a drug, it stimulates the central nervous system, and although this improves aspects of brain function, like memory, mood and energy levels, it can also have some negative effects. Studies suggest high levels of caffeine can increase heart rate and anxiety- so if you notice you get a bit jittery after a coffee, it might it wise to look at your caffeine intake and think about cutting back a bit. This is mind, the effects of coffee depend on an individual’s caffeine tolerance, so don’t been too concerned for the office coffee addict, they probably have a higher caffeine threshold!
But the news gets better. In fact, more recent studies have revealed there are actually many health benefits of coffee, including reducing the risk of some very nasty diseases! A study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), has showed that higher coffee consumption was associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk, supporting previous studies. That’s not all, other research has revealed that caffeine can increase fat burning and boost your metabolic rate by 3–11%. Coffee drinkers also have up to a 65% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease! Sounds good to me.
With so many different, yet tempting commercial varieties of coffee drinks on offer today, it can be difficult to resist upgrading to a caramel latte or white chocolate mocha without realizing the additional sugars and unhealthy ingredients that are also poured into your drink, negating coffees health benefits. Coffee itself is rich in powerful antioxidants, in fact many people get more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and veggies combined and is one of reasons why coffee may prevent those serous diseases. So next time you’re in need of a pick me up, try opting for a simple black coffee (americano) for a guilt free energy boost.
Overall, there’s some good news for the coffee lovers. Whilst high levels of caffeine can have negative impacts, it is largely tolerance based and there are some promising health benefits too. It’s nice to know that you can enjoy coffee, in moderation, knowing that it’s probably not detrimental to your health but may even be doing you some good.
Cooking with coffee
If you love the taste, but never thought of cooking with coffee, here’s your chance to take the leap with these coffee-based recipes! You might just love it.
Coffee Rubbed Pulled Pork
Coffee has become a popular ingredient for meat rubs. Given its dark and toasty flavour, it brings out the goodness of dark meats. Like these, delicious coffee rubbed pork tacos. Check out the recipe!
Ingredients for the pulled pork
- 500g Pork shoulder, skinless
- 2 tbsp adobo seasoning
- 2 tbsp coffee powder
- 2 tsp mustard
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Ingredients for pineapple salsa
- 1 cup pineapple, finely chopped
- 4 pcs tomatoes, chopped
- 2 pcs of lemon, juiced
- Salt and pepper
- 12 Tortilla
- 1 cup Sour cream
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
1)Rub pork shoulder with adobo seasoning, coffee powder, mustard and olive oil.
2) In a 180 degrees C oven, roast pork for 4 hours or until meat is very tender.
3) Pull pork using two forks until it looks flakey.
4) For the salsa, mix together pineapple, tomatoes and lemon, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
5) Now to assemble: heat tortilla in a pan and transfer to a place. Place some shredded lettuce, then some pulled pork. Top with pineapple salsa, drizzle with sour cream and top with chives.
6) Repeat for the rest of the tortilla.
Espresso Brined Chicken Drumettes
These wings are brined in coffee then tossed in an espresso spice blend. Finish with a maple syrup glaze and you’re ready to dig in. (Makes 15)
- 2 pounds chicken wings & drumettes
- 1 cup strongly brewed coffee or espresso, cooled
- 1 cup water
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 tablespoons Salt
- 1 teaspoon Salt (so a total of 2 tbsp + 1 tsp)
- 1 tablespoon Finely ground espresso beans
- 1 tablespoon Ground Pepper
- 2 1/4teaspoons Paprika
- 1 1/2teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 1 1/2teaspoons Dried Thyme
- 1 1/2teaspoons Dried Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
- 1/2teaspoon Cayenne
- 2 tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
1) Trim chicken wings & drumettes of excess skin/fat or cartilage
2) Place wings in a bowl and add brewed coffee, water, 2 tablespoons of salt and bay leaf. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 6 hours- overnight if possible.
3) Mix remaining ingredients, except maple syrup, in a small bowl. Taste the spice mix at this point to see if it suits your liking. Some may prefer more or less heat, or the added dimension of cumin or cinnamon.
4) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
5)Drain and rinse wings. Pat dry with paper towel. Toss lightly in spice mixture ensuring wings are evenly coated.
6) Arrange wings on baking rack (with lined drip pan underneath) and cook for 15 minutes
7) Baste lightly with maple syrup and then cook an additional 10 minutes
8) Baste a second time lightly with maple syrup and then broil for an additional 3-5 minutes to caramelize sugars.
Coffee Rubbed Steak
Coffee rubbed steak is one of the most mouthwatering meals and it’s surprisingly easy to make a smoky and tasty steak rub from items you probably already have in the cupboards!
- 4 ribeye steaks
- 2 tablespoons coffee grounds NOT instant
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1) Combine the coffee grounds in a small bowl with the brown sugar, paprika, and all other spices.
2) Sprinkle 1 – 2 teaspoons of the coffee rub on both sides of a ribeye steak. Rub the mixture in.
3) Let the coffee rubbed steaks rest until they reach room temperature.
4) Preheat a grill to 450 degrees. Grill steaks to desired doneness. (Best served at medium rare.
5) Transfer the steaks to a plate, cover with foil and rest 15 minutes before serving.
- Use high quality coffee grounds, and ones you love. (Do not use instant coffee granules.)
- Add a little brown sugar for a hint of sweetness to balance the coffee flavor.
- Experiment with spices! This recipe sticks with garlic powder, pepper and onion powder to make the steak and coffee rub the main flavors. However, you can use spices such as chili powder, cumin, dry mustard to change the flavour profile.