“Your cup of joe may be more than just a morning pick-me-upit might actually ward off several common diseases. Studies have linked three to five cups of java a day to reduced risk of brain and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as cancers of the colon, breast, and liver. A study at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health found that coffee drinkers also have a moderately reduced risk for type 2 diabetes. And caffeine isn’t responsible, so decaf offers equal benefit. Researchers suspect that rather than one compound, a synergy among substances in the complex biochemical mixture provides the protection.
Choose It & Use It
Coffee enriches flavors in gravies, stews, and tomato-based recipes such as pasta and barbecue sauces, baked beans, and chili. Choose a good-quality roast and store it in an airtight container at room temperature. Brew it fresh and a little stronger for cooking. Substitute it for half of stocks or broths, add it to vinaigrettes and marinades, or grind beans in a pepper mill and add a bit to spice mixes.” ~ Vegetarian Times
5 Ingredient Coconut Butter and Tahini Cups with Coffee Crème Filling
(makes 24 mini cups) ~ gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free, grain free, nut free, soy free ~
- 1 cup melted coconut butter (if using freshly made, it will be liquid already)*
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
- 1/2 cup espresso or strong-brewed coffee
- Soak the dates in the freshly brewed espresso for about half an hour – longer if they are quite hard. If you have a glass measuring cup you can just pour the coffee straight in and save yourself from washing another dish.
- In the meantime, line your mini cupcake pan with paper liners.
- Once the dates are soft, pour them along with the coffee into a high-powered blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Place into a small bowl, set aside, and give your blender a quick rinse.
- Add the melted coconut butter, tahini, vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt to your blender and process until combined.
- Fill each liner about halfway to the top with this mixture, then place the pan in the fridge for 10 minutes to set.
- Once they’ve set, remove from the fridge and spoon the date mixture on top. It should fill go almost (but not quite) to the top – about 1 tsp per cup. Flatten with your fingers.
- Cover each cup with the remaining coconut butter (and rejoice if you have some left over – it’s delicious on oatmeal or by the spoonful), then place the trays back into the fridge to set for another 10-15 minutes before enjoying.
- They are best kept in the fridge to keep from getting soft and sticky.
- You can buy coconut butter from health food stores but one small jar will run you at least $12 or so, while a big bag of unsweetened, shredded coconut from a bulk store will cost you maybe $5! The difference in price is pretty steep. I definitely recommend making your own coconut butter. The process is exactly the same as making nut butter, but takes less time, and for this recipe you need to use the blender/food processor anyway.