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Macro Monday: Grain Coffee

Hey Friends,

Today's post is short and simple, and all about grain coffee. Grain Coffee, also called coffee substitute, is made from roasted and ground grains/nuts/fruits instead of from coffee beans.
I've tried quite a few, and while none of them taste like real coffee, they can be quite enjoyable as a thing in and of themselves.

MM: Grain Coffee

Grain coffee is often used as a coffee substitute - it can be a way to help ease off of coffee, if you are trying to give it up. I do enjoy a bit of real coffee of course, but especially in the evenings if I'd like something warm and cozy, sans caffeine, I often make tea, or a delicious hot grain coffee drink.

The grain coffees all vary widely in taste. Some are made with roasted acorns, figs & other nuts. Most have barley and chicory in there too. And often they include dandelion root. I have included a bunch of information and links below to my top 4 favourite grain coffees.

[Please note: the following links use my iherb discount code, which will give you $10 off your first order, and some points for me - use it if you like, or not :) thanks friends].

#1 Favourite Grain Coffee - Dandy Blend

I really enjoy Dandy Blend! I buy mine online, because it is much cheaper than I've seen it in stores...hopefully one day prices will drop in store.

I like Dandy Blend because it is gluten free, and has a very nice taste - it blends really easily. The ingredients are: extracts of roasted barley, rye, chicory root, dandelion root and sugar beet. It is not sweet, despite the inclusion of sugar beet - all the sweetness disappears during roasting. 

I usually just add some boiling water to mine, and sometimes I put in some almond milk and cinnamon, or even a touch of rice syrup or maple syrup, if you want something a little sweet.

#2 - Dandy Joe

I wrote about these guys awhile ago here. This Dandelion coffee I purchased in Edmonton. It is produced locally, in Alberta. I bought it at Wild Earth grocery on 99th street, but later on saw that they had a stall at the Farmer's market in Old Strathcona.

For this kind of Dandelion Coffee, I'd recommend following their advice, and brewing it in a coffee maker of choice. It comes out fairly clear (compared to the Dandy Blend), and pretty strong, as you brew it and don't simply stir it in. I still have some left (yay!) and when I do use it, I often make it into a Dandelion Latte. They also make some other versions that include medicinal herbs etc. For all my non-Edmonton based readers, I'm not so certain if they will ship or not, but here is a link to their Market Stall profile, with an email address below. I bet if you smile pretty they'll sent you some :)

#3 Organic Caf-Lib

This is a new to me product that I recently picked up at the store because I was out of Dandy Blend ;) It is a straight up grain beverage made with chicory, barley & malted barley.

I'm really happy with it so far. I especially like that it is instant like Dandy Blend and does not require brewing. This makes it a great quick option. You simply add either hot water, or hot milk of choice, stir, and you're ready to go.

I especially like it because it's fairly common to find, even at regular grocery stores in my area, and is under $10. <3


#4 Teeccino

This is probably the most popular grain/nut/fruit coffee substitute out there. I bet it's because of all the delicious flavours they have.

Most of these guys' blends have carob, dates & figs in there, which provide a really decadent and nice sweet flavour. Again, just like Dandy Joe, this is a grain coffee that needs to be brewed in a coffee machine of your choice.

There are tons of flavours to choose from such as: mochavanilla nut, and regular old french roast. My favourite (please note that I've only tried a few so far), is hazelnut. They seem to be continually coming out with new flavour and products :)

Now I think it's time to make a grain-coffee latte :)

Dandelion Latte made with Dandy Joe, Almond Milk, cinnamon and a drizzle of brown rice syrup &lt;3

Dandelion Latte made with Dandy Joe, Almond Milk, cinnamon and a drizzle of brown rice syrup <3

Have a happy fun-drink kinda week <3
See you on Friday for MacroTreat Friday!
xoxo Jess

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Macro Monday: Matcha Latte

Happy 2014 everyone!

This year is going to be wonderful; I just know it!

I'm easing into it gently. 2013 was quite a big year, involving lots of packing & unpacking, and moving, and visiting and traveling. We just returned from our Christmas trip to visit T's family in the Okanagan. It was lovely, and restful, and peaceful. But it was still travel, and there were LOTS of late nights...so we're just getting back into the swing of things over here, trying to get to bed earlier and finding our routine.

Sometimes in these situations, a warm drink helps.

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Yah okay, you're right, they always help!

This warm drink will pep you up, make you feel good because you're drinking something green (even though there's no kale in it), and it's warm and comforting. I'm not saying it'll take the place of a real latte, because good espresso is a whole thing of it's own that nothing could ever replace (if it ain't broke, don't fix it).

But if you want to try something new, I'm totally diggin' these Matcha Lattes (which may or may not be because I have a new stash of good matcha from Japan - thanks pops!).

And before we begin, I have a confession: I'm a green tea snob. Secret's out. Call me whatever you like, but after living in Japan and tasting how green tea SHOULD taste...I realized just how bad it is over here. And yes, I am going to be that general. I have yet to taste a cup of any kind of green tea that even comes close to being as good as the stuff in Japan. And trust me, I've ordered it at plenty of places, ranging from tea focused shops to cafes. Since returning home from Japan, I've been telling everyone that... IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY! (picture me saying that in a really loud and slow-mo kind of voice, because that's how serious I am about it).

Here are the tips I've been telling everyone about:

How to make Green Tea taste good!

  1. The temperature of the water you use to make the tea is VERY VERY important. As in, it has the power to make your matcha have a really nasty bitter flavour, or turn it into the most delicious sweet tasting drink. There are different temperatures for different kinds of green teas...but generally, you never ever want to use boiling water.
    *Sencha (most common green tea leaves): high grade sencha will taste the best around 70C, and regular sencha should be fine around 80C (and even 90 will be much better than straight boiling)
    *Matcha: 70-80 C
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  2. If you're making sencha...the tea you drink should be very very light in colour. Not dark yellow. Not brownish-yellow. What I'm saying is this: they most often do NOT STEEP their sencha. In Japan, they actually run hot water over & through the tea leaves (never letting it just sit there), straight into their tea cup. So the tea they drink is very very mild and sweet and light in colour & taste. You can then re-use those leaves and run water through them again, multiple times, getting great tasting tea.

Now let's get down to business, for the first Macro Monday of the year!

I enjoy Matcha in all it's forms, but sometimes a latte is just the nicest.

Macro Monday: Matcha Latte

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Matcha Latte:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1/4 - 1 tsp high quality matcha powder (I like it strong, so I use 1 tsp, but work your way up if this is new for you, starting with 1/4 tsp...it's pretty potent!)
  • 3 TBSP - 1/4 cup hot water -- not boiling (around 80C if possible)
  • liquid sweetener of choice, if desired
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  • A small-medium bowl you love
  • *A matcha whisk will greatly improve the process
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Directions

  1. Find a pretty bowl that is large enough for you to freely whisk up the matcha.
  2. Bring a small amount of water to boil. Pour about 1/4 cup into a separate mug, and let it sit until cooled down. Alternatively, if you're rushed for time, you could add cool water to the boiled water until the temperature reaches about 70-80C.
  3. Heat up 1 cup of milk, either in a saucepan on low-medium, stirring frequently, or in the microwave. Don't boil it. If you like foam, use a whisk or milk frother and froth up.
  4. Pour a bit of remaining boiling water into your bowl, and roll it around, so it covers the sides, dip the matcha whisk in it. Then dump the water out. This step warms up the bowl, and gets the whisk ready.
  5. Measure out your 1 tsp matcha powder, and put it into the bowl.
  6. Gently, with love, pour in your 1/4 cup 70-80C water, and using a matcha whisk, move the whisk in a circle around the edges to get all the powder, and then back and forth from left to right, moving from one end of the bowl to the other, in short movements, to froth up the matcha.
  7. Using a spoon to hold back the foam, pour the almond milk into the bowl. Stir in sweetener if using any. Scoop out the foam after, and put on top.
  8. Using both your hands cradle the bowl, smell the wonderful tea, and close your eyes while sipping it's deliciousness.
Matcha Latte: matcha powder, hot water, and heated almond milk

Matcha Latte: matcha powder, hot water, and heated almond milk

Matcha Latte all ready to go!

Matcha Latte all ready to go!

A few more tips:

  • Here's a great link about matcha, including the temperature, different ways to whisk it, etc.
  • To clean your match whisk, add some hot water to a cup or bowl, and whisk away, then rinse it off.
  • There is a vast vast VAST difference in quality of matcha...I hate to say it, but generally the more expensive, the better it is.
  • Keep matcha in an airtight container...and in the fridge. Fresh matcha actually smells sweet.

Okay, that about does it.

Happy Monday. Enjoy whatever warm beverage it is you're currently cradling, and have a wonderful week!

xoxo Jess