We’re in a life-long love affair with coffee. But so is most of America. The average person in the U.S. drinks two to three cups of coffee a day, and why not? Sweet bean water is one of our favorite things alongside genuine leather bags and top-shelf whiskey. Coffee is also healthy for us, as several studies surmise that coffee drinkers are less likely to die prematurely than non-coffee drinkers. Espresso shots all around!
Along with the jolt, we love coffee for the taste. However other … bodily … factors deter us from becoming part of the 2 percent who drink 11 or more cups a day.
So we sought out the best natural coffee-inspired and coffee-infused foods that can be noshed on morning, noon, and noche. (Not in the vein of Lay’s terrible cappuccino chips that rightfully crashed and burned.) Caffeinate and savor.
Your steak may be grass-fed, but you can still infuse the velvety flavor of coffee into your dinner meats by using a coffee rub like the Red Eye Coffee Rub, created by Vivian Howard, co-founder of the famous Chef & the Farmer restaurant in North Carolina. This rub uses brown sugar, coffee beans, Turkish cumin, smoked paprika, garlic, New Mexico chile pepper, coriander, and salt as an avenue to explore the savory applicators of coffee. Howard rubs this blend on tons of her dishes and calls it a staple in her kitchen that is both “familiar but different.”
Coffee gets us up in the morning. For many, it helps open our eyes and whispers, “You got this!” Thanks, coffee. Easy to eat on the go (and not spill on your work slacks), this GoMacro Mocha Chocolate Chip bar can actually replace your morning coffee. GoMacro, the 100-percent vegan, gluten-free, organic, and soy-free bar company using hella fresh ingredients came out with the coffee-infused bar in January, leaning on notes of freshly roasted whole bean coffee and fair-trade chocolate for a snack that has 10 grams of protein and a caffeine boost. The bar is equal in buzz to half a cup of coffee, which makes for a great afternoon pick-up.
An alternative to coffee ice cream, frozen Greek yogurt brand Yasso introduced Coffee Brownie Break pint with coffee frozen Greek yogurt, chunks of brownie, and crushed cookie in March 2018. Better yet, the dessert is relatively healthy, as Yasso was founded by childhood besties that both became athletes and wanted to make “eat the whole carton” desserts. Unlike most good-for-you frozen yogurts and sorbets, Yasso packs rich flavor in a bar that doesn’t freeze like a solid block of ice. Less calories, more protein, coffee forever. Yasso also uses coffee in its Coffee Chocolate Chip bars.
Put the truffle flavor on pause for the full-bodied aroma of espresso salt. This 100-percent pure Amagansett Sea Salt was made for everything from chicken to pork, fish, and chocolate-based desserts. The salt is blended with black pepper, cayenne pepper, and espresso via a collaboration with the coffee geniuses at Tend Coffee in Shirley, New York. What started as a desire to make a dark brown salt blend ended up changing our dinners forever — all thanks to coffee. Use sparingly, as the blend does a powerful job of amping up flavors. Keep the glass jar on your counter top and wow visitors with your coffee know-how.
When executive pastry chef for Gerard Craft’s Pastaria in St. Louis, Anne Croy, decided to focus on mastering one dish, she looked to granola —specifically, a coffee-infused blend using Askinosie Natural Cocoa Powder and Sump Coffee, both unrivaled in quality and made in her home state of Missouri. “I set about making a tip top, perfectly balanced, and nutrient-dense granola with organic ingredients, minimal natural sweeteners, a plethora of nuts, seeds, and puffed brown rice,” Croy tells The Manual. The result is her Kickstart coffee/chocolate granola that is bold but not over-flavored and lets us still drink our two to three cups a day.
It’s 11 p.m., you want coffee, but have work the next morning. What do you do? Our latest answer has been eating marshmallows, as in the naturally-made, gluten-free Smashmallow Mocha Chip squares that are infused with dark, rich espresso beans. A serving of four fluffy marshmallows is only 80 calories (meaning our spring arm workout isn’t sacrificed) and makes use of organic sugar. Yes, we can’t stop thinking of how delicious these will be camping in the summer, substituting ordinary ‘mallows for these coffee-infused puffs. These make for great sweet snack for youngin’s too.
This March, High Brew Coffee teamed up with Wild Ophelia, a socially-conscious line of chocolates, to create java-infused chocolate “bites” that are just as luxurious and pupil-dilating as they sound. Each bite features a liquid cold brew center encased in a chocolate shell, simultaneously curing our coffee and caffeine craving. The pair came out with four flavors: Jet Black (our favorite), a black and bold coffee and fudgy chocolate center inside 70 percent dark chocolate; White Mocha; Sea Salt Caramel Latte with creamy salted caramel inside 41 percent milk chocolate; and spicy Mexican Vanilla.
Roll up your sleeves and actively add coffee to dishes like tacos, salads, and pancakes by cooking with cold brew. You read that right — smoked Texas-style tacos take you direct to flavor-town when you add Chameleon Cold-Brew Black Coffee Concentrate and liquid smoke onto a baking sheet to form a coffee “puddle” for your chuck roast. This home-made marinade courtesy of Pre Brands meat creates a bold and robust aroma and flavor. You can find the full recipe here.
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