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Handy Dandy Gadget Blog #2- Mini Coffee Grinder

Friday, February 22, 2013

Yep. I said coffee grinder. And it's all Carolyn's fault.

My friend Carolyn, of Fabulous Fitness fame, read me whining one day about having to buy ground flaxseeds in such large quantity that I feared they were losing their nutrients before I could use them. See, flaxseeds are wonderful little nutritional powerhouses, but you can't get absorb their nutrients in the whole form. They have to be ground. Here's where the problem comes in: They start to lose their nutrients fairly quickly (within a week or two after grinding). A bag of ground flaxseeds lasts a VERY long time when you are only using a tablespoon most days.

So I whined about it, and Carolyn told me to get one of those mini coffee grinders to grind them as I use them. She said it cost about ten dollars at WalMart. Go get one, already, and stop your whining! (Okay, she didn't say it JUST like that, but it makes for a more interesting story.)

Anyhow, I went to WalMart and got one, and Carolyn was wrong: It wasn't ten dollars- It was thirteen. (Carolyn- you own me three bucks.)

Anyway, I took it home, read the directions (yes, I am one of THOSE people), dropped some whole flaxseed into it that I purchased in the bulk section at United Market Street for about sixty-eight cents (I wasn't going to buy a whole bag just to find out it didn't work), pressed the little button and..... viola! Ground flaxseed, nutrients intact. That was pretty cool! (Can you tell I am easily amused?)

The only caveat is that once you start grinding flaxseeds with the coffee grinder, you do NOT want to grind coffee with it. Or so I've heard. The microscopic bits of flaxseed kinda cling to the inside of the grinder. It's very hard to clean completely. I'm going to make a guess that flax coffee is probably not so tasty.

So me and my little coffee grinder lived in harmony with the flaxseeds. Then one day I started hearing about oat flour. And then I found a recipe I wanted to try with oat flour in it. (Chocolate PB Protein Brownies by Julie Lohre: ) I didn't want to buy an entire container of oat flour for a recipe that calls for just a cup. So I started thinking.... and Googling (what DID we do before Google?)........

Upon investigation, I found out that oat flour is simply finely ground oatmeal. The recommendation was to grind it in a blender. This sounded dusty to me. I hate dust. And then my eye fell on my little coffee grinder. I thought "I wonder?", and dropped some oats in there. A whirl or two later, and I found myself staring in amazement at oat flour! And, to make matters better, when I poured the oat flour out of the grinder, the thing was clean as a whistle. Double benefit. Yay!

The recipe was good, by the way, but, of course, I altered it to my own taste. Here's a link to my version:

And there you have it- More information than you ever wanted about mini coffee grinders. But if you are a flaxseed eater, I'd highly recommend one. Cheap, easy, and takes up almost no space. How much better does a gadget get?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • IRP1114
    Can't wait to try that recipe! Thanks for sharing : )!

    This is exactly what I mainly use my little grinder for! I use it every morning and sometimes two or three times for flax seeds in the morning. I put them in hubby's oatmeal and in mine and in the boys smoothies! I also grind oats for baking and add it along with flax seeds to pancake mixes.

    You are right about the coffee. Once hubby's coffee grinder broke an we were using mine for his coffee beans and it was a pain to clean all the beans out before being able to use it for the flax again!

    By the way what they say about how much healthier you get from eating flax regularly is so true. Thanks to them and other healthy whole foods of course, and being active, my hubby actually qualified for the elite rate for his life insurance! We will save an additional $20 a month for 20 yrs from the rate a "normal" weight non smoker would get! That is proof enough for me lol! We will definitely keep using our little grinder for flax seeds that is for sure!

    Great blog! emoticon
    1733 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/25/2013 12:06:57 PM
    That does solve the flax problem. Great idea!
    1734 days ago
  • BERRY4
    I have one of each. One for coffee beans (different style - burr grinder) & the one similar to what you showed for flax seeds. It works perfectly!

    I have been using this for quite some time! -- I just use a paper towel to wipe out the grinder part & put the lid in the dish washer. There is no evidence of residue or seed parts. (But I do NOT use this grinder for other things because of the oils in flax.)

    When I do oat flour, I just use my Oyster blender!
    Enjoy your weekend! emoticon
    1734 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/23/2013 3:42:28 PM
  • ROCKMAN6797
    What a wonderful use for the coffee grinder. I use mine to grind my coffee beans. I am going to have to invest in another for grinding up my flax seeds. Again, thanks for sharing!
    1734 days ago
    I have several coffee grinders for spices, flax, and finally a mill grinder for coffee. I would never put my coffee in a cheap grinder. It is almost impossible to control the size. emoticon
    1735 days ago
  • KARENE10
    Thanks for the great information!
    1735 days ago
  • OPTIMIST1948
    I dont own one, but have read that a simple way to clean is take a tbsp of ordinary rice and buzz. Then dump. Thanks for posting! I had never thought about its uses beyond spice grinding!
    1735 days ago
    I use a grinder for mine too.....Also, I am sure you know this already but for those who may not, you should store your flax seed/flax meal in your refrigerator, they will last longer. I have a grinder by black and decker and just wipe it out after every use with a damp paper towel. I also thought about using it for oats to make oat flour, and now that you have tried it, I will too! I will give your recipe a try as well.

    Thank you!
    1735 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/22/2013 6:28:00 PM
  • SLACHETKA103145
    Did you guys talk about how to clean so you could do other spices and seed...cloves for instance. I would appreciate any ideas that you have as it is so difficult that I don't use it like I would like to.

    Thank for posting...I sure can use if I can figure that out! emoticon
    1735 days ago
    I like it.
    1735 days ago
  • MACMOM57
    Thanks for sharing that so awesome.
    1735 days ago
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