Category: Blog

How to Make Espresso Without an Espresso Machine

What is Espresso Coffee?

The roast, the ground and the pressure are the three main characteristics that are used to brew a perfect shot of coffee. Just focus on these three main qualities and you won’t even need an espresso machine to make your shot of espresso.

So don’t feel bad if you are out of your espresso machine. Most of the people are still searching for the best espresso machine for home 2018. But I am telling you,  all you need is these three qualities to brew the perfect shot of espresso. Now let’s see how we can carry forward the process of making espresso without an espresso machine.

How to make Espresso with an Aeropress?

The recipe which we are going to discuss here is a double shot espresso. Making coffee with an Aeropress is the best way to make a shot of espresso without an espresso machine. If you want a single shot of coffee, all you need to do is cut down the amount of coffee and water in half.

Heat up the water: First, you need to heat some water at around 85° C, removing for 30 seconds after for roughly the ideal temperature. Remember you need to heat up more water than what is mentioned in the recipe because we’ll be taking out 4 fl oz of the heated water later on.

Grind your coffee beans: While the water is heating, you can grind your coffee beans to a fine consistency, until it measures 2 tablespoons or 30 grams. To get the finest espresso coffee ground, you can use an automatic burr grinder. In case you don’t have this much time to grind the beans, you can get it from the coffee shop or store in advance. (But it won’t be as fresh)

Set up the Aeropress: Place a filter in the drain cap and wash it with hot water. Next, you have to put the drain cap on the Aeropress and place it directly onto the coffee mug. Always check that it is a strong container because the pressure will be applied to it.

Fill the Aeropress with coffee grounds: In this step, you need to fill the Aeropress with coffee grounds and push them down to make sure they are nice and compact.

Stir and steep: As mentioned in the first step now you have to measure out 4 floz of the heated water, pour the water into the Aeropress and quickly stir it.

Plunge it: After you stir it properly, wait for 30 seconds and then plunge it. Once you fully immerse the plunger, remove the press.

Serve your Espresso: Pour your drink into your espresso mug. For cleaning: you just need to remove the drain cap and depress the plunger over the trash to take out the grounds. Wash everything in hot water.

AeroPress Espresso

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How to Make Espresso with Moka Pot?

Making your coffee with the help of a Moka pot is another classic way to make espresso without an espresso machine. Because of the water pressure it generates, this European device can make a perfect shot of espresso.

Grind your coffee: You’ll need to grind your coffee into very fine powder. Always remember that you should have 20-22 grams of coffee ready to go.

Now you need to add water to the bottom of your Moka pot.

Then add the ground coffee inside the filter basket of your Moka pot.

Attach the Moka pot’s spouted top.

Keep it on the top of the stove over medium heat.

Check coffee levels and stir: When the water boils, it will create a pressure and push a stream of coffee through the upper chamber. The hissing sound will let you know when the process is complete. When you see the top of the pot is full of coffee, remove it from the stove. A few seconds before when the coffee is completely done, a hazel brown foam will appear. Remember before you pour the coffee, stir it in the upper chamber with a small spoon.

Espresso with Moka Pot

Lastly, remove the pot from the heat and serve.

Whole Foods: What are They and Why Should We Eat Them?

whole foods

There has been some confusion about what constitutes a whole food. Some think of a food store chain, others of organic foods, and others just think “healthy.” Few dispute that whole food are good for you, but it is important to know what exactly they are, as not to be misled by marketing or labeling.

First, let’s consider what a whole food is not. A whole food is not necessarily organic, and organic foods are not necessarily whole foods. USDA Certified Organic foods have met tight regulations, including that they may not be grown using pesticides, artificial fertilizers, or sewer sludge. These are good, but you can have an organic potato chip, but a potato chip is not always a whole food.

A whole food is also not necessarily a “health food,” though they are healthy. They may include faddish things like alfalfa sprouts, but other “health foods” like tofu, acai berry tea, or hummus aren’t necessarily considered whole foods either.

A whole food, very simply, is a food that is as close as possible to its original state. An apple is a whole food. A peanut is a whole food. Whole foods are those that are not processed, have no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and have had no nutrients added or deliberately taken away. Processed foods, then, are the exact opposite of whole foods.

It is important to note that there is some disagreement as to what can be called a whole food. Some people would say that only raw fruits, seeds, nuts, and vegetables that haven’t been cut up or had anything done to them should count as whole foods. Others would go as far as to say that if you bake an apple pie, the apples would still be considered whole foods (as long as you started with raw apples).  I tend to fall somewhere in the middle, because there are certain foods that just can’t be eaten by human beings without at least peeling them, such as avocados and bananas, and others that must be cooked to be safe or edible, such as squash.

Others, such as apples, don’t need to be peeled, but we don’t eat the whole fruit because we throw away the core. As humans, we do not always get the full benefit of the nutrients in many foods without cooking them, because the cellulose in many vegetables prevents our digestive system from effectively absorbing the vitamins and minerals in such foods.

What almost everyone agrees on is no matter where you fall on your definition of whole foods, these unprocessed, unpreserved, unrefined foods are much better for you than boxed, processed foods. Foods have their greatest compliment of nutrients when they are on the plant or, in the case of meat, on the animal. As soon as a food is harvested, nutrients are lost. The longer foods sit around, the more nutrients they lose.

They lose them faster when they are cut up or cooked. However, processing of foods tends to strip even more nutrients out of foods than does a simple steaming or baking. In the case of refined grains, they are stripped of their fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and end up with the nutritional value of sugar. They are so denuded that, by law, the manufacturers are required to add some nutrients back in (labeled “enriching”) when they use these grains to make cereals and breads.

The problem with all this processing and the advantage of whole foods are that the closer a food is to its original source, the more it contains all the nutrients we need to live healthy diets. Which nutrients in plants do we need? There is a huge list, but the fact is that even if we were to list them all out, we would likely be missing some chemical or compound that we need to be optimally healthy. This is because we simply don’t know or understand all the nutrients we need to survive. Many plants contain nearly all of these essential nutrients, with the possible exception of the B-complex vitamins.

 

processed foods

some processed foods you’d want to avoid

Processed foods do not, and can not because science doesn’t know how to make the perfect processed food. It has been shown that people who eat primarily processed foods are not as healthy as those who eat primarily whole foods. Higher overall cholesterol is one consequence. Processed foods do not typically contain adequate fiber, vitamins, minerals, while they contain too much fat, sugar, and salt. They depend on these, as well as artificial flavors and colors, to be palatable.

It is important to remember that whole foods are not exotic, rare, or necessarily expensive. There is no need to go to health food stores or special organic markets. For the most part, to buy whole foods simply means to shop the edges of your supermarket. Start with the produce section, then move on to the meats, the unprocessed cheeses (cheese isn’t technically a whole food, but buying cheddar, mozzarella, and other block cheese is better) and then on to other dairy products. If possible, avoid the cereal aisle, snack aisle, and if you buy grain products, remember to get whole grains instead of those made with refined flour.

It is exciting to start trying whole foods. You may discover flavors you never knew existed, try new recipes, and in the process, you’ll be improving your health and well-being.

Healthy Eating: Understanding your Tastebuds

eating healthy

Eating healthy is often a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. Particularly when on the road or in a hurry, we don’t always have the ability to make informed decisions. However what we can do is make a conscious effort to take back control of our diet and not just be governed simply by our taste buds, but really think about our choices and consider what is in the food we eat and how it affects us.

There is a saying amongst chefs: “You can add but you can’t take away”. In other words, once you’ve over-seasoned or over-cooked something, there is no bringing it back. This is a credo that is not adhered to by the vast majority of restaurateurs, who naturally assume that if some is good, surely more is better. They smother foods with added ingredients like cheese, butter, and mayonnaise (aka calories and fat), and many times these additions are not disclosed on the menu.

Even worse is the inevitability that vegan customers will be unaware of what’s to come until they are presented with an inedible dairy-covered entrée. There is nothing wrong about being inquisitive when it comes to what you order. You’d want to know everything about a car before buying it, right? What we put in our bodies should be given just as much attention, if not more.

Even worse is the inevitability that vegan customers will be unaware of what’s to come until they are presented with an inedible dairy-covered entrée. There is nothing wrong about being inquisitive when it comes to what you order. You’d want to know everything about a car before buying it, right? What we put in our bodies should be given just as much attention, if not more.

The biggest threats to healthy eating are the two ingredients that our taste buds desire most: sugar and salt. It’s no big secret that you’ll find more than your daily recommended sodium intake per day in any number of entrees at fast food and chain restaurants. In fact, in some cases, the sodium content is more than double the daily recommended allowance and that’s only for one meal! Just remember that when in doubt grilled always beats fried and contrary to popular belief you don’t always have to get fries with that.

Canned soups are also notorious for being high in sodium. For instance, at first glance Progresso’s Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup contains 690mg of sodium, but when reading the label more closely you’ll see that this is only the amount of salt in one serving and the can actually contain two full servings. The healthier option would be their Reduced Sodium Chicken Noodle, with a sodium content of 470mg per serving. Although still relatively high in sodium, it is the “lesser of two evils.”

When reading labels high fructose corn syrup is another ingredient to be avoided as much as possible. Found in everything from cookies and juice to bread, cereal, and much more, high fructose corn syrup is a highly processed relatively inexpensive sweetener used in place of regular sugar and unfortunately, it is found everywhere. Princeton researchers have found HFCS to cause significantly higher obesity rates than standard table sugar.

 

In the 40 years since the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup as

a cost-effective sweetener in the American diet, rates of obesity in the

U.S. have skyrocketed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention. In 1970, around 15 percent of the U.S. population met the

definition for obesity; today, roughly one-third of the Americans are

considered obese, the CDC reported.

 

If such a large percentage of the population is obese and poor eating habits are all too common, clearly we cannot simply “do as we see” and follow the path set out before us. Eating healthy requires a proactive mentality where informed decisions are made based upon specific dietary needs and not on what everyone else is doing. Simply thinking about the foods we eat, reading labels, and being aware of the benefits and/or detriments of our foods is the most significant step towards a happier, healthier lifestyle.

Here’s how experts recommend you make eating healthy easier