Having a coffee grinder at home is such a game-changer. With a coffee grinder, you can get the right beans for your cup – whether you want it fine or coarse, it’s easy to prepare what you need, right at the comfort of your own kitchen.
But have you ever thought of using your coffee grinder for other things? I have, and I wanted to see if it’s possible to use it for almonds and other nuts.
If you’re also thinking the same thing, don’t worry – I tried it so you won’t have to. Read on to find out what I discovered.
So, can you use a coffee grinder for almonds?
The short answer is: Yes, you can definitely use your coffee grinder for almonds. However, you have to know that it would wear out the grinder fast – especially if you’re going to use it to make nut butter.
Although some nuts may be similar to a coffee bean in terms of texture, roughness, or size, you’ll still be better off using a tool that’s more appropriate for the task. You can use the grinder to chop the nuts into smaller bits, but if you need something fine, I recommend using a food processor or a high-powered blender.
Why I don’t recommend using your coffee grinder
There are several reasons why I think you should not use your home coffee grinder for almonds and other similar nuts like hazelnuts, cashews, or pistachios.
- It can be difficult to clean.
If you plan on using your coffee grinder to prepare other foods, it will likely become harder to clean in time. Worse, if you often use it to grind nuts, there’s a high chance you wouldn’t be able to completely rinse off the aroma and the oils that come from the crushed nuts. When you use your grinder for coffee afterwards, the taste of the ground beans could be affected.
- With a coffee grinder, it will be hard to get the texture of your ground almonds right.
Another problem when you use your countertop coffee grinder for almonds and other nuts is the consistency of the end product. When you use either a mechanical or an electric grinder, yes, you’ll be able to grind your almonds – just not as uniformly as what you would get when you use something more sophisticated, like a blender or a food processor.
Here’s how you can safely grind nuts at home
If you need to grind nuts, here are some reminders you should take note of:
- If you’re working with softer nuts such as pecans, pine nuts, or peanuts, you can easily use your coffee grinder for chopping. But remember not to grind for too long because you might wind up with nut butter, which is probably not what you’re after. When you use the grinder for too long, the blades tend to heat up, and as a result, the nuts will release oil.
- For harder nuts such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, or pistachios, you might want to use your coffee grinder sparingly.
- To lessen the chance of clogging your coffee grinder with oils from the nuts, try storing the nuts in a cool, dry place before grinding them. You can store it in a refrigerator to keep the nuts cool, and so it won’t heat up easily when you use your grinder.
- Do you have the budget for new appliances? Consider getting a spice and nut grinder that’s dishwasher-safe and equipped with stainless steel blades. This is actually a good investment if you’re planning to cook and prepare food with nuts regularly.
- If you’re looking to make almond flour, you’ll need something powerful to crush the almonds into fine particles. I recommend using a food processor for this.
- In a pinch, you can still look to your trusty old kitchen tools to crush nuts – you can use a mortar and pestle, a saran wrap and a rolling pin, or even a kitchen knife.
Six creative ways to use your coffee grinder
Personally, I think the coffee grinder is a very versatile tool that can help you prepare other ingredients, and I wouldn’t mind experimenting with it. As long as it won’t take its toll on the grinder, that should be fine for me.
If you’re also feeling adventurous, you can still use your coffee grinder for things other than coffee beans. Here are a few ideas on how you can put your coffee grinder to good use.
Don’t just throw away stale bread! You can use your coffee grinder to make breadcrumbs which you can use for various recipes. Just be mindful of how much bread you load into your grinder, and remember to tear the bread into small pieces before you put it in the grinder.
If you don’t have a mortar and pestle at home, you can still prepare freshly ground spices with a coffee grinder. You can use it to grind cloves of garlic, cardamom pods, and peppercorns. (Make sure to wash your grinder thoroughly after using it for spices to rinse off any strong aromas.)
Make your own homemade tea blend with dried herbs prepared fresh every day! Use your coffee grinder for herbs and dried fruits to make tea time more interesting. I also like using my coffee grinder to cut parsley and other leafy herbs when I cook. I don’t have to take my food processor out of the cupboard, and I can easily whip up tasty garnishes in a minute.
Lavender smells great in the garden, but did you know that you can also add it to food? You can use it to add color and aroma to your food, and in some cases, it can even be used as a replacement for rosemary. (Curious about what you can do with dried lavender? Here are more ideas on what you can utilize lavender for.)
You can also use your coffee grinder to break down dried leaves and flowers for your potpourri mix. You’ll have a more evenly distributed mix when you add finely chopped pieces.
If you have colored paper lying around in your house, you can recycle it into confetti using your grinder. You can use these whirly bits of colored paper as stuffing for boxes or paper bags for presents.