Featured Ingredient: Coffee
In the last couple weeks, several studies have come out that again prove coffee is indeed a healthy drink. Case in point: A new study published in Cancer Research found that drinking coffee can slash the risk for developing basal cell carcinoma which is the most common form of skin cancer. A separate investigation in the journal Circulation determined that imbibing about 2 coffee beverages daily can protect against heart failure.
Where the problems arise for coffee is with excessive consumption or when people add too many undesirables like sweeteners and creamers.
So the studies above make these java smoothie cups even more delicious. I have to tell you, these are truly awesome. A rich tasting mix of coffee, chocolate and cardamom flavor – a perfect way to beat the heat this summer. I usually add some protein powder (Manitoba Harvest hemp protein to be exact) to boost the protein levels, but it’s not essential. You can also play around with the dried fruit and nuts used. I think dried figs and pecans would be a winning combo as well. For even more coffee goodness, I’ll blend in the homemade coffee extract I discussed in this post. Silicon muffin cups come in handy for frozen smoothie cups because they are bendable which makes extracting frozen stuff a breeze. But you can also use metal if that is what you have.
For the coffee, in my opinion there is no better option than Doi Chaang. Not only has this coffee from
garnered much praise from coffee tasting experts, but it’s half owned by the
growers in the northern Thailand
mountains and, hence, the label “Beyond Fair Trade.” A couple years back, Tabi
and I actually biked up to the growing community which was a wonderful
experience. You can read my story about that trip by clicking here.
The kind folks at Doi Chaang Coffee would like to award two lucky Muffin Tin Mania readers with a
Thanks to everyone who entered. Congratulations to Jenn and j.lies@aol as you were randomly selected winners. Just use the contact button above to let me know which roast you would like from this list and your shipping info and I'll get them sent your way. Not the civet coffee, though :)
Coffee Chocolate Smoothie Cups
2 1/2 cups strongly brewed coffee
1 cup pitted dates
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup protein powder (optional)
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
2 teaspoons vanilla or coffee extract
In a bowl, combine coffee and dates. Let soak for at least 30 minutes. Combine all the ingredients in a blender container and blend until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Divide mixture among 12 medium sized muffin cups, place tray in freezer and freeze until solid, about 4 hours.
Unmold smoothie cups, place them in an airtight container, and return to freezer until ready to use. If you did not use silicon muffin cups and are having trouble unmolding the frozen cups, try placing the bottom of the muffin tin in warm water for few seconds, being careful not to thaw the contents.
When ready to make a smoothie, place 1 cup water or other liquid of choice (milk is really good too) and 2 coffee smoothie cups into a blender container and blend until smooth. For most blenders, its best to carefully slice the smoothie cups into halves or quarters first before placing them in the blender container to help make blending easier.
You'll get 6 smoothies total out of 12 frozen smoothie cups.