We love a cup of joe as much as the next person, but are always wondering what to do with those coffee grounds left at the bottom of the pot. Seeing as UK Coffee Week runs from April 29th to May 5th and we’re real sticklers for tackling food waste around here, we thought we’d look into it.
Here’s a handy rundown of our fave ways to reuse those pesky grounds:
Scrub a dub dub
Coffee grounds are often found in body scrubs, because they have a number of benefits when used as a beauty product. For a start, the caffeine that helps to give you that zing each morning has a similar effect on your skin. It boosts circulation, which is great for banishing everything from cellulite and stretch marks to acne.
Most body scrubs have an abrasive ingredient that exfoliates away all those dead skin cells and coffee grounds are perfect for this. You’ll see the added glow, feel the smooth results and over time, your skin will become better at absorbing moisture.
So, instead of going out and buying a coffee body scrub, have a go at making one yourself at home. We love this version from Bark Time, because it uses ingredients we’ve already got in the cupboard.
Grounds for gardening
If you’ve got some outdoor space, then you can put your coffee grounds to good use in your garden. Some gardeners swear they’re great for keeping away everything from snails and slugs to cats, while apparently, earthworms absolutely love them.
One of the easiest ways to use your coffee grounds in the garden is to add them to your compost heap for an extra boost of nitrogen. You can even chuck them in along with the filters, if you make your daily brew this way.
In the exciting world of composting, coffee grounds class as green material – like food scraps, grass cuttings and manure – so need to be balanced out with brown material. That’s things like dry leaves, wood chips and newspaper.
Another option is to work the grounds into the soil around plants as a fertiliser. As well as helping your plants gain extra nutrients this can mean better drainage, improved water retention and good aeration.
Banish that fridge stench
There’s loads of places around the home that can get a bit pongy, with the fridge being one of the worst offenders. Luckily, coffee grounds can be used to neutralise odours and are a cost-effective solution since you’d be throwing them out already.
Make your own stench neutraliser by spreading out your wet coffee grounds on a baking sheet and drying them out in the oven. Then pop them into a jar, but don’t put the lid on – just slide them into your fridge and let them absorb that cheesy stink.
Enhance your meat cookery
Of all the ideas we’ve got for reusing your coffee grounds, this might be the most out there, but stick with us, because this totally works. The acids and enzymes in coffee are actually perfect for tenderising meat, breaking down the proteins and making it extra delicious.
Adding coffee grounds to a dry rub before cooking will do the trick and give the meat a rich, tasty crust. Otherwise you can rebrew the grounds and use the coffee in a marinade, which will infuse the meat for as long as you leave it.