Sunday, July 17, 2011

Out of This World Iced Coffee

Hey Y'all!

Sorry for the mini break, but I have been battling some Crohn's related issues! I haven't really been able to eat! So. Not. Fun. About 15 years ago, I found out that not only do I have Crohn's in my intestines, but I also have it in my esophagus along with a horrible case of GERD. Sometimes my reflux and Crohn's don't play well together, which is happening right now. It is hard for me to swallow and things like to get stuck in my windpipe. Anything that I eat causes horrible heartburn. So, I am eating soft warm things. I can't have sweet tea at the moment, because it aggravates everything. I found this wonderful Heartburn Soother Tea at Earth Fare and that has helped A LOT. I am hoping this passes soon. I can't sleep at night between the reflux and the heartburn. I am on Nexium TWICE a day so hopefully it will help soon. I am also taking the Motillium to help my food keep moving! So kep those fingers crossed!!

One thing I can still drink, believe it or not is coffee! Crohn's patients are not advised to drink coffee. I am the .6784 percent that it helps. Earlier this summer I hunted down recipe after recipe on the Internet to make iced coffee. Folks, iced coffee, well good iced coffee, is not simply making coffee in your coffee maker and then putting it in the fridge to cool! Through my research, I found that a cold brew method is the best way to make iced coffee. And the results are very yummy. So yummy in fact, that I no longer spend $4 at Starbucks to get an iced coffee, I make my own! The nice thing about this is that when I make a batch, it literally lasts for weeks. As long as you have room in your fridge for a container to hold your coffee.. you are golden!

To start out with,  you want to make sure you have a strong coffee. I LOVE Cafe Bustelo coffee, because it is more espresso than coffee. And, I LOVE strong coffee/espresso! You will also need a measuring cup for 1/4 of a cup and 1 cup. Next you will need a container, you can use a gallon or less. Just make sure it will hold all of your water when you finish your recipe!

Here's the formula for making this iced coffee. For every 1/4 cup of coffee grinds you add to your container, you want to add a cup of water. So, for me, I added just about 2 cups of coffee grinds into my container. So, I needed to add 6 cups of cold water. Make sure you add all of your coffee grinds FIRST, then add your water and stir. If you need to make tallies as you add your 1/4 cup of grinds so you can remember how many cups of water to add, that's good too!

After you have added all of the grinds that you want and all of the water, cover your container. I have these neat shower cap looking gadgets that I picked up at Dollar General. They are perfect for this! You want to let this concoction sit for 8 to 12 hours. It will resemble mud. Do not eat it! Do not make mudpies! Warn anyone in your family not to drink this!

While my coffee is marinating.. hee, hee, I make a simple sugar syrup sauce to add to my coffee each day. Trust me, the syrup is easy to make, and you get to avoid the grittiness of adding actual sugar to your coffee. You can store this in the fridge when you are done.

In a saucepan combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water. In this case I added 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water so it would last longer. Bring to a boil, stir and remove from the burner. You can tell when the sugar and water are combined, the syrup will be clear. When the syrup has cooled, you can place it in a container for easy use. Don't judge. I have a left over mustard container that I put my syrup in. I am not a mustard fan!!

Now, once your 8 to 12 hours has passed, it is time to make the coffee! Now this part is tricky, so don't do this when you first wake up! We don't want coffee grounds in our coffee liquid. So you need to strain the coffee liquid to separate the grounds. Just using a strainer is not enough. You can use a coffee filter or a paper towel to do this. I take a piece of cheese cloth (you can get this at The Evil Empire, Target, and any cooking store) and cover the container lid and secure it with a rubber band. Or, if you are ghetto like I was when I made this batch, use your plastic from your cover! Then I drain the coffee liquid into another container. It make take a minute or two, but you want to get out all of that rich coffee goodness. You can throw away the grinds when you are done.

We are almost there!!! Now, you need to add more water to dilute the coffee just a bit. I mean, I LOVE some strong coffee, but y'all this is just a bit much! Remember how many cups of water you added after you placed your coffee grounds in your container? That's how many MORE cups of water you are going to add to dilute your coffee. I added 6 cups. So I will add 6 more cups of water to my liquid coffee. At this point, I wash out my container that has been cold brewing my coffee overnight. This is what I put my final product in!

Now, grab a glass, put some ice cubes in it, grab your simple syrup, some milk and some caramel sauce if you like.

Fill your class a little less than 1/2 full with coffee. Squirt in some simple syrup. Add some caramel. Mix. Then add milk to the top of your glass. Mix. Grab a straw. Plunk yourself on the sofa. Sip! Welcome to Heaven!!!

You can tinker with how much simple syrup (if any), milk, caramel that you add. You can even use half and half. Or skim milk. You can also take ice cube trays and fill them with some of your liquid coffee to extend your iced coffee experience.

You can place your container with your coffee in your fridge. It will last for up to a month. It's even better the second day when it is COLD.

:) JKP

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