Zucchini Bread Oatmeal

I get so many good ideas from Instagram.  One of the girls I follow posted a photo of her Zucchini Oatmeal, and I just knew I had to make some and share it. I wish I could remember who it was and give her a shout out, but I didn’t mark her post.  🙁

I grew up on Zucchini Bread, and LOVE it.  This idea for breakfast sounded just perfect!

 

I found a recipe for overnight Zucchini Oatmeal on Pinterest, but I didn’t want to leave it overnight.  Instead, I made it like I would regular oatmeal.  The link for overnight recipe is here ===> RECIPE

As usual, I gathered my ingredients.  I didn’t grow up with raisins in my zucchini bread, but it sounded pretty good .  I decided to see what my sister had in her pantry and found orange flavored dried cranberries.  I decided to use those instead of raisins.  I also decided to use Pumpkin Pie Spice instead of Cinnamon.

Clean and shred your zucchini, then just put the ingredients together and cook for 5 minutes. It’s delicious!  If you like zucchini bread, I highly recommend trying this out.  Also, if you have a picky eater, peal the squash first.  This is an easy way to sneak some veggies into their diet.  😉

I added a bit of Vanilla Creamer just before I ate it.  omnomnoms.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, regular or gluten free
  • 1/4 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 T raisins
  • 1 T ground flax
  • 1 T chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 2 tsp cashew butter (optional)
  • Dash of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot.
  2. Stir well to combine.
  3. Bring to Boil.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  5. Eat warm with vegan creamer.

 

 


Tofu Scramble

The first time I tried tofu scramble was at a restaurant, and I fell in love with the idea.  I could finally enjoy something close to scrambled eggs for breakfast.  It was tasty, full of of veggies, and made me want to learn to cook it myself.  I started looking around the internet for recipes, and found a few good ones on my favorite site Pinterest.  I tried a couple different ones until I came up with my own recipe.

Since I tried so many recipes, I realized there was no right or wrong way to make it.  I figured out how easy it was to change it up depending on the ingredients I have on hand.  I can also easily adapt when I am serving people who don’t necessarily enjoy all the veggies or spices that I do.  This is working out really well on the road trip, because I can’t always find the “normal” ingredients that I use.  Typically, I like to throw in onions, garlic, asparagus, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. This is no big deal in a full size kitchen where storage isn’t an issue, but the RV kitchen isn’t all that large.

What I have realized, however, is storing a lot of veggies in a very small space isn’t so easy.  Both the refrigerator and the “pantry” in the RV are less than half the size I was used to at home.  So, I started looking for other options.  I now buy very small packages or pre-cut veggies when I can.  I also keep my eye out for interesting veggie mixes that I can throw into my scramble.

I found a mix at a grocery store, and immediately knew it would work great for a scramble.  It had eight different veggies and the colors were gorgeous! I also found out that Nasoya has new package that splits the usual block of tofu in half.  I was so very happy to find that!  I rarely use an entire block at once, but half or a quarter block is perfect for me.  Now, I don’t have to worry that the part I didn’t use will get weird before I have time to get to it.

One thing I hate to go without are onions and garlic… ever.  I will use powders in an absolute pinch, and I do keep them on hand just in case, but I keep onions and garlic in my kitchen at (almost) all times.  They are good for ones health, but the truth is I just love the flavor they bring to a dish.  Those two are a must for tofu scramble,  if you don’t have those, you will need them.  You will also need the following spices Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander, and Paprika.  I used Garlic Powder, because I couldn’t find my tube of Garlic in the fridge.  It may be is a little messy in there at the moment.

I usually add Curry as well, but I ran out and it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have it.  Also, if you absolutely hate one of theses spices feel free to leave it out.  It’s fine.  I really recommend the turmeric and paprika.  They add a lovely flavor and a nice color to the dish. You will also need to add Salt and Pepper to taste.  First chop up your onions and brown them in your pan.  Then add your garlic (if you have it on hand).  Cook one more minute, then add a cup of your veggie mixture.  (I used the one above, but you can choose any mix you like, just make sure they are all chopped about the same size so they cook at the same time.)

Cook until your vegetables are crisp, tender.  About 3-5 minutes.  Aren’t the colors so pretty? After that you will crumble half of a block of firm (or extra firm) tofu into the center of the pan and shake your spices over the tofu.  I will admit that I no longer measure much of anything.  I am going to guess that I put around a half teaspoon of each spice on top.  You can start there and add more if you like deeper flavors.  The first recipe I ever tried said to put a TABLESPOON of each for one block of tofu.  I almost couldn’t eat it, but to each their own.

Let that cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  It will begin to look like scrambled eggs with veggies, but it will taste even better.  I usually start preparing whatever I am having on the side around this time.  Throw your toast in the toaster and prep your side salad, etc.

This morning, I was in the mood for some pea shoots on my salad.  They are so sweet and delicious.  I added some Earth Balance butter to my toast and balsamic vinaigrette to my salad, and breakfast was served.

 

 


Marionberry Pancakes

Okay, so I am a huge fan of Portlandia.  It’s weird, just like Portland.  Sometimes the show makes me laugh, and sometimes it leaves me scratching my head, but either way I enjoy it.  For those of you who haven’t seen Portlandia, here is a taste of the quirky humor: Vegan Portlandia

But why am I even talking about Portlandia?  Because they had a Brunch Special that made me really want Marionberry Pancakes. You can watch a peak here: The Brunch Special

Anyway, I wanted Marionberry pancakes in the worst way, so I had to figure out how I was going to get some.  I have tried a lot of vegan pancake recipes, but many of them end up flat and thin, and that wasn’t going to cut it.  Like Bobby Flay said, the pancakes needed to stand up to giant blackberries marionberries.  I looked around on Pinterest, and found a recipe that looked like it would work. Recipe by Andrew Olson at One Ingredient Chef here: The Perfect Vegan Pancakes

I got everything I needed including giant blackberries.  Then I started thinking how much I like Blueberry Pancakes, so I got a pack of those, too.  Then I set about making myself pancakes while Bruce teased me about watching too much Portlandia. I followed the recipe, with one exception.  I used my egg replacer instead of the ground flax.  I think it makes for a smoother batter.  Also, I am a bit lazier than he is when mixing, so my recipe has less steps.  You can follow the link for the original recipe or use mine below.   Either way, they will be great.

Once your batter is mixed, but not over mixed (this is important, you don’t want tough pancakes), fold in your berries.  You don’t want crushed berries or blue batter.  Get your pan nice and hot before trying to fry your batter, or your pancakes will be weird and soggy. Also, you will want plenty of oil on your pan.  I use coconut oil in my pan when making pancakes (and french toast).  I love the flavor and crispiness I get around the edges from the coconut oil.

I am so glad I found this recipe.  I haven’t used another pancake recipe since.  I even send it ahead to any Bed and Breakfasts we stay at when they can’t figure out what to make for me.  They really are perfect pancakes.  NO ONE will know they are vegan unless you tell them.  The vegan buttermilk created with the combination of the almond milk and apple cider vinegar really gives these pancakes the taste and texture of your grandma’s buttermilk pancakes.  They are light and fluffy, but strong enough to hold up to the berries.

Look at how pretty those pancakes are!  To add a little extra crunch and beauty, top with pepitas, fresh berries, and a generous serving of maple syrup.

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries

Combine dry ingredients (including egg replacer).  Mix milk, vinegar, and oil together.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients without over mixing! Fold in berries.

Fry on a hot pan greased with coconut oil until golden brown on both sides.  Top and Serve.

PS. Sometimes when I make berry pancakes, I don’t put the berries into the batter until I have already ladled the pancake onto my hot pan.  I just drop them right on top of the wet batter while it is in the pan.  I like this method, because I can control how many berries go in each pancake and also make sure they are spread out across the whole pancake.  Last but not least, I don’t end up with blue pancake mix which often happens if I am not careful enough when adding them to the entire mix.


Warm Breakfast Bowls

Good morning!  I took some time on Friday (when I was planning to post on my blog) to rest and handle the emotional consequences of selling my home of 16 years.  It’s funny.  I didn’t think it would hit me that hard, but I was pretty emotional and will admit to tears here and there this past week.

I talked about it in my YouTube Video here ====> Give Yourself a Break Sometimes

Today, like Friday, I wanted something warm and comforting for breakfast.  One of our go-to breakfasts is hot oatmeal or cream of wheat.  Both Bruce and I enjoy either or, so we make it often.  Today, he was sleeping in, so I cooked, but he will often let the dogs outside, bring iced coffee to my bedside, then make breakfast for the two of us.  When he cooks, all I have to do is add whatever ingredients I want to make mine extra special.  (He always likes his plain with sugar and milk.) When I cook, I tend to spice things up WHILE I am cooking.  More on that in a minute…

I like Quaker Oats, but Bob’s Red Mill Oats are great, too.  I also like Steel Cut or Irish Oats on occasion.  Of course, you can also make Farina (Cream of Wheat) in just a few minutes if you prefer a silkier hot breakfast bowl.  Neither of us had tried Cream of Wheat in years, since we were kids really, but we decided to see if we both still enjoyed it and sure enough it’s a huge hit for both of us in the morning.  I add the same types of ingredients to spice it up as I do for oatmeal.

For either oatmeal or cream of wheat, there are a few things you can do to make it special while cooking.  You can substitute half or all of the water with a nut milk.  If you do, watch it closely so it doesn’t burn, and also add a bit more milk than you would water.  I also always put a pinch of salt in.  If I am making Farina, I occasionally add a TBSP of sugar for two servings, when my sweet tooth is talking to me.  I also love to add a bit of vanilla extract to the mix.  I think it gives a lovely, homey feeling to the pot.  I would add cinnamon while I make it, but Bruce hates it, so I add it afterwards.  If your family would enjoy it, add it while cooking.  I think it blends better that way.  Look at this pot of yummy goodness cooking up:

These are the type of ingredients I keep in my pantry as toppings for oatmeal, cream of wheat, ice cream, yogurt, and fruit salad.

So, let’s talk about how to make oatmeal and cream of wheat extra special, rather than just a bowl of sugary blandness.  I usually do not add sugar to my oatmeal, with a few exceptions here or there of course.  For the most part, I add flavor, texture, and sweetness with berries, nuts, seeds, and sometimes chocolate syrup.  Oh, yeah, baby!  Here are a few of my favorite breakfast bowls from the last few months:

I called this one “Banana Split”.  On top of my oatmeal, I added freshly sliced strawberries and bananas, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds.  Over that I added a drizzle of vegan chocolate syrup and a dollop of coco-whip.  It was amazing.  I also used these toppings over soy yogurt and almond ice cream that week.  🙂

This “Chunky Monkey” bowl combined bananas and peanut butter (a favorite combo of mine).  Then I added pistachios and chia seeds and topped it off with dried cranberries.  Om nom nom.

My “Spiced Apple” bowl has a combination of diced apples, raisins, peanut butter, cinnamon, and Vanilla Silk creamer over the top.  I can’t recommend this one highly enough.  It was amazing.

If I am every worried that I won’t use my berries in time, I throw them in the freezer.  That way I can add them to oatmeal, smoothies, pancakes or muffins later and they won’t go to waste. This bowl of farina helped me use up some of my frozen blueberries.  I added pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds.  I love the blue and green colors together.

I like the process of making my breakfast bowls look pretty.  This morning, I decided a “Berry Mandala” was what I needed.  I added nuts and seeds and some cacao nibs.  It looked beautiful both before and after I stirred it up.  I also added a little Vanilla Silk creamer to this one, because I wanted extra gooeyness (that’s a word, right?).

Last but not least, let’s admit that some mornings, you just want a quick hot bowl and don’t have time to stand over a pot for 5 minutes.  It’s perfectly okay to make instant oatmeal sometimes.  It may not be pretty, but it is still tasty and comforting. We’ll call this one the “Ugly Duckling”.

Do you have any favorite toppings for your hot breakfast bowls? I love trying new things!

 

 


Tofu Breakfast Hash

I grew up in a Mennonite household, so we ate dishes that some other families didn’t eat.  Those foods in particular are the ones I remember most from my childhood.  A lot of my mom’s recipes were from her mother or my father’s mother, and because both my parents grew up in Amish households many of the recipes leaned toward German style cooking.  I can certainly say it was a “meat and potatoes” menu for the large part.  Of course, because we lived in farm country, we always had access to fresh milk and eggs, so we consumed large amounts of those as well.  Luckily, my parents had huge gardens most summers, so we also ate a lot of fresh and home-canned fruits and veggies.  While I don’t miss consuming animal products, I used to miss the comfort that eating the food I grew up on provided.  When I first went vegan, I had no idea how to veganize recipes; but over the last five years, I have learned a lot.  So now, when I think of a dish from my childhood and feel that nostalgia, I sit down and figure out how to make it vegan.  Today’s breakfast was one of those dishes.

Interestingly, I can remember my dad making this dish more than my mom.  It was one of his special recipes.  He would chop up onions and garlic, and fry them in a pan full of shredded potatoes.  Once they were nice and brown, he would break a few eggs over the top of the whole mixture and fry until the eggs were cooked through.  He or my mom would cook the potatoes the night before and shred them by hand just before frying.  I am more of a semi-homemade kind of cook, so I typically just by pre-shredded potatoes at the store.  Kudos to all you cooks who enjoy the cook-from-scratch concept, I just don’t have make the time for that.

This recipe is very quick and easy if you use some shortcuts.  It took me about 15 minutes this morning.  The first thing I did was pour myself some coffee.  I have a new favorite combination: Stok Chocolate Iced Coffee paired with Coffee Mate natural bliss Almond Milk Caramel Creamer.  I was away for a few days at a Marketing Event, so I didn’t have time to home-brew a batch.  It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because I found chocolate coffee.  This coffee is so good, I could drink it black.  If you must have creamer, the key is not to put too much creamer in, or it will cover the wonderful chocolate flavor.

After a few sips of coffee, I was ready to tackle breakfast.  I always have onions and garlic on hand.  Who lives without fresh onions and garlic?  If you do, stop everything you are doing and go get some right now.  Life is so much tastier with fresh onions and garlic in it.  If you don’t like chopping and mincing, you can by onions pre-chopped and Gourmet Garden garlic paste in a tube.  I will not buy pre-minced garlic in a jar.  It just freaks me out.  But I love this garlic paste and use it all the time.  I happen to like chopping onions, so I don’t buy pre-chopped onions.

For this recipe, I used Earth Balance butter.  My folks always used butter for this dish, and I wanted to get as close as possible to the “real deal”.  I melted the butter in the pan on medium-low heat, then added the onion and let it saute for a few minutes before adding the garlic.  I am a huge garlic fan, so I wasn’t shy with it.  You can adjust your garlic to your own taste preference.  The garlic only needs about a minute before you add the shredded potatoes.  Once the potatoes are in, add salt and pepper to taste and give them a chance to brown up.  I stir everything around a bit until it’s a light golden brown color.  After that it’s time to add your tofu.

I seasoned my tofu for this recipe just like I do for my sunny side up tofu sandwich, with a little turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper.  I am really enjoying the flavor combination right now, and I don’t have all of my usual spices anyway, since I am at Skylar’s house.  First press (with a paper towel) to remove excess moisture, then crumble the tofu.  After that sprinkle it with your spices and mix with your fingers.  Make some space in your pan and add the tofu in with the rest of your ingredients.  I gave it another three minutes, stirring as necessary until it was heated through and golden brown.  Then it was time to eat! I didn’t have any fresh parsley or cilantro to throw on top this morning, (I really need to go grocery shopping), but I have broccoli in the fridge, so I cut off the very end of a floret and sprinkled it over the top.  Delicious and pretty!

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped small
  • 1 clove garlic (or equivalent paste)
  • 3/4 cup shredded potato
  • 2-3 ounces extra-firm tofu, pressed and crumbled
  • Dash of Paprika
  • 1/8 TSP Turmeric
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:

Heat butter on medium-low.  Add onion, saute for 3 minutes.  Add garlic, saute for a minute.  Add shredded potatoes, salt and pepper, fry until light golden brown (3-5 mins). Add pressed, crumbled, and seasoned tofu, fry another 3 minutes or until all ingredients are heated through and golden brown.  Plate with fresh tomato and herbs (or broccoli).

I hope you enjoy this veganized version of one of my childhood favorites.  The turmeric gives it a slightly Indian vibe, which I love.  Turmeric also happens to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and strong antioxidant.  It is best absorbed into the body when paired with black pepper and a bit of fat. Happily, this dish has both for premium absorption.  You also have protein and potassium in this meal.  Enjoy your comforting and healthy breakfast!

 


Sunny Side Up Tofu Sandwich

I love breakfast.  It has always been my favorite meal of the day, even when I was a kid.  Since I have been in St. Augustine, I haven’t been making my usual loaded oatmeal bowls for breakfast. Sky isn’t a fan of oatmeal.  It’s a texture thing for her.  She’s been requesting open face egg sandwiches, since she still pescotarian.  Between taking care of her, running a blog and an online business, I’ve been pretty busy.   I wanted to try to make something for myself that wouldn’t be too far from what she is eating.  This saves me time in the morning, especially the days I am driving her to campus.  My solution was the Sunny Side Up Tofu Sandwich.  I’ve made it most mornings since I’ve gotten here, and really enjoy it.  I think it is going to be one of my new go-to breakfast ideas.

The nice thing about having this for breakfast is the balance of protein and healthy carbs.  I found a new brand of bread at Target called “Eureka!” and love both Sweet Baby Grains and Grainiac.  It makes a solid base for the sandwich so you only need one slice.  When prepared this way, the tofu has a nice mouth-feel and reminds me of a softly fried egg omelet when prepared this way.  I don’t have any of the Indian pepper a lot of vegan blogs are raving about to give the egg-flavor to the sandwich (probably because I can never remember the name of it).  Luckily, you really don’t need it, because the new Hellmann’s Vegan Mayonnaise gives plenty of egg flavor to this sandwich.  If you use different bread or different tofu when you try this recipe that’s perfectly fine, but I highly recommend using Hellmann’s brand Vegan Mayonnaise if you are looking to mimic the flavor of an egg sandwich.

This meal takes about 5-10 minutes to make depending what you want on the side.  I’ve been playing with cucumber salad and tomatoes, broccoli, and Field Roast breakfast sausages.  I like savory sides with this sandwich personally.  You are going to need a toaster, a frying pan, and some paper towels to make this.  I start by slicing my tofu into approximately 1/2 inch slices, maybe a little thinner, but close.  I am not super neat about it and it still comes out just fine, so don’t worry if your cuts aren’t straight.  After this, I press the tofu between some folded paper towels to remove excess moisture.

After that, you will want to season your tofu.  I sprinkle the top side with salt, pepper, paprika, and turmeric.  I don’t measure, I just sprinkle.  If a clump of turmeric falls out, just spread it out a bit with your finger.  Place your tofu, seasoned side down, in a frying pan on medium-low heat.  I spray my pan with a bit of oil, so the tofu won’t stick.  While your tofu is frying, sprinkle the top side of your tofu with more of the same seasoning and toast up a slice of bread.

 

You want to fry your tofu until it has a nice golden brown look to it.  Then flip it and do the same to the other side.  Once you flip your tofu, add a small handful of non-dairy cheese on top so it starts to melt. It can take a bit for the cheese to melt, so I don’t wait.  If you have a lid for your pan, you can put it over the top.  That will speed up the melting process.   While you are waiting, pull your toast from the oven and spread a decent layer of mayo on it.

 

Once your tofu is golden brown on both sides and your cheese has melted, transfer your tofu onto your bread.  I pick up both pieces with my big spatula at the same time.  The tofu doesn’t stick if you put a little oil spray or butter in the pan.  The thing I like about the nasoya tofu I use it that two slices fit perfectly onto the square bread I use.  If you buy the bigger loaf with the rectangular shape, you may want to fry three slices of tofu instead of two.  After that, add your choice of sides and breakfast is served!

Ingredients:

  • Extra firm tofu, sliced and pressed
  • One slice grainy bread, toasted
  • Hellmann’s Vegan Mayo
  • Vegan Cheddar Shreds
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Turmeric

Try using other spices or fresh herbs if you like.  I am going to try some garlic powder next time.  One morning, I added chopped cilantro to my sandwich. I also think layering thinly sliced cucumbers between the mayo and the tofu would be delicious.  It just occurred to me that I should try it with a vegan sausage patty someday.  Experiment with the idea and let me know how I can improve my recipe!

 


Home Brewed Iced Coffee

I love coffeeI am not a three cup of coffee a day kind of girl, but my tall glass of iced coffee in the morning makes me happy and starts my day out on the right foot.  While we do occasionally by ready to drink Starbucks or Stok iced coffee at the store, for the most part we brew it at home.  When I say we, I actually mean Bruce, because even though he doesn’t drink it, he has become the leading expert on home-brewing in the relationship.  What can I say?  He loves me, so when he sees that I’m getting low, he starts a new batch.  However, I am in Saint Augustine, FL with Skylar who is nursing an injury and Bruce is away on a short business trip, which means I am the one who is in charge of brewing the coffee.

As almost everyone knows by now, cold brewing coffee gives it a much better and less bitter flavor than warm brewing.  What I thought that meant for a long time is that it had to brew in our refrigerator.  That was great when we had a second refrigerator in our garage, but that is not so easy when a.) you have a small fridge in an RV and/or b.) you only have one fridge.  By a stroke of luck, I was discussing this with a Starbucks barista and she pointed out that Starbucks “Cold Brew” is really brewed at room temperature.  Since then, I have been doing the same thing with great results.  So, if you don’t have room to brew in your refrigerator, don’t sweat it.  Brewing it in your cabinet is still going to give you really good results.

It is surprisingly easy to make iced coffee at home.  Sure, at first it seems like a lot, but by the time you have done it twice, you will be a pro.  It also tastes great, because you can pick your favorite coffee grounds.  I have tried a ton of brands and flavors, and strangely enough I keep coming back to Folgers Gourmet Supreme Deep and Full Bodied (Dark Roast).  I like this one in particular for the full deep flavor that I crave in the morning. It’s the best part of waking up, especially when it’s delivered to your bed in the morning.  Bruce really is the best.  🙂

You will need a 2.5 gallon plastic tub with a lid, a 10 to 16 oz bag or cube of  your choice ground coffee, and two gallons of water.  You can even use espresso grounds.  I have and it came out very well.  I am showing my favorite, because we use it 99% of the time.  Instructions: dump your coffee grounds into the bottom of your tub.  Pour two gallons of water over the coffee grounds.  They will start to float.  It’s fine, keep pouring until all the water is in the tub.  Then, take a whisk and stir until there are no more grounds floating on top of your brew.  Make sure the grounds are mixed in pretty well.  It will smell like heaven at this point.  Angels may start to sing.  Your heart may skip a beat.  All of this is perfectly normal.

Once your concoction looks like coffee soup, put the lid on your container and the container into your cabinet or fridge.  Anywhere is fine as long as it’s not going to get hot, you want room temperature or cooler.  Now, you just have to wait for 48 hours, stirring the mixture thoroughly twice a day.  We didn’t do that in the beginning, but Bruce discovered that I like the flavor better if he did it.  I think it gives more depth to the brew.  After 48 hours, you will need to strain it.  There are several ways to do this, so I took photos showing different options.  My daughter has what she calls her “Double Filter No Grounds Process”, which she uses to prevent any stray grounds from ending up in her final cold brew.  She stacks a bowl, a colander, a paper towel, a strainer, and a coffee filter, then strains the batch through, see below:

Bruce and I usually use a Single Filter Process with either the colander and the paper towel (my preference) or the strainer and the coffee filter (his preference).  The reason I like to use paper towels is that is the fastest method.  I just want to get it done, and get on with other things.  I’m an Aries, so I can be super impatient.  I like efficiency. For this post, I am going to be using Skylar’s method, since I’m at her house right now.

 

Once you decide on how you are going to filter your coffee, all you have to do is ladle the brew out of the plastic bin and let the grounds sift out through your filter.  After two or three scoops have gone through your filter, you will need to throw it out and put a fresh filter/paper towel in, toward the end there will be more grounds so keep changing out as necessary.  If not, it will start to drip super slowly and will take forever.   Also, if you notice that your brew is just sitting there and not draining, it usually means that you need to transfer your coffee from the catch bowl into it’s final container.   We use a large glass container with a nozzle.  Sky found a really pretty one at Ikea that holds the full 2 gallons of coffee.

I forgot to take a photo right after I had filled the container.  This is after we already had a few glasses of iced-coffee.  This container was full almost to the top by the time I was finished straining the batch.  The coffee grounds can be used for composting; gardens love coffee grinds.  You can also use them to make a body scrub.  If nothing else, your trash can will smell awesome for a bit until you take out the garbage.  I am sure they could even go down the garbage disposal.

I hope you give this a try!  It is a pretty easy process to master, and there is nothing like knowing you have a refrigerator stocked with iced coffee that you brewed for yourself.  If you have any questions about the process, leave a comment and I will be happy to clarify.