Repurpose with a Purpose

The smell of coffee brewing is an aroma that takes me back to my childhood and I can't imagine a day without this morning ritual. Grinding the freshly roasted coffee beans, laboriously pouring the hot water into the Chemex pot and watching the coffee drain out is simply magical. It is, in fact, something I have been doing for nearly 30 years and is actually what gets me out of bed each day.

Whether it reminds me of my mother's and grandmother's affinity for a freshly brewed cup of coffee, my grandmother's frugal way of repurposing the morning's leftover coffee and turning it into an afternoon delight of iced coffee or perhaps just a few minutes in the morning when all is right in the world as I take my first sip, this is my favorite time of day.

But when the coffee is gone and the coffee filter is full of grinds, I get a pang of guilt as I add the filter and grinds to the kitchen compost container. Yes, I know coffee grinds are good fertilizer to add to certain acid-loving plants (which I do on occasion), that the grinds can be used to remove odors from the fridge (I do not do this, but might), or used as a meat rub (coffee-rubbed tenderloin, anyone?) and that it can be used to color dark wood or dye clothing or even Easter eggs (which I did a few years ago), though these seem like infrequent opportunities to use the daily grinds.

Being a person who is constantly trying (please note the word trying) to reuse, restore, recycle and repurpose things (including food--remember when I made carrot top pesto?), my heart skipped a beat when I landed on this DIY coffee body scrub idea. A little digging proved that coffee grinds make a terrific body scrub, particularly since coffee is known to help treat cellulite and stretch marks, slough away dry skin and even help encourage hair growth when used with hair conditioner.

Who knew?

What we do know is that coffee grinds are loaded with antioxidants and have been known to help slow down premature aging. The addition of cinnamon to the scrub helps rid the skin of any unwanted bacteria and the coconut oil is loaded with vitamins and minerals and will give your skin an additional punch of moisture.

Rather than tossing the morning's coffee grinds in the compost, I put my grandmother's frugal tendencies and my genuine desire to "save the world" to work and made a quick batch of cinnamon-coffee body scrub. With June on our heels, it's time to scrub away the dry winter skin cells and prime our skin for the arrival of summer. And now I am officially ready.

The bonus is the grinds even gave my skin a touch of a golden color--without the damaging effects of the sun. Another reason to repurpose the morning's coffee grinds.

Buen provecho and buen scrubbing, too!
Cinnamon-Coffee Body Scrub
The Cowgirl Gourmet thanks Food & Wine magazine's website for this genius idea

Print recipe

Don't throw away the coffee grinds today, but instead whip up this creative body scrub recipe to remove the unwanted dry skin factor. Underneath that old layer of cells is beautiful skin just waiting to be caressed. But please be careful with your face and decotelle area, as you need to be gentle in these areas. 

Makes about 3/4 cup

1/2 cup coffee grinds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined. Place in a container with a lid that will not break in the shower, preferably plastic. Trust me on this one. I have made that mistake before....and it is not pretty.

In the shower, add the scrub liberally to wet skin and slough away. Rinse and enjoy the feel of your soft and silky skin. Now switch the water temperature to cold and finish with a quick rinse to close all of your pores and seal in the moisture. Blot dry.

Store the leftover scrub in the shower and continue to use twice a week.

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