As one of the most commonly consumed drinks around the world, coffee has enjoyed a fairly good reputation.
Several researchers discovered in a variety of studies that drinking coffee has a positive impact on the consumer’s health. Medical scientists at London’s Imperial College said they have found that drinking more coffee could lengthen a person’s lifespan — even if it is decaffeinated — as it is linked to a lower risk of death, particularly for heart diseases and diseases of the gut.
It was further stated that people who drank three cups of coffee a day enjoyed 19 per cent lower risk of death from heart attack or stroke, at least 18 per cent lower risk of getting cancer (if they are non-smokers), about 29 perc ent lower risk of fatty liver disease, and 30 per cent lower risk of Type-2 diabetes.
All of this good news was suddenly brushed aside last month in Los Angeles by Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle who ruled that in the state of California, coffee must be sold with a cancer warning because a chemical which is produced during the roasting process could potentially lead to cancer.
Coffee sellers argue that this chemical called acrylamide was present at harmless levels and it results naturally from the cooking process needed to make the coffee beans flavourful. In fact, they argued, in 2016 the WHO’s Agency for Research on Cancer moved coffee off its “possible carcinogen” list. Their supporters point out that this ruling means that even pumpkin puree and French fries should be sold with a cancer label as both contain trace amounts of acrylamide.
Professor John Ioannidis at California’s Stanford University has placed himself squarely with the defendants: “I am not the least concerned about coffee being a problem for causing cancer. The amounts of acrylamide people are exposed to in their coffee are so low that it’s hard to say it’d cause cancer. Among the zillions of things that surround us coffee is among the safest in terms of cancer risk.”
Readers can decide for themselves which camp they stand with; in the meantime here are two delectable recipes that contain coffee and one which pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee. You don’t just drink coffee, you can eat it too.
COFFEE CHICKEN TAGINE
1 kg chicken drumsticks and thighs, with bone and skin on
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 small onion, chopped
12 dried apricots
12 dried prunes
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon powdered coriander
1 tablespoon ground coffee
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chickpeas, boiled
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. With the tip of a knife, score the chicken pieces and stuff the sliced garlic into the slits. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown each side of the chicken in some olive oil. Remove from the skillet and place at the bottom of a large tagine or earthen pot.
In a small, clean skillet, toast the cumin seeds and cloves. Grind the cumin and cloves, set aside. Next, brown the onion and dried fruit in a small amount of olive oil until soft. Place in the tagine then add the ground cumin, cinnamon stick, coriander, coffee, ginger, honey, and chicken broth. Cover and place in the oven, cook for one hour. Add chickpeas to the pot and cook for another 30 minutes. Serve the tagine directly on the table along with a large dish of brown rice or couscous.
QUICK COFFEE CAKE
1 cup oil
2 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
½ cup margarine melted
Combine oil, eggs, vanilla and milk together. In another bowl blend together sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour half the batter into a 9x13 pan.
Prepare streusel by combining brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle half of streusel on the batter. Top with the remaining batter and sprinkle the remaining streusel on top. Drizzle with melted margarine and bake for 25-30 minutes.
1 cup water
2 tablespoons instant coffee
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan, cooking until sugar dissolves. Cool for a few minutes then stir in the corn syrup. Reserve one-fourth cup of this mixture and set aside.
Mix coffee powder to the remaining while it is still warm. Cool to room temperature. Combine milk with the reserved one-fourth cup of syrup mixture. Whisk the cinnamon in the milk mixture.
Divide the milk mixture evenly in an ice popsicle mould. Then top it up by dividing the espresso mixture evenly. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for six hours or until frozen.
Originally published in Dawn, EOS, April 22nd, 2018