Can you eat raw ground coffee?

Can you eat raw ground coffee?

Most Americans ages 18 and up drink coffee every single day. To be more specific, that’s over half of the population that feels like you do every morning. In fact, 54% say coffee makes them feel like themselves.

If you’re the kind of person who has a sign posted on your desk that says, “No talking before coffee,” then you’re in good company. Coffee perks us up plus it has many great benefits for your health. As long as you’re not dumping tons of sugar and cream in it, it can reduce your chances for skin cancer type 2 diabetes, liver disease, and cardiovascular disease. Plus, it has been shown to lessen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Coffee contains plenty of amazing nutrients. And while we do get them in our brewed up cups, we miss out on some of them in the very grounds that make our necessary morning liquid.

Can you eat raw ground coffee? Why, yes, you can! But to understand more about coffee, eating it, and all the benefits that await, go pour yourself a cup and keep on reading!

Composition of raw coffee ground

Raw ground coffee is not just for coffee. Even at Vanderbilt University, they focus on the biodegradable and compostable aspects of coffee in their campus shop, Common Grounds. The Last Drop Coffee Shop is another one that puts focus on the healthful aspects of coffee and its complementary items like fruit and homemade salads and soups for a well-rounded approach.

And why do they do this? It’s simple. Coffee grounds are intensely rich in nitrogen and plenty of other minerals too. In this country alone, over 400 million cups of coffee are slurped down by us all. We’re missing out on a significant chunk of nutrition by simply tossing them out. Imagine all the healthful benefits that are waiting!

Keep reading and you’ll find out a bit more about those!

Can you eat raw ground coffee?

In short, yes, you can. Have you ever been to a restaurant or café that finishes off a dessert with a garnish of raw ground coffee or even whole coffee beans? Heck, have you eaten those chocolate covered coffee beans? You can definitely eat coffee!

For a while, coffee was seen as unhealthy and then it got thrust into the healthy limelight for its health-boosting capabilities. There’s always something going on with this debate, but it seems the healthfulness of coffee far outweighs anything else. Again, coffee is healthy unless you’re dumping spoonful after spoonful of sugar into it. Mary Poppins might think it helps the medicine go down but for coffee going au natural is so much better for your health.

On top of all this though, those grounds have plenty of antioxidants and other goodies you need, so you might want to eat coffee grounds.

In the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a study analyzed the used coffee grounds and found they contain phenolic compounds, a special type of antioxidant that protects the health of your heart. Sometimes, it showed that the grounds had higher levels of phenols over the brewed coffee.

So that means everyone that brews coffee is throwing away a treasure trove of nutrition. However, few people really know what to do with those grounds. You can infuse them into baked goods or use them to top off dessert, perhaps use it as a crust for meat, and try to get creative with them. It’s certainly a cool concept and if you love playing around in the kitchen, you might stumble upon the next big food trend!

Are Coffee Grounds Bad for You?

Coffee grounds aren’t bad for you. As a matter of fact, with all their nutrients, they’re very good for you. Perhaps you’re not keen on serving yourself a platter of coffee grounds with a spoon though, and that’s easy to see why. The texture can be a bit off-putting.

As mentioned though, you can find ways to incorporate them where you won’t feel like you’re gobbling up a bowl of gritty dirt. Slowly working them in might be the best way to go. They have quite a number of health benefits so keep reading to find out what you’re getting when you add coffee grounds into your foods.

The health benefits of raw coffee grounds

When it comes to coffee, since so many Americans thrive off of it daily, there is an educational institution devoted to studying our favorite beverage. During research, it was found that leftover coffee grounds have many fantastic uses for better health. There are loads of vitamins and minerals in those grounds.

The grounds, as it turns out, are rich in antioxidants. Researchers at Vanderbilt University Center for Latin American Studies are currently trying to find a way to extract those antioxidants out of used coffee grounds. The hope is that there is an easy way to do so that we may incorporate them without a fuss into the foods we eat.

While they work to figure that out, we don’t have to wait around to get the full benefits of coffee. 

Coffee grounds are rich in antioxidants

Somewhere around 1,000 A.D., Arabians began brewing coffee. Then came the day that they began cultivating it for trade. From there, coffee spread like wildfire to every part of the world. Thanks to their desire to trade this commodity, humans ever since have been unknowingly gulping down cup after cup of potent antioxidants.

Antioxidants are incredibly important for health and longevity. They block free radicals from destroying your cells. Free radicals can do damage to cells that causes cancer so the richer in antioxidants your diet is, the better chance you have for having your best health.

Because coffee is so beloved, there have been tons of studies exploring its potential health benefits. To date, there have been over 19,000 of such studies, all of them aimed to determine how coffee betters our lives aside from keeping us from falling asleep on the drive to work or curing our grouchy morning with every sip.

While most research has been aimed at coffee itself, researchers are now turning more toward the grounds to see what benefits they find. So far it seems we shouldn’t be tossing those used coffee grounds away with such haste anymore.

As studies come out, the grounds seem to hold more keys to health. They have higher levels of antioxidants than a steaming cup of coffee. And that’s pretty impressive since brewed coffee has plenty of antioxidants itself.

The antioxidants seem to travel through the entire brewing process. They’re there from the bean to the beautiful coffee itself and in the grounds, working hard to fight those free radicals. Coffee gets more potent after it is roasted and quite soon, scientists hope they can take the extracts from grounds and add it to other foods for improved health benefits.

It should be noted that your body makes antioxidants naturally, though only some of them. The other types your body needs need to come from other sources like what you eat and drink. Harvard Medical School found that those who drink coffee on the regular are 50% less likely to form liver cancer. They’re also less likely to develop rectal, breast, and colon cancer, as well as diabetes since it helps lower blood sugar while boosting metabolism.

The verdict seems to be that coffee is much more healthful than it is harmful. Lots of good things happen for you when you drink coffee, though your aim should be to do so without adding lots of cream and sugar into it.

Other ways to use raw coffee ground

So now that you know your coffee grounds are good for you too, you can start using them in other ways. If you’re not enthused about putting them in your food, there are a few other ways you can make use of them and maximize their full potential. Read on to find out how!

– Create a body scrub

Caffeine has long been used in beauty products from under-eye cream to cellulite-busting products because it’s so effective. If you want to liven up your skin, use coffee grounds as a natural exfoliant to slough off dead skin cells and enrich it with antioxidants all at once.

Simply mix your coffee grounds with coconut oil and brown sugar for a delightful scrub. One word of caution though – coffee grounds can clog up your drains (read all about that here!) so use a sieve or filter to catch it with ease when rinsing it off to avoid that problem.

– Keep the neighbor’s cat out of your garden

Animals are wonderful creatures, but you might not want them tearing up your garden. Cats often like lurking in flowers to catch bugs, lizards, and other critters. Unfortunately, when they do that, they’re anything but graceful. Now you can keep them away without causing them any harm. Cats don’t like the smell of coffee. Ditto for citrus. If you want a natural way to keep cats from your garden, including your own if you have one, just sprinkle coffee grounds and orange peels around and it will do the trick without hurting anyone or the environment.

– Get rid of mosquitos

Mosquitos are horrid pests that can, pardon the pun, really bug you. With coffee grounds around, you can keep them from buzzing around you while you enjoy your backyard or front porch. By using coffee grounds, you won’t have to spray toxic chemicals around or stink like mosquito repellent.

– Help certain plants thrive

This isn’t the case for all plants, but some varieties do best with more acidic soil. Things like blueberries and hydrangeas are a prime example. If you sprinkle coffee grounds around them, they should do quite well. However you should check the pH level of the soil first. You don’t want to make it too acidic or it could have the opposite effect.

– Make a natural wood stain

Wood stain is really stinky. Plus, it’s not a good idea to be in the presence of chemicals. You can use your coffee grounds to make a natural wood stain. The longer it sits, the darker it gets. Before you go all in on that though, try out your coffee ground wood staining solution on samples of wood first to see which suits you best.

– Craft an air freshener

All coffee lovers adore the smell of fresh coffee. It’s easy to make coffee ground air fresheners by securing them into bundles using your coffee filters. Tie it with a ribbon and hang it in your home. You can also use old coffee grounds in your fridge to eliminate odors.

– Make coffee soap

If you love crafts, making a soap using coffee grounds can deliver all those caffeinated benefits to your skin. It’s wonderfully anti-inflammatory and great for rejuvenating skin. Plus, it helps reduce water tension. You can turn them into beautiful gifts for the holidays too for an eco-friendly and heavenly-scented way to show your love to friends and family.

– Get rid of shoe odor

Do you or a loved on have problems with stinky shoes? Coffee grounds can take that stink away. If you put fresh coffee grounds into nylon tights, tie them off, and stuff them in your shoes, it will do wonders. Yes, you’ll probably smell like coffee but that’s much better than smelling like feet!

– Use it to make a meat rub

If you have fresh coffee grounds, you can try them out with meat. Making it into a rub will help add lots of flavor and juiciness. It might sound strange but coffee can be a great complement to meat. Even Trader Joe’s makes a spice rub with coffee and you can steal a page from their book and make your own. Go grab a nice pork tenderloin or a skirt steak and give it a try.

– Make coffee ice cream

And finally, when you have coffee grounds, why not make coffee ice cream? Homemade coffee ice cream is a great treat that you can enjoy any time. Many recipes call for using instant coffee, but there’s no reason you can’t repurpose those coffee grounds to make your next batch of coffee ice cream.

– Use frozen coffee cubes

You can also take those grounds and run them through again to get extra coffee which you can freeze in ice trays. These are great when you want to make iced coffee. Simply plunk the cubes in a glass and add cream or milk for a refreshing treat on a hot day!


Coffee has so many benefits to drinking it, but the grounds seem to hold a key we’re just now unlocking for better health. You can find many great ways to use them, whether you sprinkle a little on a parfait, use it as a rub, work it into your beauty routine, or use it in and around your home.

Why let your coffee grounds go to waste? With all those antioxidants and natural odor-fighting abilities, coffee grounds are yet another gift from the coffee gods we should all bow down to!


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