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If you have a French press but you’re only using it for coffee, then you’re doing it wrong, friends. If you’re wondering how to use a French press for things that aren’t coffee, then you’ve come to the right place.
Before we get going, make sure to check out our kitchen appliance deals so you have the perfect one!
1. Wash quinoa quickly and efficiently with your French press.
If quinoa wasn’t on your French press menu then it’s about to be. Quinoa and even rice require rinsing before you cook them.
Using a French press can be less wasteful than running water through a strainer. Add the grain to the press pot and fill the rest with water. Stir and press down to the bottom. Pour out the cloudy, starch-infused water. Repeat until the water is clear.
2. Use your French press to infuse oils.
Add in the oil you want to use — we like olive or grapeseed — and your favorite fresh herbs — basil, thyme, rosemary and oregano make a nice blend. Let them sit and infuse for at least 20 minutes, then press down a few times. With the strainer, you’ll get clean liquids every time.
You might even try your hand at some of these ways even a newbie can use essential oils!
3. Make French press juice.
My French press menu always includes fresh juice! Give watermelon juice a try by adding chunks of watermelon and the juice of one small lime to your French press, then squish and strain.
You can try this on any kind of juice, but keep in mind some fruits and vegetables will require blending beforehand.
4. Make chicken stock with your French press.
When I was first learning how to use a French press, I never would have thought of stock! It’s pretty simple, though.
After you’ve simmered chicken with veggies and spices, strain the juice by pouring it into your French press to make chicken stock.
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5. Use your French press to rehydrate dried food.
You’re going to love this one. Think dried mushrooms in stir fry and noodle bowls!
Add dried food to your press, cover it with water and push the plunger down so it’s completely covered. Leave it like this for about 10 to 15 minutes then drain the excess water.
6. Froth your milk with a French press.
What goes better with coffee and tea than frothed milk? I mean, it should totally be in the French press instructions.
Fill a third of your French press with warm milk and gently pump the plunger up and down until it froths up.
7. Use your French press to add fresh hop flavor to your beer.
Pack a handful of fresh hops into the French press and add beer. Stick it in the refrigerator for about 10 to 15 minutes — or to taste — and slowly press out the hops for a tasty, full-bodied, fresh-hop beer. Who knew a French press menu could include beer?
Oh, and did you know that there are a ton of things you can do with beer besides drink it?
8. Make a French press cocktail.
Skip the cocktail shaker and add your ingredients to a French press, then pump the strainer up and down. For “dirty” drinks, take out the strainer before pouring, or leave it in for a “clean” cocktail.
9. Fix up some French press guacamole.
This is a quick and less messy way to get those ripe avocados prepped for your guacamole. Cut up the avocados and place them in a French press and press up and down as you would a masher. Super easy! And so tasty that it should come with your French press instructions!
10. Create a French press herb keeper.
Make your herbs last longer. Trim the bottom of your herbs and fill the French press with an inch of water, just enough to cover the roots. Even better, lift the plunger to bring the herbs to the top while draining them at the same time.
11. Strain frozen vegetables.
Who’d think to put frozen veggies on the French press menu? Turns out it’s a great way to drain liquid from thawed-out vegetables, like spinach, so you avoid a runny dip.
Do stay away from thick or bulky items that require force to strain — you don’t want to break your French press.
Once I have the ingredients ready for my dip, I like to make more than one at a time in my slow-cooker!
12. Serve French press apple cider.
You’ll start by quartering 10 apples and covering them in a pot with water to boil. Add 3/4 cup of white sugar, and a tablespoon each of cinnamon and allspice. Boil uncovered for an hour, then cover and simmer for two hours.
Once finished, use your French press to press the apples and squeeze out the rest of the liquid!
13. Make French press whipped cream.
Wondering how to use a French press to get whipped cream? Fill half the press with heavy whipping cream, attach the lid, then push and pull the filter up and down very quickly.
You might not get the fluffiest whipped cream, but it works when you’re in a pinch.
14. Use real chocolate to make French press hot chocolate.
You may never make hot chocolate without a French press again. Add finely ground chocolate to the bottom of a French press. Pour hot milk over the chocolate and let it sit for two minutes before pumping vigorously for another minute or so to froth the milk slightly.
Pro tip: Throw in a tablespoon of ground coffee or espresso — it’ll bring out the flavor in the chocolate!
15. Steep tea with your French press.
Okay, this one might even be in your French press instructions, but no one ever really thinks about it!
Add tea leaves or tea bags to a French press, pour in hot water, cover with the lid and steep for the appropriate amount of time. Then press the tea to the bottom, just like you would coffee grounds.
16. Make French press almond milk in a flash.
Soak your raw almonds in water overnight then throw them in a blender with water to turn it into milk. Pour the blended liquid into your French press and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes. It’ll be harder to push down than coffee, but be patient, take it slow, and keep pressing. It pays off in the end with the freshest almond milk ever.
Psst… If dairy isn’t your thing, then you should check out these money-saving tips for people on Keto, Whole30, Paleo and vegan diets!
17. Enjoy some French press fruit-infused water.
Chop up your fruit into smaller pieces to extract the most flavors. Add some sprigs from your favorite herb — like mint — if you’d like, then some water. Let it all marinate for about 5 minutes and press down to squeeze out even more fruit flavor. Now this is how to use a French press in the summer!
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