Is it Better to Buy Pre-Ground Coffee or to Grind your Own Coffee Beans

Oxygen and coffee do not mix. Oxygen that comes into contact with rich, tantalizing freshly ground beans is taking away its flavor by the second. What we smell when we get a sense of coffee is it oxidizing and disappearing into the air. That flavor – which you’d surely rather be tasting – is instead going off into the air. For these reasons, we trace back to the consumer debate between pre-ground coffee and grinding your own coffee beans. Although pre-ground coffee makes the coffee making process easier, the extra step of grinding your own coffee beans can add a lot of flavor.

 

Coffee grinder livingbasic
Coffee grinder livingbasic

 

All it takes is a few minutes of exposure for oxygen to nag away flavor from what could be an amazing cup of coffee. This is why any time you visit a high-end coffee shop, you’re going to find them grinding the beans before brewing you anything. That’s what packs in that extra taste! Coffee professionals also use pour-over techniques to help minimize the exposure of the coffee to oxygen, all in an attempt to hang onto as much taste as is possible. If you are set to grind, we recommend using a machine that’s been designed specifically for grinding coffee beans. Don’t use something that’s made for spices!

A proper electric coffee grinder is going to provide an even grind. Instead of tearing away the beans, you’ll have an evenness that adds to the solubility. This is important as it means more coffee. That’s how you avoid a watery cup of coffee. Although you’ll pay more for an electric coffee grinder, they’re worth the purchase price and work far better than cheaper models. A barrier to buying a coffee grinder is typically a person doesn’t have the time to do it all themselves. Well, it only takes a minute. And, in the end, it yields a better cup of coffee which is going to get your day started on the right foot. All this counts for a lot.

Any time you’re brewing your coffee at home, go for grinding the beans yourself. There’s no reason to invest in anything expensive, either. Living.ca has plenty of on-sale coffee makers, coffee accessories, and yes, a coffee bean grinder. Set it up in your kitchen and you’ll have it when you need it. Although pre-ground coffee works as an alternative to instant coffee, you’re always going to get the best cup of coffee there is from freshly ground beans. Shop yours today from Living.ca.

Inexpensive Wines you can Add to your Wine Rack this Spring

There are some absolutely gorgeous tabletop wine racks available for purchase from Living.ca. Celebrating both tabletops and stand-alone wine racks, we are sharing five of the best inexpensive wines in Canada that you’ll absolutely love to partake in. Hang onto a bottle of at least one of these brands to ensure you’re never at a loss for what to reach for.

Living.ca winerack
Living.ca winerack

2017 Santa Julia Pinot Grigio – $13.95

This is one of the best bottles of Pinot Grigio you’ll find in the under-$20 category. Richer than probably anything you’d expect, enjoy mixed citrus that’s shiny and pure with subtle mango flavourings thrown in here and there. This Argentinean blend is a fine cocktail alternative and makes for a suitable pairing with beef dishes.

 

2017 Joao Portugal Ramos ‘Loios’ Red – $9.30

Produced from the acclaimed Joao Portugal Ramos, this red wine is dry, medium-bodied and complete with all sorts of soft, juicy goodness. In this red, you’ll taste mixed Portuguese berries – something very appealing to those attracted to classic European wines. It also makes for one heck of a meal when paired with some cured ham.

 

2016 Nederburg ‘The Winemasters’ Cabernet Sauvignon – $13.95

This South African Cabernet Sauvignon gives great bang for your buck. Dry and full-bodied, this is a Cabernet Sauvignon hard to pass on. Enjoy crushed velvet flavors pulling from cassis and cherries, alongside a mix of toasted spices. Although it’s not the most complex wine flavor you’ll have this season, it’s a taste that’s equal to or exceeds anything else at the under-$15 price point.

 

2017 Open Smooth Red Cabernet Sauvignon – $13.45

For anyone who loves a good Sangria, this is a great alternative. Silky-smooth and light-bodied, this Cabernet Sauvignon bursts with cranberries, strawberries, and sugared rhubarb. Now, the bottle does pack a lot of sugar in it compared with other wine varieties which is worth remembering. That said, for that pure fruit taste, it’s well worth it to throw a bottle of this red on your wine rack storage organizer!

 

2018 Vina Carmen Alario Sauvignon Blanc – $8.95

This Sauvignon Blanc is well-balanced, well-made, and is one of those glasses that just makes for a good drink. New to Canada, this drink brings together pink grapefruit flavors alongside herbs, lime, and green pepper. Although it’s easy to enjoy on its own, the Vina Carmen Alario is equally excellent when paired with some pesto pasta.

Find a great wine rack to add to your kitchen this spring with Living.ca. Browse different styles, choose your favourite, and add to the luxuriousness of your kitchen today

Trendy Smoothie Recipes in 2019 to make in your Professional Blender

If you’ve always wanted a smoothie to make healthy recipes that taste borderline like dessert, you’ve come to the right place. Living.ca is a brand focused on home and lifestyle products, including small appliances.

 

Living.ca’s professional blender is one of Canada’s best, perfect for mixing smoothies of all types with a powerful 1,500 watts of power behind it. Here are some of our favourite smoothies, as plucked from the trendiest corners of Instagram and social media.

 

Strawberry cheesecake smoothie

The strawberry cheesecake smoothie is always going to be a fan favourite. Decadence hasn’t been this healthy ever! You can enjoy this one almost every day and not have to worry about getting big… well, that last part we may have lied about. So tasty!

 

Mango lava flow smoothie

Imagine what swirls of mango and coconut feel like together in a professionally made smoothie. Your blender is capable of truly wonderful things and this dish is one such example. The taste is close to a pina colada.

 

Caramel apple smoothies

Creatively blending together pieces of apple with caramel and the perfect amount of additions, this is the perfect afternoon treat when you’re looking for a boost to help carry you through to dinner.

 

Pineapple whip smoothie

Pineapple whip smoothie is a great Disney treat you can have at home. Also, it’s lower in sugar than you might think. If you’re a pineapple lover, this recipe is well worth looking into. Your smoothie blender will thank you.

 

Banana chocolate pistachio smoothie

The banana chocolate pistachio smoothie is a perfect mix of thickness, cream, and is the healthiest chocolate milkshake you might ever have.

 

Banana almond mocha smoothie

This one is for all the frappe lovers. Instead of going that way, give a coffee smoothie a try. Professional blenders like Living.ca’s are made for delicious meals like this.

 

Peanut butter chip smoothie

Although this is as far away from fruity as you can get, the peanut butter chip smoothie is absolutely delicious. The chocolaty bits make for a rich Reese’s-esque experience that’s hard to pass up.

 

Chocolate mint smoothie

We all love decadent chocolate and paired with mint in a smoothie, it’s quite something! A chocolate mint recipe is perfect to throw into the blender after a long day at work or on the weekend.

 

So when you want to start your day with some fruit, protein, and super foods all swirled together, choose Living.ca’s professional blender to make it all happen. Shop with us today!

The Culture of Hammocks Worldwide and Why you May Want one for your Backyard

Hammocks have a long history. Looking at it, all one might see is a sling and a suspension design however culturally, it means so much more. Hammocks originally came from Aboriginal tribes in Central America and South America. Sometime around the time of the Spanish conquest, this is when colonists uncovered the use of hammocks by these cultures. Hammocks were used for sleeping in these cultures and were later applied in ships by sailors for the same purpose.

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Explorers who came to these regions from Europe came to use hammocks when going through wooded regions. This was common for many years. Then, in North America, hammocks would come around to be used beginning by parents in the 1920s. They were used to contain babies to crawl. They eventually came to be used worldwide on camping trips, in the backyard, at the cottage, and in a variety of settings.

 

It is believed the word ‘hammock’ comes from a Haitian word meaning ‘stretch of cloth’, originating in the Taino culture. The first hammocks were made from woven tree back, replaced later with sisal fibers as sisal plants were more abundant. Hammocks proved to be tremendously useful in their early history, fighting against disease transmission, preventing insect stings, and reducing animal bites. All it took was suspending one’s bed above ground to protect the population from snakes, biting ants, and other similarly harmful creatures.

 

Sadly, hammocks throughout the 1800s and early 1900s were believed to be a white European creation. English-language sources detailing hammocks sought to erase Aboriginal history from hammock creation. Popular writer Samuel Johnson even claimed ‘hammock’ was Saxon. Although this was easily debunked in time, it is still an unfortunate bullet point in the history of hammocks.

 

To this day, hammocks are enjoyed worldwide by many cultures. In Mexico, they are still manufactured and are prominent in their culture. El Salvador is the world’s largest producer/exporter of hammocks. There are even ‘hammock festivals’ held here celebrating them. In Venezuela, there are entire villages where family homes are equipped with hammocks. Some families are raised entirely with hammocks, rather than beds. In India, ceiling mounted hammocks are also traditional to south India.

 

If you’re looking to grab a hammock for your next camping trip or are looking to set one up in your backyard, you’re not the only one. Thousands of Canadians have come to Living.ca shopping the best prices on cheap hammocks made from the highest quality materials out there. Shop your hammock on-sale from Living.ca today.

Have you Ever Thought about Adding Vinegar to your Laundry – Try It!

You may have read online about the benefits of adding vinegar to your laundry. If you haven’t, it’s something you may want to give a try. Vinegar – not apple cider, but the regular white – is a very versatile product which can be kept around for several uses. Vinegar’s great at preventing smells, is an effective way to clean your dishwasher, is an easy way to avoid a fruit fly infestation, and yes, works wonders on laundry.

 

Neutralizes odors.

Vinegar has quite the fragrance to it, we know. In laundry though, it’s a great smell neutralizer. Add a half cup during the wash cycle to help remove strange odors. Any smells related to pets, cooking, or smoke odors are no match for vinegar.

Laundry-Organizers-4-Bag-Rolling-Laundry-Sorter-Cart-Heavy-Duty-Sorting-Hamper-Removable-Bags-Brake-Casters-Black

Protects colors.

As an add-on, vinegar in your first wash can help protect and set colors. On new clothing, this protection is especially important. Brightly colored clothing – think reds or blues – can be soaked in undiluted white vinegar for 15 minutes prior to the first wash. Doing this is believed to help eliminate the possibility of bleeding issues later on.

 

Softens water.

‘Hard water’ refers to water with metals and mineral deposits in it. It’s abrasive on the skin, dulls clothes, and minimizes the power of your laundry detergent’s power. Consider adding half a cup of white distilled vinegar to the final rinse of your washing cycle. Subsequently, vinegar can also be used to resurrect clothing which has been dulled and faded because of hard water. Simply take your clothes, soak them overnight in vinegar and water, and then, wash using a full cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle.

 

Stain removal.

If whites are starting to turn yellow or if you have a food stain, vinegar is an easy way to remove stains. If something’s yellowing, soak it overnight in one part vinegar and 12 parts water. Then, wash it on the rinse cycle with half cup of vinegar to bring back the white. Comparatively, for any spot treatments, apply undiluted vinegar to the stain and wash immediately. Add a half to two cups of vinegar to the washing cycle as well to help remove tougher stains.

 

Fabric softener.

Lastly, vinegar is a great fabric softener. It releases trapped bacteria and tackles the growth of mildew. Put a half cup of vinegar in your fabric softener compartment to keep clothes soft and smelling good.

 

If you need any help organizing your laundry or keeping dirty laundry organized, browse laundry sorters, laundry organizers, and heavy-duty laundry accessories at Living.ca today.

4 Small Appliances from Living.ca that will Change the Way you Cook at Home

For many Canadians looking to eat healthier, the unfortunate problem is oftentimes a need to buy new small appliances which are difficult to afford to be able to make the Internet’s long list of ‘healthy recipes’. Needless to say, the world has come a long way from when the microwave was the only small appliance you needed in the kitchen. Here are Living.ca’s best 4 small appliances for healthy eaters.

Multi-use programmable pressure cooker

LivingBasic Programmable pressure cooker

Pressure cooker cooks food at a high temperature and is an easy purchase because of the different foods it has the potential to make. Living.ca’s 16-in-1 multi-use pressure cooker can be used to make multi-grain, meat stews, white rice, brown rice, steamed vegetables, soup, beans, poultry, pastas, steamed potatoes, as a hot pot, to saute or brown, to boil, to bake, to reheat, and/or for yogurt.

 

Digital countertop convection oven

A convection oven is not quite a toaster oven. This is a different style of oven which sits on your counter and which makes cooking so much easier. To cook meals, many employ innovative heating technologies. They cook foods evenly, allowing you to toss in all sorts of foods together without having to cook them separately. The ability to cook a full meal is a huge element of what makes Living.ca’s countertop convection oven so appealing to young couples and Canadian families.

 

Sous vide machines

Sous vide machines is a method of cooking wherein your food is placed in a bag which is then submerged in water. In water, it’s then cooked at a set temperature until done. The results with a sous vide immersion cooker are always delicious – with the right ingredients, don’t get us wrong. Meats like prime rib and salmon taste amazing coming out from a sous vide. There’s even some who have made cheesecake in it!

 

Professional smoothies blender

 

The last small appliance from Living.ca to make our list is a professional smoothies blender. Make juice, milkshakes, smoothies, grind nuts, make spices, or mix batters, and more with 1,500 watts of power. A blender is great to have in the kitchen as it give all those fruits and vegetables an opportunity to combine and make some truly delightful drinks.

 

Browse these 4 small appliances and others from Living.ca. Change the way you do breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Whether you’re living alone, as a couple, have a family, or are retired, there’s no reason not to treat yourself! Shop with Living.ca today.

6 Desserts you Never Knew you Could Make in your Deep Fryer at Home

There’s nothing more exciting than getting your first deep fryer. All those delicious fries, chicken, and all sorts of goodness you go to fast food for, you can now make at home. Sometimes, what we forget about is how many desserts that can also be made with a deep fryer at home. Here are 6 of the most delicious desserts you can make with a deep fryer.

Kitchen-Appliances-Professional-Deep-Fryer
Kitchen-Appliances-Professional-Deep-Fryer

Apple fritter rings

Apple fritter rings can be made by combining cinnamon, sugar, eggs, oil, buttermilk, flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Slice your apples, coat them in your flour batter, and drop them in your deep fryer. When they come out, toss them in cinnamon and sugar before serving!

 

Deep fried Oreo

Deep fried Oreos only require for the cookies to be dipped in batter and dropped in hot oil. You can make your batter from pancake mix. Just ensure there are no lumps left in and that everything’s smooth.

 

Churros

Churros require more time than some of the other recipes on this list however the finished product is so infinitely tasty. Create your mixture using milk, salt, butter, flour, an eggs, and then dump into a pastry bag. Use a star nozzle to pour it out into the oil, frying 4-5 churros at a time until golden brown.

 

Fried ice-cream

Fried ice cream is admittedly a challenge but is worth the investment. Scoop out balls of ice cream, beat eggs until they’re frothy, and in a separate dish, mix crushed cornflakes with cinnamon. Then, roll your ice cream scoops in egg whites and then, in your cornflake mix. Ensure they’re completely covered. Throw them in the freezer for 3 hours. Then, heat your oil to 375 degrees, dip your frozen ice cream balls in for 15 seconds approximately, drain, and serve immediately.

 

Chocolate-stuffed wontons

Take a wonton wrapper and place 1 tsp of chocolate pieces in the centre. Fold it in half, seal its edges with some water, and fry 4-5 at a time until golden brown in your oil. A very easy family recipe, all you need is to grab some wonton wrappers.

 

Funnel cake

Funnel cake is one of the more extensive recipes on this list, requiring a few extra minutes of preparation time. Even so, once you have your funnel cake mixture ready, pour your batter mixture into the funnel. Then, slowly release your hand from the hole while making 6” round swirls in the oil. Fry on both sides and sprinkle some confectioner’s sugar on them. All done!

 

Sweet, succulent, and tasty desserts are an amazing way to use your deep fryer. Purchase Canada’s favourite deep fryer today from Living.ca and begin churning out some of your favourites today!