A well loved, passed down piece of kitchen equipment is probably one of the most thoughtful and meaningful gifts if you're a girl who loves to cook. And if you're south of the Mason Dixon, a passed down cast iron skillet is basically the equivalent of the highest 'you're doin' things right in life' you can get from a relative. In fact, I've already waxed poetic about those cast iron skillets (OH MY GOD if you do not have a seasoned skillet, it's a game changer. Don't have a passed down one? Try this skillet.), so today with this Recipe Redux challenge to share a meaningful piece of your kitchen, I'm sharing a mortar and pestle.

I know. It seems ridiculous. It's one of those things people buy from a store and have on their counter to collect dust. But this marble beauty is not only the perfect tiny size, but it was given to me recently by my grandparents. My grandpa used it in his vineyard to crush grapes off the vines for sugar testing. And to me, a mortar and pestle can't get more beautiful than that.

If you have a mortar and pestle and don't know what to do with it....I've got you covered! Here are 5 brilliant basic uses for your mortar and pestle: 

5 Things To Do With a Mortar And Pestle 
  1. Ground Flaxseed: It really ruffles my feathers when I see whole flax added to bread or smoothies etc to jack up the price. You know why? You CAN'T digest whole flax like that, so congrats on being suckered into paying to have it pass through you. Instead, grab a bag of flaxseed and grind it at home in this baby! Sprinkle in salads or on oatmeal.
  2. Make Tahini Paste: I'm a recent tahini and sesame seed convert. Make your own paste by picking up bulk sesame seeds from an Asian Market and grind it up.
  3. Crush Nuts: Skip the Cuisinart clean out. Do it manually.
  4. Seasoned Salt: You don't need to buy salt blends. Just add sea salt and spices and dried herbs and grind away. The husband made a green tea version that smells earthy and awesome.
  5. Quick Oats Done Right: I know it's tempting to buy instant oatmeal, but it just doesn't have the same nutrition content as the stone/steel cut ones that take longer. To make the good stuff faster, pulverize the oats in this! It's the same concept: smaller/thinner= faster cooking.

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.