Spent Grains Energy Bars Recipe
What To Do With All Those Spent Grains?
As soon as I started home brewing beer with all-grain, I began asking myself what to do with all those spent grains? It seems wasteful to just throw them away and I am not really doing anything where I could use them as compost. I knew about making dog biscuits or granola bars but I had not found a recipe that seemed worth trying until I heard about an easy and interesting method on the BeerSmith Podcast. The episode included an interview with Amelia Loftus who is a homebrewer (among many other talents) who discussed eco-friendly brewing. It immediately piqued my interest and when she provided a link to the spent grain energy bars recipe, I knew I found a way to use at least some of those spent grains.
The ingredient list was simple enough but I could not find everything so I had to substitute some things.
2 cups spent grains- dried
2 cups rolled oats (quick cooking or old fashioned)
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 to 1 cup chopped dried fruit (optional) — I left these out
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup barley malt syrup — I substituted Maple Syrup
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
I also added 1/4 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
The directions are also relatively simple.
Spread the grains on a cookie sheet and dry in the oven at 175° F for 2.5 hours shifting the grains around every 30 minutes.
Increase the temperature to 325° F for the final 30 minutes with the oats and chopped pecans to roast everything together.
Grains drying. Inset: with oats and pecans.
Combine all the dry ingredients and set them aside in a large mixing bowl.
During the final 30 minutes of roasting, start to mix the “wet” ingredients. Take a small saucepan and slowly heat the syrup, honey, butter, peanut butter and salt. Bring that to a boil and them simmer for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Once the syrup mixture was done simmering, mix it with the dry ingredients completely combining them.
Next spread the mixture out in a wax-paper lined 13 x 9 baking pan kind of like Kellogs’s® Rice Krispie Treats. Allow this to cool several hours at room temperature, cut the bars, and wrap them in a wax paper square.
Cool and cut
The verdict: They were really very good. I could distinctly taste the malts once the honey, syrup and chocolate flavors passed. They added an interesting bitter ending to each bite. I am not sure if they are really “energy” bars but they are nice for a mid-day snack. If you feel like you want to give it a try, the only other thing to remember is to properly store the grains you want to use before you start. I had to freeze mine for a few weeks and then put them in the refrigerator for a day to thaw them before I used them to keep them fresh.