Spent Grain Cooking – Granola

Get Regular with High Fiber Granola!

Did I get your attention on this one?  Good, because I’m serious.  Home Brewers that brew all-grain traditionally throw away their spent grain at the end of a brew day, but they don’t have to.  Some brewers compost it and some even give it to local farms, but this is mostly on the commercial level.  There are a select few homebrewers and brew pubs, however, that choose to recycle this fiber-full protein rich biproduct to make delicious food.  I am one of those brewers.

Rinsing all the sugars out of the grain does not make it tasteless.  In fact, spent grain has a very unique earthy quality to it that can be quite pleasant when you substitute it in recipes that normally call for bread crumbs.  I still remember an amazing barley crusted chicken I had in Reno at the Silver Peak Brewery, which was, in fact, my first exposure to spent grain cooking.  That being said, there are a million things you can do with it, but today we’ll focus on one recipe in particular, granola.

Granola is one of those breakfast items that lends itself to spent grain cooking nicely because it’s incredibly versatile.  It is, in its simplest form, mixed cereals, nuts, seeds, sugar syrups, fruits, etc. which makes adding spent grain a snap.  This recipe in particular is a take on a recipe I pulled from various chefs on the internet including Eric’s Wanderings and Get Healthy with Heather.  After reading these recipes and others like it I realized how incredibly easy it is to make.  It’s essentially solid cereals and fruits/nuts, and a binding agent.  Using organic ingredients is easy for this recipe, so if you are a health nut, this granola is right up your alley.

Here is what we did, and keep in mind this makes a lot of granola so you can easily half this recipe if you so desire.

The Solids

  • 8-9 Cups dried spent grain (well-drained spent grain can be used as well)
  • 1 Cups wheat germ
  • 1-1.5 Cups organic rolled oats, barley, or wheat
  • 1 Cup organic flax seeds
  • 1 Cup organic chia seeds
  • 1-2 Cups organic or raw cashews
  • 1 Cup shredded organic coconut
The Binders/Liquids
  • 12 – 16 oz raw organic honey
  • 2 tsp bourbon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil
  • 1 Cup boiling water
Finishing Touch
  • 8-16 oz dried fruit (To be added after granolla is dry)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the solid dry ingredients together (minus the berries) in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix the binders/liquids together.  Make sure that the honey is completely dissolved.  Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with a spoon.  Make sure everything is combined.

On 2-3 parchment paper-covered baking sheets, evenly disperse the granola mixture, making about a 1 inch layer.  Cook at 350 for 15 minutes.  Turn the oven temperature down to 200 and let sit for 5-8 hours or until dry.  Stir each 1-2 hours.  Once granola is dry, place in a large container and store in the fridge.

There is a lot of leeway with this recipe.  The final granola can easily be made to your specific tastes, which is why there is a range in the ingredient list.  If you want it to be more on the gooey side, add more honey, treacle, or syrup.  If you want more berries, nuts, or feel like you want to be experimental, do it.  You can’t really go wrong.   We’ve even added dark chocolate chips to use as an ice cream topping.  Chunky granola can be achieved by reducing the amount you stir during the drying process in addition to putting it in the refrigerator.  If you want it to be more of a cereal consistency, just make sure you break up everything while it’s in the oven.  It does take a while to dry, so an easy alternative is to put it in the oven overnight.  This reduces the amount of stirring you do, but when you wake up, not only will your house smell amazing, your granola will be ready too!

Have Fiber Fun and Cheers,


About Kristofor Barnes

Kip is the founder of Bierkast and co-founder of Los Angeles Ale Works. Picking up home brewing after college, he has since become an accomplished award winning home brewer, LA Beer Blogger, and author of the Beer Lover's Guide to Southern California. Kip is a graduate of the University of Southern California's School of Cinema Television. He lives in Inglewood, CA with his sciency wife Katie. Follow him @bierkast or #FollowTheLAAW @laaleworks

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  1. This is great! This is the best spent grain granola recipe that I have found so far. What is really rad aboot this is that I use honey that I got from my hives.

    • Kip:

      It’s a great recipe! It’s so versatile! So many people throw away their spent grain – why throw away all that perfectly good fiber?

  2. Jen:

    Can this recipe do without the coconut and coconut oil, not a big fan of that flavor… And is there some other oil/flavor I should use instead? Thanks

    • Kip:

      Hi Jen,

      Coconut oil is just what I decided to use. You could easily use canola, olive, or nut oils too. It’s really whatever you want to use. The oil is going to facilitate the crisping of the granola so as long as you have something in there you’ll be fine. I’m guessing that you could probably even use butter. This granola recipe is super easy to vamp on so if you find something that works well let me know. :)

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