We’re a DIY sort of family. From food to small projects around the home, we like to try our hand at it if we can, saving us money and giving us something enjoyable to do in the process. It also gives a sense of pride knowing that we made something from scratch, whether it is a loaf of bread, or pull out drawers in the kitchen.
In this DIY spirit, my husband makes beer. Not often, but when he does it’s an exciting few weeks waiting to see if the hard work pays off. And it often does, with a delicious brew to enjoy. I think it tastes even better knowing that it started out as water, grains, and yeast. When the initial step is done you are left with a pile of spent grains. We’re big on composting but I always look at all that grain and think, “I wish we could make something with that!” Well, thanks to Brooklyn Brew Shop we not only are able to make beer easily, but we also can find great recipes for using the grains once we’re done. I’ve adapted the recipe below from their site to save myself the process of drying the grains and to accommodate what I usually have on hand. And, well, I’m lazy.
Spent Grain Apple Muffins
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup spent grains, wet
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1-2 cups chopped apples, peeled and cored (or any other fruit you’d like that you have on hand)
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Mix all ingredients except for eggs, oil and apples in a large mixing bowl.
3. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together eggs and oil. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture. Stir until just combined.
4. Gently fold in the apples, stirring as little as possible.
5. Spoon mixture into lined or greased muffin pans and bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy!
As you can see, this recipe only uses a 1/2 cup of spent grains. Because I usually don’t have the energy to make batches upon batches of muffins or breads or bars at the same time as beer I usually will freeze little 1/4 cup pucks of the grains once I’m done baking in the muffins tins with silicone liners. That way I will have the grains ready to defrost when I want to make my next batch, and I don’t dirty any extra dishes.
(You could also use any other grain, like oats. If the grains are dry you will have to add some additional liquid, like water or applesauce to this recipe.)