Spent Grains for Breakfast
March 22, 2011
I’m into a bit of recycling, especially if it doesn’t cost me anything, such as making a grape trellis out of an old swing set. Well, recently I’ve begun eating spent grain for breakfast.
What is spent grain? In order to make beer, grain is soaked to remove the sugars/carbohydrates, and then the water is removed leaving behind “spent grain.” This is now a by-product of making beer, which most home brewers either toss it or compost it. Commercial breweries usually ship it to some farmer to feed livestock because there are still some nutrients in it, especially protein and fiber, which is very good for cattle.
I decided, rather than spending money to make beer and then spend money on buying cereal, that I would try eating spent grain like hot cereal. It is actually pretty tasty and a little sweet, but very chewy. I like it. I froze some to eat later, too. I’m not completely sure that something couldn’t start growing on it, hence I heat it up hot to make sure an kill anything.
I did a little research on the topic, and discovered that some people do attempt to bake with it, though I gather this is not a flour replacement and treating it as such will result in failure. However, if you were to, say, make oatmeal cookies, this would be a good replacement for the oats, not the flour. So I believe the secret is having a recipe that would call for whole grains to begin with. I did find one blogger who made flour out of spent grain, but he said it was low on gluten, so it won’t rise much in bread.
I also hear it makes for great mushroom growing. I might look into that someday, but right now, I’m pretty happy with my minimal effort of using spent grain and eating it like cereal.
Further Reading (I have not tried any of these, so please use these links as ideas, not recommendations):
- Grains of Possibility: Ways to Use Spent Brewer’s Grain
- Sourdough and spent grain bread
- German spent grain bread (Treberbrot)
- Pizza dough
- Cake and cookies
- Cookies, vegan burgers, welsh potato cakes, quick bread, and easy granola
- Banana Peanut Butter Spent Grain Muffins
- Dog biscuits