Home > Food and Beer Recipes, Using Spent Grain > Spent Grain Barley Snack Bars

Spent Grain Barley Snack Bars

This recipe came from the Spent Grain Chef of the Brooklyn Brew Shop.  Holy cow this chef knows how to conjure up some tasty recipes using spent grain (grain that’s left over from homebrewing).

These snack bars are absolutely delicious, and the recipe is twofold in that I also learned to dry the grain before baking with it.  It really changes the texture and makes the grain nice and crunchy, as opposed to a chewy wet sawdust texture, which works fine for dog biscuits, but not so much for human treats.

Drying the Grain

  • Preheat oven to 150 degrees (or 200 degrees if your oven won’t go that low).
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Spread the grain on the parchment in a thin layer.
  • Bake in the oven for 5-7 hours, stirring the grain every few hours to ensure even drying.
  • When completely dried, store in an airtight container and perhaps even keep refrigerated to ensure longer shelf life.

Barley Snack Bars
(from the Spent Grain Chef)

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup spent barley from brewing, dried [How to Dry Spent Grain]
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup raw almonds
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup dried cherries
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Combine your oats and raw almonds on a sheet tray and toast in the oven for six to seven minutes, stirring halfway through to prevent burning.
  2. Meanwhile line an 11X13 baking dish with wax paper or parchment and spray with non-stick spray.
  3. Put brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  4. Combine slightly cooled oats and almonds in a medium sized bowl with spent barley and dried cherries.
  5. Pour brown sugar mixture over oats mixture and combine.
  6. Pour into prepared dish and let cool 2-3 hours. Cut up and wrap individually, if you like.
  7. Made 12 individual bars. I prefer to keep them refrigerated at home, but they’re fine unrefrigerated when transporting.

Variations:  Switch these up with different ingredients. Try adding different nuts, like toasted walnuts, peanuts, cashews, or pecans. Leave them whole or chop them up. Use different fruits like dried blueberries, cranberries, raisins, or apricots. Throw in some sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Even chocolate chips, toffee bits, or even M&Ms would be fun.

I’d love to call these health bars, but they’re more like sticky, sweet, fruity, fibrous bars of wholesome yummy goodness.  Still much healthier and satisfying than a candy bar, and a great energy snack for recreational activities like hiking, biking, boating, etc.

If you have spent grain, do try these and some of the other delicious recipes devised by the Spent Grain Chef.   Another great incentive to start homebrewing, homebrew more often, make friends with a homebrewer, or in my case….marry one!

Cheers beers!

  1. August 21, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Better than any granola bar. These look amazing.

    • August 22, 2011 at 9:15 pm

      MUCH better than granola bars. Chewy, buttery, brown sugar and honey…addictive.

  2. August 23, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Great idea! I’d love to try these things.

    • August 26, 2011 at 6:26 am

      Hey Tiff, with your active lifestyle, these are really great on-the-go snacks. Easy to make too.

  3. August 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    This is so very interesting using that grain. They look really amazing and gooey. I suppose another type of grain could be used as well?

    • August 26, 2011 at 6:25 am

      The bars aren’t baked, so it would be easy to substitute other ingredients…more oats, nuts, seeds, fruit. The barley has a dried wheat germ-like texture and a subtle malt flavor (like malted milk). However, it is bulkier than wheat germ. I’d love to see what you come up with if you decide to experiment with it.

  4. October 11, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    These look amazing. Now that they are back at college, we spend a fortune on granola bars. I have to try them on my kids.

    • October 11, 2011 at 9:57 pm

      They don’t dry out like granola bars, so they do require some refrigeration. But they’re much more delicious than granola bars, and a fantastic way to use up some grain if you’re a home brewer. Thanks for visiting. I hope the kids enjoy them!

  5. Sean
    March 28, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Has anyone tried variations with maple syrup instead of honey? Just curious.

    • March 29, 2012 at 6:20 am

      I’ve only used honey, which is thicker than maple syrup so they hold together fairly well. But I think the flavor of maple syrup would be delicious in these.

  1. September 9, 2011 at 5:28 am

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