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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!

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