The first time I made spent grain granola was in County Cork, Ireland, three months into a cooking program on a 100-acre working farm. A friend of mine was a brewer from New Zealand, and we spent most of American Thanksgiving homebrewing a dry-hopped pale ale with elderflower in an Irish cottage surrounded by cows. This was my third time homebrewing: the beer wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. What was a standout was the toasty, chewy granola we made from the spent grain, baked with warming spices, dried fruit and dark maple syrup. We ate the granola with yogurt from the Jersey cows nearby, yogurt so fatty and tart the cream stuck to the lid in a cap of pale yellow. That granola was an extension of the first core tenet I learned in cooking and in farming: waste not.
- 2 cups spent grain, drained, cooled, and squeezed as dry as possible
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup tart dried cherries
- 3/4 cup dark maple syrup
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix ingredients together in a large bowl. Spread evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake granola, stirring and rotating the pan twice, until fragrant and deeply toasted, 40 to 50 minutes.
- Cool the granola completely in the pan (the granola will crisp up further as it cools). Store in an airtight jar up to two weeks.