I think there is always a period of mourning after you return from an epically memorable adventure. And it certainly doesn’t help when your body proceeds to go into full-on shutdown mode after a bit too much of said adventure.
I tell ya, nothing seems to be as exciting or inspiring after travels abroad, especially when the only sights you see are within the four walls of your house. [Even Colorado’s random Spring snowfall wasn’t enough to mend the slump — we were both too sick or too exhausted to take advantage of one final Spring ski day as we had hoped.]
There was only one remedy that could bring me out of such a gutter [aside from Jason finally coming home from Montana and forcing me to take my vitamin every day]: BAKING.
Baking is my joy-infuser, my stress-reducer, and my chance to kick Jason out of the kitchen for once. I love following recipes, as baking often requires, but I also love enhancing them or borrowing from them to create something new and different. Which is exactly what happened this week.
All I knew was that Jason wanted something chocolate, and I had a load of blackberries that needed to be consumed quickly. Enter our new invention: blackberry + chocolate spent grain muffins.
You might be wondering what this strange “spent grain” mumbo-jumbo is. Well, I’ll tell you: its leftover grains from home brewing. Jason is an avid home brewer [something I’m sure we will eventually get around to explaining], and with his hobby comes an inordinate amount of wasted grains, usually thrown in the trash immediately after they serve their beer flavoring purposes.
Some of Jason’s finest brews, one of which we gave as gifts to our wedding party
A couple of years ago, we decided to stop wasting and start recycling said grains. Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Spent Grain Chef was our first source of inspiration, and we haven’t looked back since. This recipe is adapted from their tried-and-true blueberry muffins, but revamped to incorporate some other breakfasty sweet ingredients like oats, honey, orange, and, of course, blackberries and chocolate.
It’s worth noting that every spent grain baked good is different depending on what type of beer you’ve brewed. Each grain offers up its own variety of texture, flavor, and color, but we’re a big fan of baking with our current spent grain reserves, as they come from our Midnight Rider dark wheat brew. It might look like dirt, but it makes some seriously thick and chocolatey muffins!
Blackberry + Chocolate Chip Spent Grain Muffins
- 1 c. milk
- 1 egg
- 3 Tbs. butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp. honey
- Zest of half a tangelo or orange
- 1 c. spent grain flour
- ½ c. almond flour
- ½ c. AP flour
- 2/3 c. oats
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1.5 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 c. fresh blackberries
- ½ c. chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 400-degrees and grease a large muffin pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk milk, egg, butter, honey, and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, mix flours, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the egg mixture. Stir until just combined.
- Gently stir in the blackberries and chocolate chips.
- Evenly distribute the mixture between muffin tins, filling to about 3/4 capacity.
- Bake for 18 – 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
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