Hi Bran Appetit readers! My name is Shannon and I blog over at Tri to Cook. I first met Brandi and Nick at the first Foodbuzz festival (over three years ago?!) where we had been chosen to be Nature’s Path Bread Ambassadors and demo our winning recipes Pumpkin Stuffed French Toast and Savory Pumpkin Bread Pudding for festival-goers. I am totally envious of their garden and will make good on my promise to come visit and eat all their figs play with Maggie help harvest their bounty!!

Given Brandi’s make it from scratch mentality, I thought it would be good to share some Double Chocolate Spent Grain Muffins with you today. Spent Grain! Don’t worry, I had no idea at first either, but in living with a homebrewer I’ve learned all sorts of new things. It turns out that grain + water + voodoo = beer + spent grain. Ok, it’s not really voodoo, but for the purpose of these muffins that’s all you need to know ;)

Fig 1  dry spent grain + spent grain flour

Instead of just throwing out all the used (spent) grain, I decided I wanted to try and use it in some recipes. You can use the spent grain wet (like in these falafel), dry (spread in a thin layer on a baking sheet, baked at 170deg several hours until dry) or as a flour (dry spent grain ground in a coffee grinder). Depending on which grains are used, you may need to run this through a fine mesh sieve to get rid of husks.

Fig 2

A recent brew day left me with a good amount of nicely roasted grains (including chocolate malt and roasted barley) from a batch of robust american stout. Playing on the roasted and chocolate flavors, I came up with these muffins. Rich and chocolate-y, these muffins were fabulous and exceeded my expectations. I also love how much good stuff I shoved in there ;)

Fig 3

Double Chocolate Muffins

adapted from Pure2Raw and inspired by The Spent Grain Chef

yield: 12

If you don’t have spent grain, these will still be delicious- just use spelt, whole wheat, oat, white whole wheat buckwheat, or more whole wheat pastry flour! These definitely toe the line between cupcake and muffin, but given all the healthy ingredients in here and lack of frosting, I’m totally going muffin and eating them as part of breakfast :)

1/2c spent grain flour *see above for substitution suggestions

1/2c whole wheat pastry flour

1/3c + 1T almond meal

1/4c cocoa powder

1/2t salt

1t baking powder

2T ground flax

2T chia seeds, ground

2t espresso powder

1 medium banana (mine was frozen and defrosted)

1/3c coconut oil, melted

1/2c unsweetened applesauce (mine had cinnamon)

1/4c almond milk

1/2c maple syrup

3oz dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350deg. Prepare a cupcake muffin pan with liners or spray with nonstick spray.

Combine the flours, almond meal, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, espresso powder and ground flax and chia seeds in a bowl and mix well. Add the chopped dark chocolate and mix until evenly distributed.

In a separate bowl, mash the banana well (you could also blend it). Add coconut oil, applesauce, almond milk and maple syrup. Whisk well to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir/whisk until just combined. Divide batter evenly among cups in the prepared pan (I use an ice cream scoop for this). Bake for 25-30min, or until the muffins spring back when touched with the tip of your finger (or a cake tester comes out clean).

Cool muffins completely on a cooling rack, and then store in an airtight container.

Fig 4


  1. Holy intrigue me! Love learning something new, these are definitely going on my must try list.

  2. Hi Shannon! :) These muffins look fabulous and like the perfect accompaniment to this morning’s coffee!

  3. Interesting muffins! They look awesome.

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