Low Carb Flour and How it’s Made
We know we’re a bit biased, but spent grain flour is just such a neat product! Made from the leftovers of the beer brewing process that would otherwise be wasted, spent grain flour takes that leftover product, upcycles it, and somehow it becomes a low carb, high protein, and high fiber flour that is super good for you AND for the environment!
According to craftbeering.com, spent grain flour is made as follows:
- Obtaining fresh wet spent grain
- Eliminating as much of its water content as possible
- Dehydrating it
- Milling/grinding it into flour
- Storing it in an air tight container for future use in baking recipes (it keeps well for months)
While turning spent grain into flour isn’t a super complicated process, processing and dehydrating the spent grain into a product that can be milled and ground into flour generally takes about 7 hours (and of course some fancy processing equipment and easy access to loads of spent grain, which you probably don’t keep lying around unless you’re a home brewer!) We believe so strongly in this product that we wanted to make it accessible for everyone. At Grain4Grain, we’ve developed a patent pending process that takes this lengthy process and shortens it to a much more manageable 15 minutes! This allows us to take the spent grain from the brewing process and turn it into flour in bulk quantities, since the production is so much more efficient. Our customers range from restaurants and bakeries to regular home kitchens, because this efficiency allows us to produce large quantities of spent grain flour at a time and meet consumer demand.
Wait a Second, Aren’t Grains Full of Carbs?
So, if you follow our blog you know that we talk a lot about the fact that spent grain flour is low carb and keto friendly. If you’re wondering how a flour made from grain can possibly be low carb, we get that. In fact, if you know anything about barley, you’ve probably heard that it is actually incredibly high in carbohydrates! One serving of barley contains almost 3 times the recommended daily carb allowance for those following a keto diet.
So, you’re probably asking yourself - how on earth is spent grain flour considered low carb?
We can explain: when barley is used in the beer making process, guess where all of those carbs end up?? In your delicious beer! Spent grain, on the other hand, contains reduced active carbohydrates since so much is removed during the barley mashing process. What IS left behind is a whole lotta protein and fiber! In fact, as we’ll explain later in this post, spent grain flour beats out both coconut and almond flour in terms of nutrition, leading the pack with the least carbs, the least amount of fat, and the highest amounts of protein and fiber. Simply put, the beer making process pretty much takes all of the not-so-great stuff (the carbs and the gluten) out of the barley, and leaves the nutrition behind!
Our Manufacturing Process Makes Producing Spent Grain Flour Easier than Ever
While the first patent for dehydrating spent grain was filed in 1900, it wasn’t until recently that this process really became popular, as consumers looked for eco friendly and healthy alternatives to traditional high carbohydrate or high gluten flours. Our patent pending process for dehydrating the spent grain lowers the cost of producing spent grain flour by about 90%, and lowers the carbon footprint as well, since the dehydrating process is minimized by literally hours. The less energy it takes to produce a product, the better it is for the environment. This revolutionary new process makes spent grain flour both less expensive to produce than other flour alternatives such as coconut or almond flour, and more environmentally friendly as well.
We’re fortunate to be based in the great state of Texas, and we work with local breweries to obtain the spent grain that we turn into flour. Why is that significant? Well, not only are we not using a resource that takes energy to grow and maintain in order to produce our product (rather, we use something that would otherwise be considered food waste and be thrown away), but we’re not expending energy and emissions to truck the spent grain we use in from far away. We upcycle products from our own backyard, keeping our environmental footprint low across the board.
The Health Stats of Spent Grain Low Carb Flour
Not only is spent grain flour more economical and eco-friendly than other alternative flours, but it’s nutritional value blows the others out of the water (if we do say so ourselves). Compared to coconut and almond flours, our Barely Barley spent grain flour has only 3g of carbs per serving (that’s 4 times less than coconut flour), 18g of protein (twice that of coconut flour!), 25g of fiber (again, higher than both coconut and almond flour), and only 3g of fat (almond flour has a whopping twenty eight grams of fat per serving!)
Since most of the gluten in spent grain is removed during the beer-making process, spent grain flour is considered “gluten reduced”. This means that those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity or a slight gluten intolerance will likely find our spent grain flour a good alternative to other gluten friendly alternative flours.
Grain4Grain’s spent grain products are the first products made in the U.S.A. to use spent grain as the main ingredient. Whether your lifestyle is keto, reduced gluten, diabetic, or just low carb by choice, our collection of spent grain flour products make sure you can still enjoy your favorite baked goods and carb-like treats, from baked goods like cakes, cookies, and muffins, to tortillas and “breaded” chicken. Perhaps best of all, the way this low carb flour is made - using upcycled food products and low environmental footprint production practices - makes it as healthy for the earth as it is for your body.