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By Ariane Fleischmann

Hillcrest Bakery is serving up something a little different these days. Owner David Moyer had to think outside the box when the 45-year-old bakery relocated due to construction in the burgeoning uptown White Rock area. What started as casual conversations with local breweries White Rock Beach Beer Company and 3 Dogs Brewing soon became a new business model: using spent grain from the brewing process at the bakery to create unique and tasty eats.

Canada’s West Coast is known for many things: scenic ocean and mountain views, hiking, biking, kayaking–pretty much every outdoorsy activity you can imagine–and craft beer. Yes, after a day on the water or in the woods, people love to grab a bite to eat and a craft beer to wash it all down with. So, is it really a surprise that a bakery would team up with some breweries to combine the two?

What is spent grain? In the brewing process, grains are added to simmering water to steep. After that step is complete, the grains are discarded, hence the term “spent grain”. Many breweries send their spent grain to farms, where it’s used to feed livestock. But this high fibre, high protein, low-carb grain can be used in other ways.

Spent grain munchie mix | Image courtesy of Hillcrest Bakery

White Rock Beach Beer Company and 3 Dogs Brewing first approached Moyer to have Hillcrest provide some nibbles for their tasting rooms. “In two separate conversations with both owners over a beer,” Moyer says the brewers asked: “You know, we’ve got all these spent grains. Do you think there’s something you could do with it?”

Intrigued, Moyer did some research, found a few recipes, but then didn’t think much more of it. Before the move, Hillcrest Bakery was busy preparing, so diversifying his business was not Moyer’s priority. Fast forward a few months, however, and he realized the immense opportunity in front of him. What goes best with beer? Tasty snacks.

A little more research and Moyer was in the spent grain business. He’s now partnered with three breweries (Fuggles & Warlock is the most recent), providing food like nuts and bolts and pretzels made with spent grain. The nuts and bolts are based off of Moyer’s grandmother’s recipe. They swapped out the almonds for a spent grain chip, and voila, the perfect snack.

Before joining Hillcrest Bakery in 1988, Moyer apprenticed with a German-style bakery, so pretzels are dear to his heart. “These are spectacular pretzels,” Moyer says. “You’ve never had a pretzel that tasted this good. I guarantee it.”

Spent grain pretzel | Image courtesy of Hillcrest Bakery

Moyer receives wet grains from the three breweries. While he does use some of the grain in this format–in pizza dough, for example–he dehydrates the rest, and then mills a portion of that into flour. A question that came up early in the research and recipe development period was whether or not Moyer should be separating the grains into different beer types (like IPA, lager, and ale). Ultimately, Moyer and the brewers decided it would make most sense to separate the grain into three categories: light, medium, and dark. He uses mostly light and medium in his baking, as they provide the easiest-to-work-with flavour for pairing. Through experimentation, Moyer has found most recipes can tolerate between 10 and 20 percent spent grain flour in replacement of regular flour to create something that works–scientifically, that is.

While the brewery snacks are truly delicious, Moyer has also been using the spent grain in a variety of other products, including waffles, pizza dough, cheese sticks, chips, cookies, clusters, and three kinds of bread. The clusters come in several flavours, like hot chocolate with jalapeno, salt and pepper peanut, maple cranberry, and hazelnut with coriander and cumin. Four flavours with four beers, anyone? It’s the perfect flight.

Look for Hillcrest Bakery’s spent grain products at farmers markets, beer festivals, and the following locations:

Hillcrest Bakery / The Spent Grain Baker
3 Dogs Brewing
White Rock Beach Beer Company
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks
Jan’s on the Beach

 

by Catherine Dunwoody

You may be familiar with Left Coast Naturals, a Burnaby-based brand that started back in 1996. Owned by Jason Dorland and Ian Walker, they kicked off with a line of natural nut butters called Skeet & Ike’s that they sold on Granville Island Market on weekends.

Things went well, the company ticked along for a long while, and then in 2005 they launched a variety of tortilla chips, named Hippie Chips, after the 60s hippie movement where people looked to raw, natural foods for better health.

Hippie Foods has grown since then, and now is a whole line of healthy (and tasty!) snacks, cereals and cookies. See? Going way beyond granola. Though their granola is darn good. Here are some goodies to watch for in markets on Canada’s west coast. Bonus? All of these are organic, gluten free and non-GMO too:

Image courtesy of Hippie Snacks

Hippie Snacks Coconut Clusters. Organic roasted coconut is tossed with crunchy, nutrient-packed pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds for an easy snack on the run. I like the Zesty Chili tossed on a salad for extra crunch, and the Nearly Naked flavour straight out of the bag.

Garden Chips. Raw, real vegetable slices with nuts and seeds in flavours like Snacking Stir Fry, Crunchy Coleslaw, and Roots Medley.

Image courtesy of Hippie Snacks

Gluten-Free Granola. Try the grown-up flavours like Brown Rice and Quinoa or Vanilla Almond.

 

Coconut Chips. Slices of young coconut are roasted to a satisfying crunch that’s a bit savoury, not cloyingly sweet, and great as a snack or on dessert or salads. The Tamari and Cracked Pepper or Coconut Bacon flavours are highly addictive.

Hippie Foods are at retailers like IGA, Whole Foods, Urban Fare and more. Visit hippiefoods.com for a complete listing.

By Ashley Lockyer

Few places on earth let you enjoy freshly made food from the city in the quiet wilderness of a rainforest: Vancouver’s North Shore is one of them. At places like Lynn Canyon Park, you can take in sweeping horizon views, test your fear of heights on the suspension bridge, or simply wander in nature with friends and family. Start your adventure at the Lonsdale Quay Market and pack some unique treats for the trail.

 Bowen Island Pizza Company

Beware: Thin crust pizzas (in flavours like pear and brie cheese with caramelized onions) will attract envious looks on the trail.

Crack one of these mild pepperoni whip sticks to keep you moving on the trail. They are best described as a “snappable” snack because of their crunchy casing. Try one to see!

Kin’s Market

Stroll through a farmer’s field of fresh fruits and vegetables, and harvest a few for a healthy trail bites.

El Dorado Pies & Treats

Chicken empanadas and a selection of portable hand-pies from El Dorado Pies & Treats are backpack ready for your trailside lunch .

The Salmon Shop

Enjoy BC’s finest smoked, candied, and seasoned salmon jerky to get your protein fix.

Olde World Confections

Grab some crunchy clusters or bark made with dark chocolate and nuts for an energy filled trail snack. It’s pretty much a protein bar, right? The ones above are from Olde World Confections.

You’ve stocked up, now it’s time to head into the wilderness.

The North Shore’s Lynn Peak hike is one of many of Vancouver’s North Shore hiking trails, and has been described as more natural and sometimes less busy Grouse Grind. The rugged summit has views that span Vancouver Island, Vancouver tri-cities, the Fraser Valley, and Mount Baker in the USA.

Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge can be just as awe (or ahhhh!) inspiring as Capilano Suspension Bridge. If your heart can handle it, you could easily take in both in one day on Vancouver’s North Shore.

On you’re way back, you’re bound to be hungry again.

Cob’s Breads

Savour sweet victory after your hike with a fruity, flaky, freshly baked danish.

Zen might be achievable when you pair scrumptious artisan foods with the silencing beauty of the forest. Lynn Canyon Park is a place to feel awe-inspired by nature and flavours fresh from the Lonsdale Quay market.

More information:

Lonsdale Quay Market
123 Carrie Cates Court
North Vancouver, V7M 3K7
lonsdalequay.com