Barley: Health Benefits, Types & How to Cook!Barley is a member of the grass family and is one of the most popular types of cereal grains in the world. Cultivation of barley started 8000 years ago. Barley is harvested in the summer in the temperate areas and during the winter in the hot climates.This plant is resistant to drought, it germinates quickly and it has short growing season. Barley is described as having a rich, nutty flavor and a dense, chewy texture. Barley is a great addition to comfort foods like soups and stews, since it absorbs a lot of flavor and adds a filling, chewy element to dishes.Types of barley
|Hulled Barley||Outermost hull of the grain is removed which makes it more chewier grain that requires more soaking and cooking.|
|Pearl Barley||Various degrees of polishing, or “pearling” take place in the production of pearl barley. Pearl barley is much less chewy and quicker cooking than hulled barley, less processed form of grain and would not be considered whole grain.|
|Pot Barley||In terms of processing, this form of barley falls in between hulled and pearl barley. It’s been polished to remove its outer hull, but the polishing process is not continued for much longer, so that a large amount of the remaining grain is left intact. In many countries, pot barley is popular in soups – thus the origin of its name.|
|Barley flakes||Flattened and sliced, barley flakes are similar in shape to rolled oats. Barley flakes can be made from hulled, hulless, or pearl barley, and can be significantly different in nutrient content for this reason.|
|Barley grits||Barley that has been toasted and cracked, barley grits are made from hulled, hulless or pearl barley.|
- High in Fiber
- Aids in weight loss
- Improves Digestion
- Ideal for Children
- Cools down the body
- Preserves Skin Elasticity
- Mix barley flour with wheat flour to make breads and muffins that have a uniquely sweet and earthy taste.
- Use cracked barley or barley flakes to make hot cereal.
- Toss chilled cooked hulled barley with chopped vegetables and dressing to make a tasty cold salad.
- Add barley to your favorite stews and soups to give them extra heartiness and flavor.
- Combine cooked barley and healthy sautéed mushrooms for a pilaf with an Eastern European twist.
- Barley – 1/2 Cup
- Lentils – 1 Cup
- Chopped Carrots – 1 Cup
- Onions – 1 Cup
- Tomato Paste – 1 tbsp
- Vegetable Broth – 6 Cups
- Bay Leaf – 1
- Finely Chopped Parsley – 1 tbsp
- Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Heat oil in large soup pan over medium-high heat. Cook garlic and onion until they are golden brown, about 1 or 2 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so the mixture is at a light simmer. Place a lid on the pan.
- Cook until the barley and lentils are tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Serve hot in a soup bowl.
- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.