Barley is a whole grain containing both soluble and insoluble fibre. It’s a great addition to soups, stews, cereals and breads. We should be aiming for 2-4 servings of grains per day, so for example 1 serving of grains would be equal to the following:
1 slice of bread
½ cup of cooked cereal
¾ cup of dry cereal
Incorporating some barley into your meal plan will provide you with the following important nutrients:
In addition it also contains the following important phytochemicals:
-prevent the absorption of dietary fats and cholesterol in the intestines
-improve glucose control in those with Type II diabetes; the high fibre
content can also help prevent blood sugar levels from rising too high
The grain of barley is used to make medicines and is used for a number of things including:
Orally for bronchitis, gastritis, inflammatory bowel conditions (among others)
Topically for treating boils
When purchasing barley it is best to choose “whole hulled” barley (the outermost hull of the grain). Sometimes referred to as “dehulled” barley, this form is considered a whole grain and has a higher nutritional value then some of the other forms (pearl, flakes, grits).
Barley is available both pre-packaged and in bulk; when purchasing bulk be sure that it has been stored in a closed/covered bin and that you are purchasing from a store with high turnover to ensure a fresh product.
At home store barley in a tightly covered glass container in a cool, dry place. In warmer weather you can store it in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container.
Prior to cooking be sure to rinse it well, removing any dirt/debris. When you are ready to prepare it, boil water and add the barley (1 part barley to 3.5 parts water), return to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until done.