Barley is an up and coming grain. It’s been used for centuries but people in North America don’t often include it in their diets. Why is it up and coming? Big news! Health Canada has finally approved the health claim linking beta-glucans (the type of fibre in barley) and blood cholesterol lowering effects! That means a lot of food producers are going to be getting on board with creating new food products with barley.
Whole grain barley is packed with nutrients, making it:
- A rich source of soluble and insoluble fibre; hulless barley contains fibre throughout the entire grain not just the outer portion (bran)
- Satisfying – barley’s soluble fibre slows the absorption of glucose into the blood stream, the resulting feeling of fullness may help control weight
- Low on the Glycemic Index (GI). Low GI foods assist in the prevention of type 2 diabetes and assist in blood sugar and blood cholesterol control.
- Rich in beta glucan, a type of carbohydrate that plays a role in regulating glucose and cholesterol.
Cooking directions: (Pearl barley)
Rinse barley very well in colander
Soak barley in plenty of water over night (preferred) or heat in pot to boiling and let sit for 2 minutes.
For 1 cup of barley, add 3 cups of water.
Baking method: Put drained barley into casserole dish, add boiling water, 1 teaspoon of margarine. Bake covered in preheated oven at 375F for 60 minutes. Remove, fluff and let sit for 10 minutes to absorb the rest of the water.
Stove method: Add water into a pot and 1 teaspoon of margarine. Bring water to a boil and add barley, stir. Add tight fitting lid and simmer on low for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Use as you would rice! Delicious, moist and chewy!