Winter Warming Barley

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Wheat in sunBarley is a grain and best as a wholegrain so avoid the pot barley.  Barley does not contain gluten as wheat does.  It is a lot easier to digest and is very soothing to the stomach.  In fact you can use Barley water to calm a sick stomach and it is quite surprising how effective it is.

Barley Water is very easy to make , simply cover the base of a saucepan with Barely grains, add about 1 - 2 inches of water and simmer for a while until you see the water change.  It's not ewxactly a pleasant drink but it's not repulsive and if you are feeling queezy it usually does the trick.

Barley side dish
If you are planning to use Barley for a meal here is an idea.  Boil the barley until it is soft and edible use similar portions to rice.  In the meantime take  some flavourful mushrooms and an onion and gently fry in good quality oil (coconut oil is a good choice) until all ingredients are softened.  Add the drained and cooked barley to the pan and stir in.  Add Soy sauce and serve warm or cold.  You can also throw in some home sprouted seeds and beans  just before adding the Soy.  Extras: Add garlic to the ingredients.

For a more piquant  taste use Balsamic vinegar instead of soy sauce.

To make this into a full meal rather than a side dish add vegetables of your choice to the mushrooms and onions.  Depending on your choice some may need a little steaming before being added in.

Barley soup/broth

This is very easy to make.  Start off with one onion cut and chopped and fried in a saucepan.  Add a selection of vegetables of your choice (about one cup full per person in total) and toss in the oil with the onions.  For instance potatoes, carrots, any root vegetable, peas,beans, cabbagle, green beans etc. If you are using meat add the meat at this point and seal by tossing in the oil.  Add home made stock or water and a stock cube.  Use two cups of liquid per person. If you are not adding meat add red lentils or presoaked and cooked beans of your choice.  Lentils are good as they break up and thicken the soup.  Cook until all ingredients are well cooked and soft.  Top up the water if you need to.  Add herbs fresh if you can right at the end of the process or if using dried ones anytime during the cooking.  Add about 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs of your choice or 1/2 teaspoon of dried herbs per person or to your taste.

To serve liquidise some of the soup to create a thick soup leaving the remainder to be added back into the soup to make it chunky.  Season to taster.

Tip:  If you use a steamer to prepare your vegetables, don't throw away the water from the boiling pan, pour it into a jug and after it is cool save it in the fridge to use next time you are making soup or gravy (don't leave it too long though).  The water will be full of nutrients that have been absorbed from teh vegetables you have been cooking.  You will still need to add extra flavour though.

Barley and You

According to the FDA, the soluble fibre in Barley reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and can help to lower cholesterol.  Barley also contains insoluble fiber, which reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. One cup of cooked barley provides 193 calories, 6 grams of fiber and 3.5 grams of protein. Barley is  virtually fat-free  and is also cholesterol-free.  So what are you waiting for?

Please let us know if you try these and how you find it.

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