Barley evokes winter and hearty soups, but it’s a year-round food.
It’s extremely healthful (details below). And it’s a whole grain, part of the group of cereals recommended by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (at least 3 servings of whole-grain foods per day).
It’s extremely high in fiber. A cup of oatmeal: 3.98 grams. A cup of barley: 13.6 grams of your DV of 48 grams of whole grain.
Barley is as versatile as any cereal grain (corn, rice and wheat, for example). It has a rich, nutty flavor and a chewy consistency (like pasta).
You can substitute barley for rice, potatoes or other starch as a side with dinner. Or enjoy a chilled barley salad with lunch or dinner.
Try this barley salad recipe, with toasted pine nuts, dried cherries and goat cheese. It can be served at room temperature, chilled or warm.
For maximum nutrition, select whole or hull barley (with the bran intact). The prettier pearled or hull-less barley has its outer bran and husk removed, leaving only a small white “pearl” of endosperm.
See the recipe for the health benefits of barley.
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