Shalom Life | July 29, 2014

The Benefits of Barley

Some recipes using barley from Chef Margie Arosh.

By: Chef Margie Arosh

Published: April 24th, 2010 in Culture » Food » Recipes

The Benefits of Barley

Think barley is just for soup? You're in for a delicious surprise! A winner in the world of grains, jam-packed with nutrition. It fills our beer bottles and feeds our animals. With a delicious, satisfying nutty flavour and chewy texture, it lends itself to hot and cold dishes alike.

One of things I always found most confusing is what type of barley to buy. Whole-grain barley requires considerable soaking and cooking but contains the most nutrients and texture. However, the most popular type for cooking is Pearl or “Hulled Barley” that has the inedible, fibrous outer hull removed by a steam process or polish known as "pearling," yet it still considered a whole grain.

Eating whole grain barley can help regulate blood sugar for up to 10 hours after a meal. The reason being is that barley contains both soluble and insoluble fibres. The insoluble fibre slows the absorption of glucose into the blood stream, which produces a feeling of fullness that also may help control weight. It is also low on the Glycemic Index. Foods low in Glycemic Index assist in the prevention of type 2 diabetes and assist in blood sugar and blood cholesterol control.

Barley is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber. Adding whole grains into your daily diet will have tremendous benefits for you and your family's health. Unlike most other grains, barley retains its kernel even when cooked, having a pasta-like texture. It is a great alternative for rice and potatoes.

Pearled barley takes 45 minutes to cook. Whole grain barley takes longer to cook -- about 2 hours -- but exceeds the pearled variety in nutritional value. When cooking barley for salads, treat it like pasta. Boil in salted water until slightly tender or ‘al dente,’ with a little bite to it. Strain and rinse in cold water. Barley can be made into risottos or pilafs or added to soups and stews.

Greek Barley Salad

• 1 cup pearl barley

• 3 cups water

• 1 cup finely chopped green onion

• 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

• 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped

• 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

• 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese (optional)

• 2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 1/3 cup olive oil

• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

In medium saucepan bring water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil.

Add barley and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, oregano, remaining salt, and pepper. Pour over hot cooked barley. Cool to room temperature. Gently stir in onions, parsley, tomatoes, bell pepper and feta cheese. Taste to adjust seasoning and serve salad chilled or at room temperature.

Yield: 6 servings

Barley Mushroom Pilaf

• 1/2 cup sliced fresh button mushrooms

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 package (14 g) dried shiitake or dried porcini mushrooms

• 1 cup of boiling water

• 1 onion, finely chopped

• 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

• 2 cups pearl barley

• 3 cups chicken stock

• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

• 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese (optional)

Steep dry mushrooms in a cup of boiling water and set aside for 15 minutes. Place olive oil in a heated saucepan, add onions and garlic and sauté over medium heat until slightly softened. Add mushrooms and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Add barley, dry mushrooms, strained mushroom liquid, stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Let stand covered for 5 minutes and stir in parsley and parmesan, taste to adjust seasoning.

Yield: 6-8 servings.

Eva Green to Star in Upcoming Tim Burton Film Eva Green to Star in Upcoming Tim Burton Film TrendingSeth Rogen Chugs Beer From The Stanley Cup [VIDEO] Seth Rogen Chugs Beer From The Stanley Cup [VIDEO] TrendingOne Direction’s Zayn Malik Receives Death Threats After Tweeting #FreePalestine One Direction’s Zayn Malik Receives Death Threats After Tweeting #FreePalestine Trending
 

An Interview with Umami Burger Creator Adam Fleischman

July 29, 2014 | By Peter Herriman
An Interview with Umami Burger Creator Adam Fleischman

We speak to the renowned chef and owner of the growing restaurant chain about burgers, chocolate fried chicken, and how he comes up with his unique recipes

Read More

American Rabbi Becomes First Non-Christian to Serve as U.S. Ambassador for Religious Freedom

July 29, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
American Rabbi Becomes First Non-Christian to Serve as U.S. Ambassador for Religious Freedom

Rabbi David Saperstein, head of the Religious Action Center, will work towards establishing international religious freedom

Read More

Ten Ways Israelis Cope with Stress Under Fire

July 29, 2014 | By Viva Sarah Press
Ten Ways Israelis Cope with Stress Under Fire

Despite tension and worry, Israelis use their creativity and out-of-the-box thinking not only to endure the trauma but to rise above it

Read More

The Israeli Version of Snapchat

July 29, 2014 | By Maya Yarowsky, NoCamels
The Israeli Version of Snapchat

Israel's Mobli has released Mirage, a social app that allows you to send 15-second photos

Read More

Doctors Condemn Israel for 'Crime Against Humanity'

July 29, 2014 | By Dr. Itay Gal
Doctors Condemn Israel for 'Crime Against Humanity'

Twenty-four physicians and scientists publish open letter against IDF's activity in Gaza in leading medical journal 'The Lancet'

Read More

Eva Green to Star in Upcoming Tim Burton Film

July 28, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Eva Green to Star in Upcoming Tim Burton Film

The 'Penny Dreadful' actress is in talks for Burton's adaptation of 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children'.

Read More

Seth Rogen Chugs Beer From The Stanley Cup [VIDEO]

July 28, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seth Rogen Chugs Beer From The Stanley Cup [VIDEO]

The 'This Is The End' star drank beer from hockey's biggest trophy during a charity event in Montreal.

Read More

One Direction’s Zayn Malik Receives Death Threats After Tweeting #FreePalestine

July 28, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
One Direction’s Zayn Malik Receives Death Threats After Tweeting #FreePalestine

The Muslim-born pop singer lost quite a few fans on Sunday

Read More

More Headlines