Shalom Life | May 25, 2015

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.

Israeli Makes Eurovision Finals for First Time in 5 Years Israeli Makes Eurovision Finals for First Time in 5 Years TrendingJewish Community Center Cancels Marijuana Art Classes Jewish Community Center Cancels Marijuana Art Classes TrendingWATCH: Lady Gaga Accepts ADL's Making a Difference Award WATCH: Lady Gaga Accepts ADL's Making a Difference Award Trending
 

Israeli Makes Eurovision Finals for First Time in 5 Years

May 22, 2015 | By Shaleni McBain
Israeli Makes Eurovision Finals for First Time in 5 Years

'Golden Boy' Nadav Guedj hopes to live up to his name

Read More

Israeli Companies Make Gartner's Innovative 'Cool Vendors' List

May 22, 2015 | By Einat Paz-Frankel, NoCamels
Israeli Companies Make Gartner's Innovative 'Cool Vendors' List

18 out of 350 companies selected by leading American IT research firm Gartner are from the Holy Land

Read More

Jewish Community Center Cancels Marijuana Art Classes

May 22, 2015 | By Shaleni McBain
Jewish Community Center Cancels Marijuana Art Classes

Class that welcomed cannabis usage at Aspen Community Center in Colorado quickly nixed

Read More

Israel in Top 10 Countries for Gay Men

May 22, 2015 | By Shaleni McBain
Israel in Top 10 Countries for Gay Men

Country ranks #7 on the happiness index

Read More

Canadian Holocaust Survivor Recognizes Himself in Online Photo

May 22, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Canadian Holocaust Survivor Recognizes Himself in Online Photo

Yehuda Danzig of Toronto was stunned when he came across a pic of himself and his younger brother while reading The Times of Israel

Read More

Seven Ways to Celebrate a Meaningful Shavuot

May 22, 2015 | By Maayan Jaffe, JNS.org
Seven Ways to Celebrate a Meaningful Shavuot

Here are a few ways to infuse some meaning and minhag (tradition) into your Shavuot this year

Read More

WATCH: Israeli, Muslim Footballers Unite For "One World, One Ball"

May 22, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
WATCH: Israeli, Muslim Footballers Unite For "One World, One Ball"

"Play the ball, not the state," say soccer players of various ethnicities to FIFA in new video

Read More

Obama: Our Commitment to Israel is Unshakeable

May 22, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Obama: Our Commitment to Israel is Unshakeable

The U.S. President also spoke of the need a two-state solution on the inaugural "Solidarity Sabbath" in D.C.

Read More

More Headlines