Shalom Life | April 21, 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.

James Franco and Idina Menzel Set For Easter Bonnet Competition James Franco and Idina Menzel Set For Easter Bonnet Competition TrendingSpielberg’s Latest Project: A Film About a Jew Who Becomes a Priest Spielberg’s Latest Project: A Film About a Jew Who Becomes a Priest TrendingJewish Top 10s: Bible Movies Jewish Top 10s: Bible Movies Trending
 

What You Missed in the News: April 13 - 20

April 20, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
What You Missed in the News: April 13 - 20

Our Top Stories this week include our Passover Book Series, an interview with Jeremy Diamond, the best Bible films, and more

Read More

James Franco’s Ex-Manager Sued for Embezzling Money From the Actor

April 18, 2014 | By Sarah Bauder
James Franco’s Ex-Manager Sued for Embezzling Money From the Actor

James Levy is being sued by his former partners at James Levy Management

Read More

James Franco and Idina Menzel Set For Easter Bonnet Competition

April 18, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
James Franco and Idina Menzel Set For Easter Bonnet Competition

Franco and Menzel join Bryan Cranston, Fran Drescher and others at the event benefitting AIDS.

Read More

Spielberg’s Latest Project: A Film About a Jew Who Becomes a Priest

April 18, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Spielberg’s Latest Project: A Film About a Jew Who Becomes a Priest

The 'Schindler's List' director joins 'The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara'

Read More

Jewish Top 10s: Bible Movies

April 18, 2014 | By Zak Edwards
Jewish Top 10s: Bible Movies

In honor of Passover, we look at some of the best feature films that reinterpret stories from the Bible

Read More

Emotional Pain Isn't Just in Your Head

April 18, 2014 | By Abigail Klein Leichman
Emotional Pain Isn't Just in Your Head

A new Israeli-US study provides breakthrough in understanding the brain mechanisms that cause physical pain resulting from depression

Read More

A Children's Haggadah Made By Children [VIDEO]

April 18, 2014 | By Ynet News
A Children's Haggadah Made By Children [VIDEO]

Created by students of Rav Elio Toaff nursery school in Rome, 'cheerful Haggadah' is specially made for other children, not only Jewish

Read More

Italian Politician Mocks Primo Levi Holocaust Poem

April 18, 2014 | By Graham Sigurdson
Italian Politician Mocks Primo Levi Holocaust Poem

Beppe Grillo, head of an anti-establishment movement, released the parody on his blog that Jewish activists have labelled an 'obscenity'

Read More

More Headlines