Greetings! I am making an Irish Stew for dinner and decided to make a nice pot of barley to go along with it. Barley is often overlooked by most modern cooks because, I think, they don’t know enough about it, or how to cook it, or they really just don’t think about it. In other parts of the world such as Northern Europe and Scandinavia, Barley is eaten often. It can be used as a cereal grain and eaten as a breakfast food either hot or cold with sugar, hone, milk or cream, in place of other popular breakfast grains such as Oatmeal or Farina. Barley is often used in soups and stews as a thickener and extender.
Barley is a good source of fiber and protein as well as essential Amino acids, micro-nutrients and essential vitamins and minerals. This grain was highly prized by the ancient Egyptians for its nutritive values and barley has been found in the tombs of unearthed mummies. Having been left there for the deceased to eat in the afterlife.
In today’s world, barley is most widely used as an animal or livestock feed with only about 2 percent of it being eaten as a grain by humans. Most of the barley that is used for consumption is used as an ingredient in beer.
Barley is very versatile and delicious. As mentioned above, it can be used as a hot or cold cereal, in soups and stews or even as a cold salad. Add some olive oil, chopped vegetables and herbs to a cold bowl of barley and you have a delicious and nutritious lunch or dinner.
In recent studies, barley has been found to have a high volume of soluble fiber which has been shown to reduce cholesterol, much like oats. It has also been show to be efficient in reducing the effects of Adult onset or Type II Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes because it is low on the Glycemic index.
Barley is easy to cook but does take longer than rice. Once you get the hang of it, you will see how easy it is to prepare. I think everyone should give barley, in its pure state a try. It is a wonderful addition to your food storage and can be used with much versatility. I think that it is more nutritious than even rice or oats.
No matter what you decide, at least give barley one chance. I hope you try it and I hope you love it.
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