We humans have a long history with barley. Roman gladiators used to eat barley for strength, it was one of our first cultivated crops, and beer made from fermented barley might have been our first concocted beverage.
Nowadays, most of the barley we produce is used to feed animals and to make alcoholic drinks like beer and whisky. I’d like to advocate for increasing human consumption of barley grains. It is delicious, high fiber, and very nutritious.
Here are barley’s key attributes:
- It tastes good.
- It contains high amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber. Fiber is fabulous. It helps to keep your insides healthy, lowers cholesterol, slows the absorption of sugars, helps you to lose weight, and may help reduce your risk of colon cancer. The recommended amount of dietary fiber is 20 to 35 grams per day. One cup of pearl barley contains 6 grams of fiber.
- It can help to reduce your bad cholesterol and triglycerides (fats in your blood).
- It has a low glycemic index. It can help you to maintain an normal blood sugar.
To cook barley you need to add one cup of barley to 3 cups of boiling water and then simmer for 45 minutes. To make the cooking time shorter, leave the barley to soak in water for 6-8 hours during the day, then bring it to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes when you are ready to cook it. A delicious recipe is barley, tomato and garlic risotto I like to substitute barley in place of rice, and so far it has always been delicious.