This super grain is one of the richest sources of both soluble and insoluble fibre. These dietary fibres provide your colon with friendly bacteria which helps makes your colon a happy camper.
Barley’s true claim to fame lies in its high levels of beta glucan, which helps lower cholesterol which in turn lowers your chances of developing heart disease. It also promotes healthy blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of glucose, a winning combination for diabetics. And it just got an official health claim from Health Canada stating that barley can help lower your risk of heart disease. Yes, this Canadian super food is a rock star!
Store uncooked barley in a cool dark cupboard or your fridge for up to one year.
When cooking pot barley as a side dish I use 1 cup (250 mL) of pot barley to 3 cups (750 mL) of liquid (use chicken, veggie, beef broth, or water), bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 40-55 minutes or until cooked to your doneness level. I like mine a bit chewy so I aim for 40-45 minutes. It should be chewy but not rubbery and not mushy. Stir once or twice to evenly distribute any remaining liquid, remove from heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Serve. Or let cool and use instead of rice or beans in a salad.
Barley and Lentil Salad
Created for the YWCA and the Women of Distinction Event by: Mairlyn Smith PHEc
The goodness of Canadian barley and lentils paired with Ontario Ice syrup, pomegranate concentrate and pomegranate seeds make this high end vegetarian main course salad a salute to healthy and delicious.
2 tbsp (30 ml) pomegranate concentrate
2 tbsp (30 mL) pomegranate balsamic vinegar, I used Chefjono brand
2 tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil, I used an Italian DOP EVOO – to read more on EVOO click here
1 tbsp (15 mL) Ice Syrup, product of Ontario – to read more on Ice Syrup click here
¼ tsp. (1 mL) cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne
3 cups (750 mL) cooked pot barley, cooked in water
2 cups (500 mL) cooked lentils, cooked in water
1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped fresh parsley, loosely packed
1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped green onion, approx. 1 large bunch including the white
1 cup (250 mL) fresh pomegranate seeds, approx. 1 large pomegranate
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh mint
- In a large bowl whisk together pomegranate concentrate, pomegranate balsamic, extra virgin olive oil, Ice Syrup, cinnamon and cayenne.
- Add barley and lentils, toss until well coated.
- Add parsley, green onion, pomegranate seeds and mint. Toss until combined. Serve. Store any leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Professional home economist tip: this tastes the best the day of. If storing in the fridge to serve the next day, add the dressing just before serving.
Makes – 8 cups (2 L)
Serves – 8 – 1 cup (250 mL) servings
One serving = 368 calories, 5 g total fat, .5 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat 140 mg sodium, 69 g carbs, 15 g fibre, 13 g protein