Barley is a grain that has a rich, nutty flavor and a chewy texture. It can usually be used in place of brown rice and quinoa to add variety. And -bonus!- it helps decrease cholesterol and is full of fiber!
You can find it at most grocery stores with the dry rice and beans or in the bulk food section.
Types of barley
There are a few different types of barley options. The main two are hulled barley and pearled barley. Hulled barley is less processed (considered a whole grain) as it has only had the indigestible outer husk removed. Pearled barley is a bit more processed because it has had the outer husk and bran layers removed. There’s also barley flakes and grits that are more processed yet and have had many nutrients removed. When possible, we recommend choosing hulled.
The type of barley you choose will affect cook time. Pearled barley will take around 25 to 30 minutes to cook, while hulled barley may take up to an hour and a half to cook. You can speed up the cook time of hulled barley by soaking the barley in water overnight. Drain the water and cook as instructed but cut the cooking time in half.
This is a great recipe to make ahead of time and keep in your fridge to use for a variety of dishes throughout the week. It stores well in an airtight container for 5-7 days.
Barley can be added to soups and stews, used as a base for stir-fry, curry or other cooked vegetable dishes or served cold as an addition to a salad. This recipe makes a great base when serving Squash & Lentil Curry, veggies with Thai Peanut Sauce, Teriyaki Greens & Beans or Roasted Balsamic Vegetables.
- Medium Saucepan
- 1 cup barley pearled or hulled
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 Tbsp parsley, dried optional
- ground black pepper to taste
- salt to taste
- Rinse barley under running water.
- Add water and barley to a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover and let simmer until barey is soft. For pearled barley, cook time will be around 25 to 30 minutes. For hulled barley, cook time will be anywhere from 1 hour to an 1 hour and 30 minutes. Add more water if the pan becomes dry before the barley has finished cooking. Check every 5 minutes until desired chewiness is reached.
- Stir in parsley, salt and pepper.
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