Thursday, March 11, 2010

Barley – It’s not Just for Soup Anymore!

Most of us know people that like rice, corn, and oatmeal. But when was the last time someone told you they liked barley? Barley is just not a food most of think about eating. When most of us do think about barley, it is in the form of beef and barley soup.

In honor of National Nutrition Month (, I thought I would write about barley. Just like most of you, I don’t think much about barley. However, since starting this blog, I gotta think outside the box. Grains have long been featured in many cuisines around the world. They provide about 75 to 100 calories and 4 to 6 grams of fiber per ½ cup serving. Grains are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Barley is even allowed to bear a statement that reads, ‘As a part of a healthy diet, the soluble fiber in barley helps reduce cholesterol levels’.

A recipe for Hearty Barley Fruit Salad is included in this blog. Some of us thought of it as Hearty Barley Ambrosia, but we are old enough to remember ambrosia. Now before turning up your nose, barley does not provide much flavor. It provides a nice chewy texture. It’s a good way to sneak grains into the diet. If you want to go beyond this recipe, here are a few other resources to help you get started.

Resources for Barley Recipes

Hearty Barley Fruit Salad
Serves 6 to 8.

1 cup water
1/3 cup quick barley
1 can (11 ounce) mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup miniature marshmallows
½ cup halved seedless red grapes
¼ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
¼ cup shredded or flaked coconut
1 cup sour cream

1. In a medium saucepan bring water to a boil; stir in barley. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and allow barley to cool.

2. Combine barley with remaining ingredients except sour cream. Toss lightly to mix. Fold in sour cream. Chill for several hours before serving.

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