March 5, 2007
Whole Grain Goodness
It's pretty tough to find whole barley outside of health food stores and even the most "whole" version will be missing its hull. This "hulled barley" has still got much more fiber and minerals than pearled barley which has been stripped of the germ and the bran and polished up to six times to give it a smooth surface. Over half of the barley grown in the US is used for beer and nearly all of the rest is used for livestock, although this is a truly delicious and nutritious grain.
Hulled barley can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container or at least kept away from light, heat, and moisture-it will stay fresh for up to several months. Pearled barley can be kept at room temperature for a longer time since most of the oils which could go rancid have already been removed.
Substitute hulled barley for any recipe where you see pearled barley, but keep in mind that it will take closer to two hours to cook, much longer than the 45 minutes recommended for pearled. You might want to cook it in a separate pot and add it into recipes at the end, so your other cooking times don't change. You can also serve it on its own with simple seasoning as a side dish or in grain salads.
Toasted Barley Salad with Red Bell Pepper,Corn and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 1/2 cups canned vegetable broth
1 large poblano chili or green bell pepper
1 small red bell pepper
2 large plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Nonstick olive oil spray
4 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed, dark gills scraped away
24 large spinach leaves
Place barley in heavy large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until pale golden, shaking pan occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add broth to pan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until barley is tender and broth is absorbed, about 35 minutes. Uncover and let barley cool. Char poblano and red bell pepper over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag and let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed and dice poblano and red bell pepper. Place barley, poblano and red bell pepper in large bowl. Add tomatoes and next 5 ingredients; toss to blend. Season salad with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover; refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Spray mushrooms with nonstick spray; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to work surface; slice thinly. Arrange 6 spinach leaves on each of 4 plates. Top with barley salad. Arrange 1 sliced mushroom alongside each salad. Serve while mushrooms are still warm.
Fruited Breakfast Barley
Grinding the barley cracks the grains, which allows them to cook faster and maintain their chewy texture; toasting the grains brings out a nutty flavor. To decrease morning prep, grind and toast the barley ahead of time and store in an airtight container.
1 1/4 cups uncooked pearl barley
5 cups water
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried apricots, quartered
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
Place 1/3 cup barley in a blender; process until coarsely ground (about 15 to 20 seconds). Place ground barley in a large saucepan. Repeat procedure with remaining barley. Cook barley over medium heat 4 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently.
Add water, sugar, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 25 minutes or until barley is soft, stirring frequently. Add milk; cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Stir in raisins, apricots, and almonds. Serve immediately.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
NUTRITION PER SERVING
CALORIES 329(15% from fat); FAT 5.6g (sat 0.8g,mono 3.1g,poly 1.4g); PROTEIN 8.2g; CHOLESTEROL 2mg; CALCIUM 105mg; SODIUM 425mg; FIBER 9.6g; IRON 2.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 65.8g
Posted by Lisa at March 5, 2007 7:08 AM
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» Try Something New: Barley from A Dietitian's View
Barley isn’t just for soup anymore. This grain makes an excellent choice as the starring ingredient in main courses, side dishes, breakfast fare and more. In addition to its versatility, barley is a nutritious food that’s high in fiber... [Read More]
Tracked on September 2, 2007 1:24 PM