How to Cook Barley!
Did you know that February is National Barley Month? Some people have never eaten barley before- I myself never tried it until around 2 years ago. Barley is one of the healthiest whole grains that you can eat! Whole grains are known for controlling your weight, blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, and for making you feel full longer. Barley is also very inexpensive, which makes it good for your wallet as well.
Barley can be cooked in a variety of ways, one of the newest I have tried is to cook it in a rice cooker. Because barley has a higher than average cooking time, (usually around 45-50 minutes) cooking it in a rice cooker is very easy because you can just put the required amount of water in and let it go. I’ve found that the ideal ratio of cooking barley in a rice cooker is 1: 2.5. So you need 1 cup of barley, for every 2.5 cups of water that you put in the rice cooker. Cook for around 45 minutes until it is tender and fluffy. Barley should be slightly firm, but it should never be crunchy- so be sure to cook it for the required time.
Barley can also be cooked into soups and stews, and makes for a great way to add more bulk to your soups while not adding a lot of calories. Barley has a very “wheaty” taste and texture- but it can be seasoned well to take on other flavors. You can make a variety of recipes like Barley Pilaf, by adding diced sauteed onions, mushrooms, peas, or corn. You can make a spicy barley casserole by using green chiles, cheddar jack cheese, tomatoes, and black beans, or why not try a nice barley stir fry by adding green beans, tofu, carrots and some spicy Thai Sauce. These are just a few tasty ways you can incorporate barley into your weekly meals.
When using barley in a soup or a stew, be sure to add enough water to accommodate for the barley soaking it up during the cooking process. Usually you only need around 1/2 cup of barley for a whole pot of stew. Barley Flour is also a type of flour which can be used in baking. It is a whole grain flour, so it is much healthier than white flour.
Hope you will begin to enjoy the great health benefits of barley! More information on barley can be found here.
Barley is just as versatile as using rice, but it comes with a whole lot more vitamins!
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