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Healthy Recipe Doctor

with Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

Elaine Magee's blog has now been retired. We appreciate all the wisdom and support she has brought to the WebMD community throughout the years.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Barley is Like Brown Rice on Steroids

You’ve seen it listed next to oatmeal as being a whole grain boasting great amounts of soluble fiber. You’ve thought about using it the next time you make soup. But you just haven’t tried it, have you?

How can you argue with trying a grain that has 8 grams of fiber for every 1/4 cup of raw barley!

Well, I finally did it! I made a commitment and bought a bag of pearl barley and there’s no stopping me now. I’ve been playing around with it the past week or so and I’ve learned a few things:

* Barley is like brown rice on steroids, the kernels cooked are much bigger than brown rice.
* Barley takes much longer to cook (about an hour for 1 cup of dry barley).
* Barley takes more liquid than brown rice (3 cups of water per 1 cup of dry barley)
* Barley has a bite to it. If you want it to be especially tender, try soaking it overnight or for 5 hours (2 cups water to 1 cup dry barley) then brng it to boiling and cook for 15 minutes. [I haven't tried this yet but this is what the Bob's Red Mill package suggests]
* You can add flavor to barley by boiling it in broth (chicken, beef or vegetable) and throw in some chopped onion, minced garlic and herbs as desired.

I’ve started adding cooked barley instead of cooked rice to recipes like cold rice salads, warm casseroles, soups and stews.

If you have found a fun way to add barley, do let us all know!

~~Elaine

Related Topics: FDA OKs Heart Health Claim for Barley, Beer, Beef & Barley Stew

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Posted by: Elaine Magee, RD at 8:29 am

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