ALL ABOUT BARLEY

Barley (or Hordeum vulgare) is a grass that grows much like wheat. The grass produces a super nutritious whole grain that is full of fiber and protein. Being an ancient grain, barley was one of the first grains domesticated and is believed to originate in western Asia or Ethiopia. The major yield of barley is used for brewing malt beverages, including beer and whiskey. However, on a smaller scale, barley can be processed for human consumption.

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PROCESSED FORMS OF BARLEY

There are many different ways that barley can be processed, in which three main forms are hulled, pot and pearl barley.

Hulled barley

Or also be known as whole grain barley: has been minimally processed to remove only the tough inedible outer hull.

Pot and pearl barley

They have been put through a pearling machine to remove the inedible hull and polishe the kernel.

Pot barley has been pearled for a shorter amount of time and still has most of the barley bran intact.

Pearl barley gets its name from the extra rounds of polishing it goes through. The pearling removes the hull, as well as the bran layer.

MAIN TYPES OF BARLEY

Barley could be applied in cooking in many ways. To satisfy these diversified applications, barley producers provide products in various cutted types.

Flakes

Barley flakes are created in the same way with rolled oats, by steaming kernels, rolling them, and drying them. As with barley grits, flakes could be made from both forms of barley kernels. Barley flakes cook faster, because the have been lightly steamed and because of their greater area.

They are usually cooked and offered as a hot cereal, but they can also be mixed into muesli and baked goods.

Flour

Barley flour is a mild-flavored flour made from barley grain. It contains a moderate amount of gluten, not enough to provide structure for most baked foods, so barley flour is usually used with wheat flour.

Barley flour is used in baked goods and as a thickener for soups, stew, and gravies.

Grits

When barley kernels are cut into several pieces, they become grits. Barley grits could be made from whole grain barley or pearl barley.

 

They can be cooked and served in place of rice or breakfast cereal.

BARLEY BENEFITS

Barley is one of the ancient grains that are still widely consumed globally today due to the various health benefits that they can offer. Whole grains barley are important sources of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are not found in refined or "enriched" grains, which are removed the bran, germ, as well as most of their fiber and nutrients.

1 ounce of whole grain barley provide:

  • 5g Dietary fiber (20% DV)

  • 0.2mg Vitamin B1 (10% DV)

  • 1mg Vitamin B3 (5% DV)

  • 128mg Potassium (4% DV)

  • 11mcg Selenium (15% DV)

Prevent cancer

Selenium is a mineral that is not present in most foods, but it can be found in barley. It plays a role in liver enzyme function and helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body. Fiber intake from plant-based foods is also associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Some studies have suggested that beta-glucan fiber may stimulate the immune system.

 

Good hearth health

Barley's fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamin B6 content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support a healthy heart. Barley is an excellent source of fiber, which helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease.

 

Weight management and satiety

Barley effectively helps control type 2 diabetes. However, one can prevent this type of diabetes by losing weight, getting involved in a vigorous physical activity, and including abundant whole grains in the diet. Therefore, high fiber foods should be included in the daily diet of diabetic patients. Its grain has all the essential vitamins and minerals, particularly beta-glucan soluble fiber that slows down glucose absorption.

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