Friday, February 12, 2010

Cooking with Barley!

In my February Newsletter, I wrote an article on barley. It is so confusing to know the difference between hulled barley and pearled barley. Hopefully, this will help you to decide which type of barley you would like to try in order to add nutrition to your family's diet.

Hulled barley, also known as barley groats, is the whole grain form of barley, with only the outermost hull removed. Hulled Barley is the most nutritious form of barley. With its bran still intact it is nutrient dense and high in fiber. It's full of important trace minerals like iron and contains a range of B vitamins. Although the cooking time is longer, the nutritional benefits are worth the effort. The added bonus is its distinct nutty flavor and brownish color. Chewy and rich in fiber, it's the healthiest kind of barley.

Pearl barley is the most common form of barley. It's still chewy and nutritious, but less so than hulled barley because the outer husk and bran layers have been removed. The polished grains are also softer and take less time to cook, about 40 minutes.

Some added nutritional facts about the benefits and differences between pearl barley and hulled barley!

Calories: One cup (237 ml) of cooked pearled barley contains 193 calories; hulled barley contains 270 calories and contains as much protein as a cup (237 ml) of milk!

Protein content: pearled has 4 grams; hulled barley has 7 grams.

Carbohydrates: pearled carries 44 grams;hulled barley has 59 grams.

Dietary fiber: pearled barley has 9 grams;hulled barley ranks higher with 14 grams.

Barley has so many nutritional benefits. From the info I have gathered to learn more about the nutritional benefits of barley,I discovered barley is good to reduce cholesterol. Barley's fiber binds to and removes cholesterol-containing bile, this is great for people struggling with heart disease, since it forces the body to make more bile by breaking down cholesterol, thus lowering cholesterol levels.

"A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms that eating high fiber foods, such as barley, helps prevent heart disease. Almost 10,000 American adults participated in this study and were followed for 19 years. People eating the most fiber, 21 grams per day, had 12% less coronary heart disease (CHD) and 11% less cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to those eating the least, 5 grams daily. Those eating the most water-soluble dietary fiber fared even better with a 15% reduction in risk of CHD and a 10% risk reduction in CVD."

So how do you implement this wonderful grain into your diet? The cooking method for all forms of barley is the same--only the cooking times vary. Combine barley, water, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat to low and steam until grains are soft and all liquid is absorbed.

To shorten the cooking times listed below, soak the barley overnight for cooking in the morning, or soak all day for cooking the barley at dinnertime.

Remember you can always use your Bosch Flaker to make a barley cereal. Yum!

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