Friday, February 20, 2009

One Grain at a Time

Like oats, barley is high in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is the kind that dissolves in water and coats your stomach lining, greatly reducing the speed that sugars absorb in your bloodstream. This means you not only feel full from bulk, but you stay full longer. Barley has a mild flavor and chewy texture.

Most widely available is pearled barley which has some to all of the bran polished off, falling somewhere between the spectrum of white rice and brown rice. The whole form is called hulled barley and it is used for sprouting. Occasionally you may come across dehulled barley which is the whole grain with the inedible hull removed. This variety is hard to find and a bit more expensive due to the labor involved in removing the hull. A newer variety that is becoming more readily available is hulless barley. This is a variety that the hull virtually falls off while harvesting leaving all the other parts (bran, germ and endosperm) intact. I have become a fan of the latest variety and buy it from The Good Apple.

About 12 cents a serving $1.25 per lb.
1 lb = 2.2 cups dry = 5 cups cooked = 3 cups flour

To Cook:
-Hulless or dehulled-1 cup grain to 3 cups water. Simmer 40 minutes or pressure 12 minutes on high, natural release. Strain and rinse unless using in soup.
-Pearled - 1 cup grain to 2 ½ cups water. Simmer 25 minutes or pressure 8 minutes on high, natural release.

To Store:
-Dry- indefinitely in an air tight container in a cool, dry place. For long term storage freeze for 48 hours before storing.
-Cooked - refrigerate for up to 10 days, or freeze up to 6 months.

To Use:
- Cooked grains can be used by adding to soups and salads.
-Cooked grains make hearty risottos and pilafs.
-Substitute cooked barley for pasta.
-Bake cooked barley into breads to add chewy-ness.
-Flour may be used in place of part or all white flour in any non yeasted recipe.

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Carbohydrates 77.7 g
Dietary fiber 15.6 g
Fat 1.2 g
Protein 9.9 g
Thiamin (Vit. B1) 0.2 mg 15%
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.1 mg 7%
Niacin (Vit. B3) 4.6 mg 31%
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.3 mg 6%
Vitamin B6 0.3 mg 23%
Folate (Vit. B9) 23 mg 6%
Calcium 29.0 mg 3%
Iron 2.5 mg 20%
Magnesium 79.0 mg 21%
Phosphorus 221 mg 32%
Potassium 280 mg 6%
Zinc 2.1 mg 21%


  1. Do the nutritional values very much between the pearled and the hull-less?

  2. Should say "vary", not "very"--oopps!

  3. I just recieved 5 pounds of the hulled barley from Azure not realizing the difference, thanks for the post. have you sprouted this and does it taste good?

  4. The main nutrition difference in hulless and pearled is the fiber, since only the bran is polished, the germ and endosperm is intact.

    Shari, I have not sprouted it. Sorry, no help there. I am going to delve more into sprouting soon, I have a new toy coming soon from Amazon : )

  5. I just recieved my sprouter from AZURE last week and can't wait to try everything out. Let me know what you try and what you like best. Love new toys

  6. How long can you store this and other grains like millet, quinoa, etc. on the shelf in your pantry? I have those clear plastic square jars with lids. I'm just not sure if they get stale after a while or not.

  7. Most grains store indefinitely if stored properly. Freeze first to kill bugs and larva and keep in an airtight container. I do not recommend storing grains in the garage during the summer in AZ. The quality will diminish, they will lose nutrients, not cook up as nice and in the case of wheat; not rise properly.

  8. I'm in Mesa and haven't heard of any of the stores you listed. Are they in AZ? The soup looks awesome and I want to try it ASAP.

  9. Yes, I am in Mesa and the stores are all in the area. Look at the links on my sidebar, they will help you find where they are located.


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