Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Barley is a power food! Low glycemic index, low fat, contains both soluble and insoluble fibers, cholesterol free, antioxidants and phytochemicals. With only 144 calories for 1/4 cup of barley you can add a ton of vegetables and you have yourself a meal for under 200 calories. You could also add some lean skinless chicken chopped in barley and vegetables for a protein and nutrient packed meal for under 300 calories.

Because of its low glycemic index many of those who worry about blood sugar levels should switch your typically oatmeal breakfast for barley. It also contains more fiber than oatmeal. Oatmeal has about 3.98 grams for one cup whereas barley has 13.6 grams for one cup. Beat that oatmeal :)

Forms of barley include:
  • Pearled Barley-Not recommended as the way they "pearl" and polish the barley it takes away most of the amazing nutrients the barley provides. It is less chewy, and cooks quicker but not worth it when it takes away what barley is intended to do.
  • Hulled Barley-The outermost part of hulled barley gets removed and although it is more chewy and takes a bit more time to soak and cook it keeps all of its nutrients!
  • Barley flakes-Flattened and smoothed out this type of barley may or may not be the best choice. Sometimes companies use pearled barley instead of hulled so be sure to read those labels and get the most out of what you eat.
  • Pot/scotch barley-Stuck in between hulled and pearled this type is commonly used in soups. They polish it and remove the outer hull but the barley is not polished for too long so it still retains most of its nutrients.

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