Food Tips

Basics of barley: The original grain

Basics of barley: The original grain Author: Style At Home

Food Tips

Basics of barley: The original grain

Three things you may not know about barley

  • History places barley at the front of the grain train - it was the original grain to be cultivated by humans.
  • Alberta produces about half of Canada's barley, divided into two types - malt barley and feed barley.
  • A bushel of barley yields a bushel of malt; a bushel of malt yields a barrel of beer, or 333 bottles.

Two kinds of barley to keep on hand

  • Aside from everyone's favourite barley product - mushroom barley soup - try experimenting with the following: malt vinegar, for use with real English fish and chips; barley flakes, high in dietary fibre, for great porridge on cold winter mornings.


Two ways to try barley right now

  • Use pearl barley like risotto in a casserole, with mushrooms and white wine.
  • Make scones using barley flour - you'll get a darker product, a nuttier taste and a moister texture.


One tip you can't live without

  • Bring out the nutty flavour of barley by toasting barley flakes - similar to rolled oats - before cooking into porridge, granola or muffins. Use a heavy dry pan over low heat, and cook the flakes until golden brown, about 10 minutes.


One thing to remember at the grocery store

  • Pearl barley has had its outer hull removed and been ‘polished,' and is great for soups and grain salads. Pot barley or Scotch barley is less processed, if you like a chewier texture. Use it with winter vegetables in stews and casseroles.
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Food Tips

Basics of barley: The original grain