Barley is truly an ancient grain.  Originating in Ethiopia and Southeast Asia, it is thought to have been cultivated for most of recorded human history and is certainly one of the first cultivated grains.  A deliciously versatile cereal grain with a nutlike flavor and rich, chewy consistency, Barley is a grain that I want to explore today. It can be found in the market in several forms:

  • Hulled Barley:  This form is so named because the outermost hull of the grain is all that has been removed.  It is rich in nutrients and is the chewier form of the grain.  
  • Barley Flakes:  These are similar in shape and texture to rolled oats because they have been flattened and sliced.  This form is derived from hulled, hulless, or Pearl Barley and is typically lower in nutrients.  
  • Barley Grits:  Because they have been toasted and cracked, this form of Barley is similar in appearance to Bulgar.  These too are lower in nutrient content.   
  • Pearl Barley:  Much less chewy and quicker cooking, Pearl Barley has been through various degrees of polishing or “pearling” and is also much lower in nutrients.  It is not considered a whole grain because of the processing.   

Barley is one of the “gluten grains” and may be problematic for individuals allergic or sensitive to the gluten found in wheat.  Questions have been raised recently about whether other grains like Barley actually elicit the same response as Wheat.  If gluten does affect you, it is important to listen to your body and make your own decision.  When possible, purchase  organic Barley to avoid the chemical residues from the conventionally grown variety.

START SOMEWHERE giving your body grains in their most unprocessed form.  They have more flavor, texture, and nutrient content.  Expand your horizons — Barley is truly an ancient grain!  LIVE YOUNGER with the whole food that your body was designed to use.  You can do it.  I will help you!

Barley is Truly an Ancient Grain

Barley is Truly an Ancient Grain