Monday, October 4, 2010

How To Cook Barley

Well, we had a fun weekend taking part in Colfax's Hullabaloo.  Grandma's poodle, Maggie (dressed in her tutu) and I participated in the annual Pet Parade, while Grandpa and MaMa were busy selling whole grains and freshly ground flours.  They tell me that our new Multigrain Pancake Mix sold like hotcakes (yes, pun intended). 

One of the most frequent questions of the weekend was, "How do you cook your Barley?"  Well, the way you would cook Joseph's Grainery Barley may be a bit different than the way you'd cook, say, pearl barley.  This is due to the fact that our barley still has the hull.  It's important to note that most of barley's nutrients are located in the hull, so without the hull, you aren't getting the full nutritional value of barley.
Joseph's Grainery Barley
1.  Soak the barley.
The most important step cooking barley is to soak the grains.  You'll want to soak the barley for at about 24 hours, so if you're wanting to make a soup or stew, you'll want to plan accordingly.  Place the barley in a container and cover it with double the amount of fresh water, then let it soak away!  Be sure to drain and rinse before cooking your barley recipes.

2.  Cook the barley.
There are several methods for cooking barley, MaMa's favorite way to cook it is in soups and stews.  If you are making a soup or stew, you'll want to make sure that you let the barley simmer in the soup/stew for at least 45 minutes.  Or you can put all of your ingredients in a crockpot and let everything cook all day.

If you're not making a soup or stew and you just want cooked barley, all you have to do is boil 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of barley.  Add the soaked barley, return to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for at least 45 minutes.

One of the most important things to note, no matter the method of cooking, is to NOT ADD SALT until the barley is completely done cooking!  The salt can keep the barley from becoming tender.

It's definitely the season for soups and stews, so go for it...add a handful of (soaked) barley to your favorite recipe and enjoy the wonderful health benefits of this mightly little whole grain.

Barley on Foodista


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