Quinoas popularity as a health food has been on a steady incline for the past few years but now there’s a not so new kid on the block, barley. For some of us, we were first introduced to barely via Nan’s minestrone soup and for some, it’s never passed our lips. Barley is gaining increased popularity as additions to salads and served at restaurants in replace of rice. However, I am predicting greater attention will be placed on this mighty little grain in light of recent research published in the British Journal of Nutrition recently revealing:
Consumption of barley kernel bread (3 x daily for 3 day) results in improved metabolisms for up to 14 hours, and decreased blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as improved appetite control and increases in insulin sensitivity.
The research lead summed up the findings as "After eating the bread made out of barley kernel, we saw an increase in gut hormones that regulate metabolism and appetite, and an increase in a hormone that helps reduce chronic low-grade inflammation among the participants."
A huge focus in my clinic is to ensure clients are consuming a food regime conducive to optimal blood sugar regulation, anti-inflammatory and metabolism supportive. And it goes without say, delicious! Being able to recommend a healthy food which ticks all these boxes is a delight.
No matter what your health goal is, the results of this research can be of benefit and not left reserved for those currently suffering or at risk of chronic disease including diabetes and obesity.
Easy ways with Barley
- Toss into soups and stews
- Boil and add to salads
- Serve in replace of rice
- Serve with yoghurt and fruit for breakfast
- Add 1 tbsp cooked barley to scrambled eggs
- Add boiled barley to bread or savoury cake mixes
Looking for the perfect way to make friends with barley? Try my:
Roast Vegetable, Barley and Kale Salad
Serves 4 as a side
- 2 whole red capsicums
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- ½ bunch parsley, chopped
- 1 ½ cups barley, cooked
- 1 small bunch kale, torn into small pieces
- ½ tbsp. pomegranate molasses
- ¼ tsp sumac
- 1 tbsp cumin, ground
- olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees
- Place barley and water into a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer until tender, drain and set aside
- Meanwhile place capsicums in the oven on a tray and roast until skin begins to blacken, take out once soft, peel off skin and cut into lengths, set aside
- Meanwhile place onion and garlic in a small roasting dish with 1 tbsp olive oil, toss well and roast in the oven until well done, set aside
- Using a mandolin cut eggplant finely, layer a baking tray with paper and spread eggplant on paper, sprinkle with sumac and cumin and drizzle with olive oil, toss well, place in oven and continuously toss every 15-20 minutes
- Once eggplant is cooked, set aside and using the same baking tray, toss torn kale in olive oil and pop into the oven for 10-15 minutes until slightly crispy, make sure to toss every few minutes to avoid kale burning
- In a large bowl combine parsley, cooked barley, roasted onion, roasted capsicum, eggplant and kale, drizzle with pomegranate molasses and lemon juice, season to taste, serve and enjoy!
Casey Dick | Passionate Dedicated Natural Nutritionist | Brisbane, Australia, Dietary Nutritionist, Healthy Body and Mind Advocate, Natural Hormone Balance & Healthy Weight Loss, Natural Skin Health, Anorexia, Eating Disorder Recovery, Orthorexia, Thyroid, Non-dieting Approach, Gut Health, Nutritionist specialises in PCOS, Why can’t I lose weight, Weight Loss Resistance