Information: This food is a good source of Dietary Fiber, Selenium and
Manganese. Strengthening to the spleen-pancreas, barley regulates the stomach
and can stimulate the appetite. It strengthens the intestines and blood and
benefits the gallbladder and nerves. Barley is used for hepatitis and painful
urination and it helps to reduce tumors. (the new whole foods encyclopedia by
Storage Information: Like
all grains, store barley in a tightly covered glass container in a cool, dry
place, up to one year. Barley can also be stored in the refrigerator during
periods of warmer weather. Food Fun Facts: Barley is a wheat
free cereal grain but not gluten free. It is also the most acidic of grains.
Barley is wonderfully versatile with a rich nut like flavor and an appealing
chewy, pasta-like consistency, the result of its gluten content. Its appearance
resembles wheat berries, although it is slightly lighter in color. Sprouted
barley is naturally high in maltose, a sugar that serves as the basis
for both malt syrup sweetener and when fermented, as an ingredient in beer and
other alcoholic beverages. Barley can be found in the market in various
different forms: Hulled barley Hulled barley (the outermost hull of the grain
is all that gets removed in this form. While this makes for a chewier grain
that requires more soaking and cooking, it also makes for a more nutritious
food. Hulled barley is also sometimes called "dehulled barley," and
it is the one form of barley what would be considered whole grain), Pearl
barley (outer hull is polished off, lower in nutrients), Pot/scotch barley (in
between hulled and pearl barley), Barley flakes, and Barley grits.
Hulled Barley is that which is being offered in the CSA share. This form of Barley takes quite awhile
to cook, upwards of one hour per cup in 3 to 4 cups of liquid. Pre-soaking for
several hours is recommended, and the soaked barley may be cooked in the same
soaking water. Add barley to your favorite stews and soups to give them extra heartiness
and flavor. Barley can be combined with lentils and other legumes or in any
combination of vegetables. Combine cooked barley and healthy sauteed mushrooms for a pilaf with an
Eastern European twist.
Other Recipes: Mushrooms, Carrots and Barley~ CSA Member Michelle Macomber
1½ c. thinly sliced mushrooms
1 c. thinly sliced carrots
a few scallions or ½ a small onion, thinly sliced
¾ c. barley
Warm 2-3 T of butter or oil in a pan. Add and fry above ingredients
until all fat is absorbed and barley is slightly browned. Transfer to a baking dish.
2 c. stock
¼ c. raisins minutes
¼ t. ground ginger
pepper to taste
soy sauce to taste
thyme to taste
parsley to taste
Add the above to a baking dish and cook for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake until all liquid is gone and barley is fluffy.
Notes: I often add larger quantities of ingredients. Accurate measurements are not too important, as long as you increase stock proportionately to barley.
Green Barley and Kale Gratin~ From CSA Member Cira Canelas
2/3 cup barley, rinsed
Salt and freshly milled pepper
1 large bunch kale, about 1 ¼ pounds, stems entirely removed
2 TBsp. butter
3 TBsp. flour
1 ½ cups milk or basic vegetable stock
¼ Tsp. allspice
1/8 Tsp. grated nutmeg
½ cup grated gruyere or provolone (I use any cheese)
In a saucepan, add the barley to 1 quart boiling water with ½ Tsp. salt and simmer uncovered until tender about 30 min. Drain. While it’s cooking, cook the kale in a skillet of boiling salted water until tender, 6 to 10 minutes. Drain, then puree with ¼ cup of the cooking water until smooth.
Preheat oven 375F. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, whisk the flour, then add the milk. Cook stirring constantly over medium heat, until thick. Season with allspice, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Combine all the ingredients, check the seasoning, and then transfer to a lightly buttered baking dish or ramekins. Bake until lightly browned on top, about 30 min. if you’ve used ramekins, run a knife around the edges, then unmold them by giving them a sharp rap on the counter. Present them browned side up.