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Barley, an Ancient Grain

Barley a grain that sometimes gets a bad reputation is emerging once again. Who doesn’t love a bowl of barley vegetable or beef stew on a cold winter day? Barley can add a robust flavor to any soup or stew, with its nutlike flavor and pasta like consistency it can transform any dish.

Barley not only can add a distinct taste, it also packs a nutritional punch. The fiber in this product both soluble and insoluble can aid in digestion and also help in the prevention of colon cancer. The high fiber content in this grain decreases transit time of fecal matter, which decreases the risk of colon cancer and hemorrhoids. The benefits of this grain don’t end there. Tummy troubles? Barley also feeds the “friendly” bacteria in the colon. Fueling these “friendly” bacteria contribute to a healthy gut. Barleys benefits don’t cease in the gut either, this grain is also high in Beta glucan which can aid in lowering bad cholesterol. Beta glucan recently has been in the spotlight for its ability to lower insulin resistance as well, thus decreasing blood sugars.

Want more benefits from this ancient grain? The high fiber content can increase satiety, which will help to prevent obesity. The benefits are truly endless.

Nutritional facts of this ancient grain are astounding. One cup of hulled barley has two times more fiber than oats. With 325 calories and 17g of fiber as well. Barley also provides an excellent dietary source of essential minerals including magnesium, iron, manganese and selenium.

All the benefits of barley it is no wonder why it is a grain appearing in more and more cabinets across the country. I not only use barley in soups and stews, but I have also been using it in place of rice. Below is a savory dish that mimics risotto. Chessy Barley Risotto Enjoy!

Chessy Barley Risotto

1 tsp olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 cup barley

3 ½ cups chicken broth

¼ cup shredded pecorino romano cheese

In a dutch oven sweat onion carrots and celery in olive oil, about 2 minutes. Add barley and saute for 3 minutes on medium heat. Add chicken broth and cook until barley is tender ~15 minutes. Lastly add cheese and mix until combined well. Enjoy!

Chessy Barley Risotto

 

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