Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bulk Bins!

Barley:  The Basics and Two Yummy Recipes!
Possibly the oldest cultivated cereal, barley was the standard currency in Babylonia and the basic measuring unit in Sumeria. Barley is the most widely adaptable grain on our planet. It grows in regions as extreme and varied as the frigid Tibetan heights and the blistering sea level Sahara. Barley remains the staple of the physically strong peoples of the Himalayan region. In the west it is most commonly malted for beer.

Barley has cooling thermal properties and an earthy sweet but somewhat salty flavor. Barley is believed to strengthen the digestive system, regulate the stomach and stimulate the appetite. Barley cooks into a chewy sustaining dish. Try it plain, combined with brown rice, cooked with a pot of beans, or cooked with extra water to make a breakfast porridge. It is especially delicious cooked risotto style. Barley is a classic soup and stew ingredient and a pleasant rice substitute.

Types of Barley:
WHOLE BARLEY has its bran intact and therefore takes more time to cook. Like brown rice is to white, whole barley is darker, chewier, and more nutritious than is pearled barley. PEARLED BARLEY has had its bran polished off. BARLEY FLAKES are like rolled oats and make a tasty substitute for oats in hot breakfast cereal, granola, and muesli.

Here are a few recipes to help you use barley:
Barley Lentil Soup
2 Tbl. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, diced
5 cups water
1/2 cup organic pearled barley, rinsed
15 oz. Eden Organic Lentils, do not drain
1/4 c. celery, diced
1/4 c. carrot, diced
1 c. spinach, chopped
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
Heat oil in a soup pot. Sauté garlic and onion for 3 to 4 minutes. Add water, barley and sea salt. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except the parsley, cover and simmer another 5 to 7 minutes.

Barley Citrus Saute
¾ cup pearl barley
2-1/4 cups water
1 cup chopped onion
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped apple
1 cup dried apricots, snipped into ½-inch pieces
1/3 cup orange marmalade
2 tsp grated fresh lemon peel
2 tbl. fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon salt
½ tsp. dried leaf oregano
½ tsp. dried leaf thyme
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
In medium saucepan bring water to a boil. Add barley and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Set aside. Spray large skillet with non-stick cooking spray; sauté onion and garlic for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in apple and apricots and sauté 3 more minutes. Blend in marmalade, lemon peel and juice, orange juice, salt, oregano, thyme and white pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add barley; cook 5 minutes longer. Makes 8 servings.

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