How to use barley? You may have heard that barley is a nutritious whole grain but you have no idea how to use barley.

Health Benefits

It’s a good source of fiber.Eating this grain is a delicious way to up your fiber content. “And fiber has a range of health benefits, from supporting healthy digestion to helping with weight loss by enhancing satiety to promoting better glycemic control,” says Stefani Sassos MS, RDN, the registered dietician with the Good Housekeeping Institute.

Among whole grains, it’s one of the best sources of fiber, and it happens to be a type of fiber that’s especially healthy: just one cup of pearled barley has 6 grams of fiber, and only 193 calories.

It’s Loaded with vitamins and minerals.

It has a good amount of several different nutrients that help keep your body humming. It has niacin, a B vitamin that our body uses to turn food into energy; niacin is also key for our nervous and digestive systems and for the health of our skin. It’s also a good source of another B vitamin, B6, which helps our brains and our immune systems.

It may protect against heart disease.

It contains flavonoids, which are among the more highly-researched phytochemicals. Flavonoids are the substance in whole grains that’s thought to help protect against heart disease, and even cancer. Blue and purple grains have the highest amount of flavonoids among the different barley varieties.


How to Use Barley in a Recipe: Barley, Bean, and Corn Salad

Ingredients (12 servings)

• 2 cups cooked barley (cooking directions below)
• 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 cup corn (canned and drained, frozen, or fresh cooked)
• 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
• 1/2 cup sliced celery
• 1/4 cup sliced green onion
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
• 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
• salt and pepper to taste
• fresh cilantro or parsley sprigs, for garnish (optional)


1. Mix barley with remaining ingredients, except garnish, in a large bowl.
2. Cover and chill several hours or overnight to allow flavors to blend.
3. Garnish with cilantro or parsley sprigs, if desired, and serve.
4. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.


• One large ear of corn makes about 1 cup of cut corn.
• Freeze extra lime or lemon juice to use later.
• Cook your own dry beans. One can (15 ounces) is about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups drained beans.
• Try adding cilantro on top for more flavor.
• Place any extra cooked barley in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze. Add cooked barley to soups, stews, casseroles and salads for a healthful fiber boost.

To cook barley:

1. In a medium saucepan with lid, bring 3 cups water to a boil.
2. Add 1 cup barley and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 45 to 60 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed.
3. Makes about 3 to 3 1/2 cups.
Tip: Quaker Oats makes Quick Barley which cooks in 10-12 minutes. You can buy it at Walmart.

Nutrition (per ½ cup serving)

Calories 110
Total Fat 3g
Carbs 18g
Fiber 4g
Protein 4g

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