Food and Recipe of the Month: Vegetable Barley Soup

Care of Andrea Howe of  As the cold winter months progress, choosing hearty dishes is essential to stay warm. Barley is an impressive grain due its vast health benefits, and its ability to keep us feeling full for a long time. Barley, like other whole grains, is rich in B vitamins which aid in brain health, red blood cell development, and increasing energy levels. Additionally, barley is rich in soluble fibre, particularly beta-glucan which causes us to feel full for longer thus reducing appetite and aiding in weight loss. This fibre can also reduce blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol, lowering the risk for cardiac diseases. Beta-glucans also produce short-chain fatty acids which reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of cancer cell formation. Not only do these powerful grains have amazing health benefits, they are also delicious and easy to cook. This chewy and nutty grain can be served is many dishes like soups, stews, salads, or on its own. Check out this Vegetable Barley Soup recipe to gain these amazing benefits. Ingredients – 1 tbsp olive oil – 1 yellow onion, diced – 3 carrots, peeled and diced – 3 stalks of celery,… Read More

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Roasted Mushroom and Barley Salad

Serves 8 Spring is kind of unpredictable weather-wise, so I went with a variety of tastes, textures and flavours in this salad to satisfy throughout the season. You can change up the vegetables/herbs with whatever inspires you in the moment. Ingredients 1 cup pot barley, soaked overnight 12 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I used cremini and oyster varieties) 2 leeks (white and light green part only) 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and chopped fine ½ tbsp tamari soy sauce 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 5 tbsp grapeseed oil, divided juice of 1 lemon ⅓ cup raw hazelnuts 1 small shallot, minced fine ¾ cup chopped flat leaf parsley salt and pepper   Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line one large and one small baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Drain the soaked barley over a bowl to save the water. Place drained barley in a medium saucepan. Top up the barley water with fresh water (if necessary) up to 3 cups. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Lower pot to a simmer, cover and cook until barley grains are fully cooked, but still a little bit chewy, about 25 minutes. Drain… Read More

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Beautiful Barley

Care of Laura Wright Barley is the oldest domesticated grain in the entire world. It’s been cultivated for ten thousand years! This nutty, chewy, satisfying food is delicious in so many ways. Typically enjoyed in soups throughout the colder months, its heartiness fortifies and warms us up. Definitely an economical and nutritional superstar on that front. Its application isn’t limited to soup alone though. You can add soaked barley to your steel cut oats for a little variation, make it risotto style for a classy dinner, grind it into flour for a fibre boost in your cookies or toss it into a lovely grain salad like I’ve done in the recipe below. Pot vs Pearl: You will generally find two types of barley available in stores. If you are concerned about health properties and prefer whole grains in your diet, reach for the “pot” variety. These grains have only had their tough, outer husk removed. While pearl barley certainly cooks faster, it lacks the nutrition of the grain in its whole form because an additional two layers (the bran and endosperm) are polished off. You may also appreciate the more pronounced toasted and nutty flavour that pot barley has to… Read More

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