Barley /Hordeum vulgare/ is a very important industrial crop, which in some countries is used as food. Barley is grown in temperate parts of the world, the most valuable is its grain. Worldwide, some 800 million acres of this crop are sown - half of them in China and Russia.
Barley is a low or moderately high wheat, whose height varies from 35 to 130 cm and has a short growing season, sown in spring and harvested before the end of winter.
Barley is one of the best plants adapted to all conditions. It can grow at very low temperatures and in droughts, to feed the poor in minerals from the soil.
The areas sown with barley have reached almost 5 million acres world wide, but due to emerging climate changes and reductions in the numbers of food-producing animals in the early 21st century, the volume has decreased to almost a half.
Barley is one of the oldest grains known to mankind. It is estimated that 10 000 years ago, the inhabitants of the deserts of southwest Asia have survived themselves and their animals with barley grains. Some of the more recent studies show that barley has appeared for the first time in southeast Asia and in the mountainous country of Ethiopia.
Nowadays, it has significantly lost its position in relation to maize. While in the Middle Ages, it was extremely popular, today this is not true.
Composition of barley
Barley is rich in valuable vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B9. Minerals are best represented by magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Barley is rich in amino acids, especially lysine. 100 g of barley contains 354 calories, 9.45% water, 17.3 g fiber, 0.8 g sugar, 2.3 g fat, 12.5 g protein, 73.5 g carbohydrates and 0 mg cholesterol.
Selection and storage of barley
There are several products made from barley, which are found in the market. First is clean barley. When only the outer skin is removed, but the inner pulp and embryo coverage remain. Only a fraction of the fibers and components are lost.
Cooking barley is polished clean, which means it has lost much of the useful qualities.
Pearl barley is husked four to six times, meaning that almost all important matter for us is absent.
Barley flakes are much less popular than oats, they are not inferior in any way. Barley flour is darker than wheat and has a slightly nutty flavor.
When you buy these products, look for any damage to the container and be sure to check the suitability of the label.
Look for nuts or flour from barley that has its contents visible on the label. In terms of storage, it is enough to follow the instructions on the packaging and track expiry date. Keep barley products in a dry, dark and cool place.
Barley in cooking
Barley is very popular in cooking despite the widespread perception that it can be used only for animal feed. This is not because properly prepared barley can be not only tasty but also very useful.
The most common way of cooking is by boiling barley kernels. They are boiled in milk or water for about 20 minutes and are ready to eat. Can be eaten as a cereal with dried fruits or nuts /very nutritious breakfast/ or porridge with cheese and vegetables.
Barley grains are cooked much longer than barley kernels and should also be soaked in advance in water for several hours. Soaked, roasted and then cooked over low heat for about 45 minutes, barley flakes or flour can be used to make some baked goods. They can be put in the dough for bread or dietary biscuits and cakes. In Asian cuisine, raw barley is used to make the famous Misso pasta.
According to many nutritionists, barley must soak and boil very slowly, for only thus can it contain all uts starch and fiber, which guarantees full utilization and good digestion. Prominent chefs do recommend combining barley rice in cold salads, which have fresh vegetables.
Benefits of Barley
The amino acid lysine, which is a component of barley, has well expressed antimicrobial and antiviral action, especially with regard to the microbes culprits for herpes and cold viruses. Furthermore, lysine actively participates in the formation of collagen, which offers a smooth and elastic skin appearance. Vitamins of the B group did meet the correct operation of the nervous system, as well as beautiful hair and skin.
The phosphorus content in barley is twice that of other wheat and well known for being considered an "athlete micronutrient" because it determines the strength and speed of muscles. Barley porridge contains fiber that cleanses the body from slag, except that it contains substances that prevent the deposition of fat in the waist. That's why nutritionists recommend Barley porridge to everyone who wants to get rid of extra pounds.
Having found that barley helps reduce fat, let's look at your diet. It is effective and very easy, because it does not require great efforts in preparing the product.
Boil mash from barley, without any additives salt, sugar or other spices. Kernels should be dissolved well. Store in the refrigerator. For five days to a week, it is consumed in unlimited quantities, but the only other products permitted are tea and coffee /sugar/ water.