Super healthy grain, there are 4 kinds of barley; pearl, pot, hulled, hulless. The pearl and pot barley are commonly available at the supermarkets. The hulled and the hulless can most likely be found at health food stores or online.
The pearl and the pot barley have been polished or “pearled” therefore the germ and the bran were removed and are not considered whole grains.
In the pot barley some of the outer bran layer along with the hull has been removed. In the pearl barley all the bran layers with the germ were removed. Both the pearl and the pot barley have less B vitamins, iron and fiber compared to the whole grain variety, the hulled barley.
However both the pearl and pot barley are still high in proteins and soluble fiber, such as the mighty beta-glucan, which is distributed all over the kernel not just in the bran layer, they also cook faster than the hulled barley variety.
In the hulled barley only the tough inedible outer hull has been removed leaving most of the bran and the germ intact accordingly is considered a whole grain. The hulless barley is a type of barley that the outer hull is very loosely attached to the kernel normally falling off during harvest and requiring minimal processing guaranteeing that all the bran and germ are kept.
Here is how to cook barley:
Prep: soak overnight | Cook: 15 mins | Total: 495 mins
1 cup of pot or hulled barley
3 cups of water
½ tsp of salt
Using a sieve, rinse the barley well and soak in water overnight. On the following day rinse and drain the barley. In a medium pot bring 3 cups of water to boil, add the salt and the barley, mix well. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes if using the pot barley or 50 minutes if using the hulled variety. The barley should be soft yet chewy. Drain any remaining water. One cup of barley will yield 3 cups of cooked barley. If a smaller amount is desired, adjust the amount of barley always keeping the ratio 1 of barley : 3 of liquid.
Try the delicious Baked Apple & Avocado Squares made with barley and oats.