Climbing Michi's Ladder: Barley

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 | 0 comments »

By Denis Faye

Yes, beer is made from barley, but, no, that does not land beer in tier 1 of Michi's Ladder. Barley is actually a highly nutritious cereal grain with a nutty flavor. But to be completely honest, most cereal grains can be described as having a nutty flavor, so you should probably try it for yourself. It's a great way to get those complex carbohydrates without resorting to wheat.

The nutrition facts

The big draw when it comes to barley is the fiber hit—four times more than you'll get from an equivalent amount of brown rice or oatmeal. One raw ounce is 99 calories, with 1 gram of fat, 21 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein. As for micronutrients, you'll find 19 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA)* for manganese and 15 percent of the RDA for selenium, as well as thiamin, niacin, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.

How do you eat this stuff?

Barley works pretty much like any other grain, so bread, pancakes, and muffins are all options. You can use cracked or flattened barley to make hot cereal. You can also add it to stews or soups to "beef" them up a little or just add flavor.

1 cup of barley, pearled, cooked (157 g)
Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
193 1 g 44 g 6 g 4 g