`

Barley Products
Finding Barley
Storing Barley
Cooking Basics

Tip of the Month
What's on the Menu?


 
Barley Products

 

Pearl Barley

Pearl barley refers to covered barley that has been processed to remove the tough inedible outer hull and then pearled or polished.  Barley may be pearled to varying degrees and labeled as regular, medium, fine or baby pearl.  Pearl barley is available in several forms; however, kernels or berries (pictured at right) are the most common.  Pearl barley may also be purchased flaked, cut (grits) and ground (meal or flour).

Where it's found
Pearl barley is typically available in a kernel or berry form and may be purchased in most supermarkets.  It is usually found next to dry beans, lentils and rice.  Pearl barley may also be found in bulk containers in the natural foods sections of supermarkets as well as in health and specialty food stores.

How it's used
Pearl barley (in the kernel form) is a versatile ingredient that lends itself to many recipes.  It may be cooked and served as a side dish similar to rice or couscous.  It may also be used as an ingredient to add healthful fiber, chewy texture and nutty flavor to soups, stews, casseroles, salads, pilafs and fillings.

^ Back to top



 


Barley Flour

Barley flour may be made from pearl or whole grain (hulled or hulless) barley.

Where it's found
Although in more limited supply, barley flour may be found in some supermarkets with other packaged flour products or in bulk containers.  Barley flour may also be sold in some health and specialty food stores.  It may also be purchased directly from small grain suppliers and processors via mail-order catalogs and online stores.

How it's used
Barley flour may be used to add fiber to baked goods. One-half cup of barley flour contains 7 grams of total dietary fiber. In comparison, ½ cup of white all-purpose enriched wheat flour contains just 2 grams of total dietary fiber.
*Source: USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 13 (November 1999)

Barley flour contains gluten, the protein that helps baked goods rise. However, it’s important to note that the type of gluten in barley flour does not promote adequate rising on its own. It’s best to use barley flour in combination with wheat flour for baking. Barley flour may also be used as a thickener for soups, stews and gravies.

^ Back to top


 


Barley Flakes

Barley flakes are made from pearled or whole grain barley kernels that have been steam-rolled and dried.

Where they're found
Although in more limited supply, barley flakes may be found in some supermarkets as well as in health and specialty food stores.  They be may be displayed next to ready-to-eat or cooked cereals or in bulk containers.  Barley flakes may also be purchased directly from small grain suppliers and processors via mail-order catalogs and online stores.

How they're used
Barley flakes may be cooked like rolled oats for hot cereal.  They may also be used as an ingredient in baked goods such as breads, muffins or cookies.

^ Back to top


 


Barley Grits

Barley grits are made from pearled or whole grain barley kernels that have been cut into small pieces.

Where they're found
Although in more limited supply, barley grits may be found in some supermarkets or health food stores in the ready-to-eat and cooked cereal aisle or in bulk containers.  Barley grits may also be purchased directly from small grain suppliers or processors via mail-order catalogs and online stores.

How they're used
Barley grits may be used as a hot cereal or as an ingredient in recipes. Barley grits are also used in commercial food applications.

^ Back to top


 


Barley Malt

Barley malt is made by soaking and drying barley kernels.  The kernels are then allowed to germinate or sprout in a controlled environment.

How it's used
Barley malt is an important ingredient for beer production.  It is also used in extracts and syrups for adding flavor, color or sweetness to commercially prepared foods such as cereals, baked goods, confections and beverages.

^ Back to top


 


Whole Grain Barley

Whole grain barley refers to barley that has been minimally processed or cleaned so that most of the bran and endosperm is left intact and the germ is present.  Whole grain barley may also be called hulled or hulless barley.

Hulled barley refers to covered barley that has been minimally processed to remove only the tough inedible outer hull.  Hulled barley may be purchased in several forms including kernels (berries), cut (grits), flaked or ground (meal or flour). 

Hulless barley refers to a type of barley in which the tough inedible outer hull is loosely adhered to the kernel.  The outer hull is so loose, that when this barley is harvested in the field, the outer hull usually falls off.  Processors often refer to this type of barley as “naked” barley.  Hulless barley requires little to no processing to remove the tough inedible outer hull.  Because this product requires minimal cleaning, most of the brand and endosperm is left intact and the germ is present.

How it's used
Whole grain barley is available in several forms such as kernels (berries) as well as flaked, cut or ground into flour.  Whole grain barley may be used like its pearled counterparts.  Cooked whole grain barley kernels tend to impart a more chewy texture and a more robust flavor than pearl barley.  Whole grain barley kernels typically require a longer cooking time than pearl barley.

Where it's found
Whole grain barley is currently in more limited supply.  It may be found in some supermarkets as well as in some health and specialty food stores.  Whole grain barley may also be purchased directly from small grain suppliers and processors via mail-order catalogs or online stores.

^ Back to top

 
 


Covered Barley

This refers to barley kernels with the tough inedible outer hull still attached.  This covering must be removed before the barley is used for human consumption.  If the kernels are minimally processed to remove only the inedible outer hull, the resulting product is whole grain.  If the kernels are further processed (pearled or polished), the resulting product is called pearl barley and is not considered whole grain.

 

 

Culinary Cues

Finding barley

Pearl barley is currently the most readily available barley product and may be found in most supermarkets next to dry beans, lentils and rice.  Pearl barley may also be found in the bulk foods sections of some supermarkets.

Barley flour and rolled barley flakes, while in more limited supply, may be found in the flour and hot cereal sections of some supermarkets.  These products may also be found in the bulk foods sections of some supermarkets.  Barley flour and rolled barley flakes may also be purchased from small grain suppliers via mail-order catalogs or online stores.

Barley grits, while in more limited supply, may be found in the bulk foods sections of some supermarkets.  They may also be purchased from small grain suppliers via mail-order catalogs or online stores.

Whole grain barley products (made from hulled barley or hulless barley) are currently in more limited supply.  These products may be found in the bulk foods sections of some supermarkets or in health and natural foods stores.  Whole grain barley products may also be purchased from small grain suppliers via mail-order catalogs or online stores.

Prepared foods that contain barley as a primary ingredient include hot and ready-to-eat cereals, canned soups, multigrain pasta, heat-and-eat multigrain entrees, snack bars, crackers and multigrain pilaf mixes.

Storing barley

Raw/uncooked barley (pearl barley, whole grain barley kernels, barley flour, barley flakes, barley grits) should be stored in an airtight container in a cool place, preferably in the refrigerator or freezer.  If refrigerated or frozen in an airtight container, raw/uncooked barley may be stored for about 6 months.

Cooked barley (pearl or whole grain kernels) may be stored for a short time prior to using.  Place cooked pearl or whole grain barley kernels in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze for up to a week.  For best results, bring refrigerated or frozen barley to room temperature before using.

Cooking basics

To cook pearl barley: In medium saucepan with lid, bring 3 cups water to a boil.  Add 1 cup pearl barley and return to boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed.  Makes about 3 to 3-1/2 cups.

In a crock pot or slow cooker: Place 2-1/2 cups boiling water, 1 cup pearl barley and 1/2 teaspoon salt in crock pot or slow cooker.  Cover and cook on HIGH for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. 

To cook whole grain barley kernels:  In medium saucepan with lid, bring 3 cups water to a boil.  Add 1 cup whole grain barley kernels and return to boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook about 50 to 55 minutes.  Makes about 3 cups.  Note: Because whole grain barley retains most of the outer bran layer, the kernels tend to absorb less liquid during the cooking process.  It may be necessary to pour off any remaining liquid after 50 to 55 minutes of cooking time.  Compared to pearl barley, whole grain barley tends to be chewier in texture and produces a more robust flavor.

Using barley flour: Barley flour adds a subtle nutty flavor and fiber to baked goods.  While barley flour contains gluten, the protein that makes baked goods rise, the type of gluten in barley does not promote adequate rising on its own.  So it’s best to use barley flour in combination with all-purpose enriched wheat or whole wheat flour.  As a rule of thumb, barley flour may be substituted for about 1/4 of the total flour used in yeast breads.  For most quick breads, muffins, cookies and bars, barley flour may be substituted for about 1/2 of the total amount of flour used.

^ Back to top

 
 

Tip of the month

Looking for some quick ways to fiber up summertime dining?  Here are three easy ideas featuring our favorite grain.

^ Back to top

What's on the menu?

Farmer’s markets are in full swing and supermarket produce sections are brimming with beautiful fresh fruits.  If you’ve got a craving for some of the season’s best, we’ve got a recipe for you.  Paradise Barley Fruit Salad combines pearl barley with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, pecans, bleu cheese and zesty raspberry-orange dressing.  Heavenly!

^ Back to top