Let’s Talk About Barley!

In BabyStep 5: Grains we give you a long list of grains which can/should be part of your food storage but we really have focused a lot on wheat as it seems to be the most intimidating and the item we are supposed to store the most of. However, we typically encourage people to research and experiment with the other grains until they “figure them out” and find out if their family likes them. Cornmeal or popping corn is one that surprised us with how much we’ve been able to use it and enjoy it. Barley is one that we are still working on figuring out so we put together this post to help motivate us.

What is barley?

Barley is a grain with short, stubby kernels and a hull that is difficult to remove. It is often used in soups or stews as a filler and to add some extra chewiness. It is a good source of fiber and niacin, and is also low in fat with no saturated fat or cholesterol.

barley

Types of barley

Similar to rice, there are two types of barley, a refined (white) variety and a “whole grain” variety. The most common is the white, highly processed “pearl” barley that has had most of its bran and germ removed along with its hull. It is the least nutritious form of barley. The second variety is called “pot” or “hulled” barley and it has been subjected to the same milling process as pearled, but with fewer trips through the polisher. Because of this, it retains more of the nutritious germ and bran.

What type should we store?

Since pearl barley is so highly processed (similar to white rice) it has a much longer shelf life than pot barley. If you enjoy barley and plan to store a fair amount of it, then definitely store mostly pearl barley. However, if you are going to be using it a lot and rotating through it on a regular basis it would be beneficial to store at least some of it in the pot barley variety in order to have the benefit of additional nutrients.

Where do we buy barley?

We occasionally find bags of pearl barley at the grocery store near the beans and rice. Jodi had a bit of trouble cooking it from scratch so she decided to buy a box of Quaker Quick Barley to give her some easy experience with learning to use it in her own recipes. This is found in the same section and typically easier to find than the bags as well. If you can’t find it at your grocery store, or you want to buy it in bulk, there are a few good sources online. We found some pretty good deals on Amazon for a 10 pound bag of pearl barley or a 12 pack of Quick Barley.

quickbarley

How do we use barley?

You may remember from a while back that Jodi tried making a Chicken Barley Chicken recipe found on her box of quick barley. It was actually really yummy. She has also added it to her mom’s famous roast beef stew and it was a delicious addition.

So the bottom line is, barley is not too scary and it’s not even gross. Just buy a small box or bag and look for ways to use it in some of your meals. If you like it then you just discovered another healthy alternative to include in your food storage grains. Yay!

  • Andrea

    I LOVE hulled barley. It is so versatile and healthy and keeps all of us regular, if you know what I mean. I use it as a breakfast cereal. I cook one cup of hulled barley in two cups of water and two cups of pureed pears, a little cinnamon, and a little salt for two hours. It is delicious and all my children (well, 5 of the 6) love it.

    Also, we use barley as a side dish, I cook it in homemade chicken broth and it is one of my hubby’s favorite sides. Usually I pair it with a chicken dish and some black beans.

    My family’s very favorite summer salad is a hulled barley salad. The recipe calls for pearl barley but I never have that on hand so we just cook the barley longer than the recipe calls for but do everything else the same. Here’s the link to the recipe:

    http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/bacony_barley_salad_with_marinated_shrimp.html

    This is definitely a grain to get to know!

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi and Julie

      Sounds yummy, I’ll have to look that one up

  • Ruth

    Pearled barley is not “highly processed”. What is interesting about barley is that the germ and bran are distributed equally throughout the grain. For information about this grain go to the Barley Council webpage. Please check your facts ladies. Love you.

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi and Julie

      Ruth, can you point us in the direction of what you mean. We’ve seen in a few places that PEARLED barley IS processed. Here’s an example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_barley

  • OFFOETE HYGINUS CHUKWUEBUKA

    PLS I WANT TO GET MORE 4RM U ABOUT BARLEY

  • OFFOETE HYGINUS CHUKWUEBUKA

    PLS I WANT TO GET MORE 4RM U ABOUT BARLEY

  • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

    I store my legumes in a variety of containers. I have a 5 gallon bucket of pinto beans, then large rectangular tupperware containers for legumes I store less of such as split peas, kidney beans, etc. I keep my most common ones up in my kitchen pantry and the others down in the basement. I haven't used any sort of oxygen absorber but my bucket has an airtight seal. We will be researching methods of storing foods and do some future posts about it so make sure to check back.

  • davidjenkins

    I am trying to find out what would be the best way to store legumes? would it be in pouches with oxegen tablets. trying to get my year supply together just dont know how long things will last! any help?

  • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

    I store my legumes in a variety of containers. I have a 5 gallon bucket of pinto beans, then large rectangular tupperware containers for legumes I store less of such as split peas, kidney beans, etc. I keep my most common ones up in my kitchen pantry and the others down in the basement. I haven't used any sort of oxygen absorber but my bucket has an airtight seal. We will be researching methods of storing foods and do some future posts about it so make sure to check back.

  • davidjenkins

    I am trying to find out what would be the best way to store legumes? would it be in pouches with oxegen tablets. trying to get my year supply together just dont know how long things will last! any help?

  • Sarah

    I read on providentliving.org that pearled barley is not suitable for longer-term storage. Is hulled barley better for longer-term storage? What is the best way to pack it? Does it need an oxygen absorber?

    • Anonymous

      I am trying to find out what would be the best way to store legumes? would it be in pouches with oxegen tablets. trying to get my year supply together just dont know how long things will last! any help?

      • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

        I store my legumes in a variety of containers. I have a 5 gallon bucket of pinto beans, then large rectangular tupperware containers for legumes I store less of such as split peas, kidney beans, etc. I keep my most common ones up in my kitchen pantry and the others down in the basement. I haven’t used any sort of oxygen absorber but my bucket has an airtight seal. We will be researching methods of storing foods and do some future posts about it so make sure to check back.

  • Sarah

    I read on providentliving.org that pearled barley is not suitable for longer-term storage. Is hulled barley better for longer-term storage? What is the best way to pack it? Does it need an oxygen absorber?

  • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

    Thanks for the tip. We were just giving examples of where you could purchase some. We always encourage people to do their own research to find the best prices in their area.

  • http://twitter.com/everythingprep Everything Prepared

    You can actually get barley for much less than what is advertised on Amazon’s site ($10.95/10 lbs). It is out there for $11.95/25 lbs.

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

      Thanks for the tip. We were just giving examples of where you could purchase some. We always encourage people to do their own research to find the best prices in their area.

  • http://www.homefoodstoragesupplies.com/ James Medina

    You can actually get barley for much less than what is advertised on Amazon’s site ($10.95/10 lbs). It is out there for $11.95/25 lbs.

  • http://www.homefoodstoragesupplies.com/ James Medina

    You can actually get barley for much less than what is advertised on Amazon’s site ($10.95/10 lbs). It is out there for $11.95/25 lbs.

  • http://www.homefoodstoragesupplies.com/ James Medina

    You can actually get barley for much less than what is advertised on Amazon’s site ($10.95/10 lbs). It is out there for $11.95/25 lbs.

  • http://twitter.com/everythingprep Everything Prepared

    You can actually get barley for much less than what is advertised on Amazon's site ($10.95/10 lbs). It is out there for $11.95/25 lbs.

  • foodstorage

    Thanks for the recipe link! We are always looking for good recipes that use barley since we aren't that familiar with it yet.

  • http://www.theprudenthomemaker.com/ The Prudent Homemaker

    You can get pearled barley in #10 cans from Walton Feed. We have done this before and I have been very happy with the quality. I use it to make barley soup; you can see the recipe here: http://theprudenthomemaker.com/barleysoup.aspx

    It has a really good flavor. This is one of my husband’s favorite soups.

  • http://www.theprudenthomemaker.com/ The Prudent Homemaker

    You can get pearled barley in #10 cans from Walton Feed. We have done this before and I have been very happy with the quality. I use it to make barley soup; you can see the recipe here: http://theprudenthomemaker.com/barleysoup.aspx

    It has a really good flavor. This is one of my husband’s favorite soups.

  • http://www.theprudenthomemaker.com/ The Prudent Homemaker

    You can get pearled barley in #10 cans from Walton Feed. We have done this before and I have been very happy with the quality. I use it to make barley soup; you can see the recipe here: http://theprudenthomemaker.com/barleysoup.aspx

    It has a really good flavor. This is one of my husband’s favorite soups.

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

      Thanks for the recipe link! We are always looking for good recipes that use barley since we aren’t that familiar with it yet.

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

      Thanks for the recipe link! We are always looking for good recipes that use barley since we aren’t that familiar with it yet.

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

      Thanks for the recipe link! We are always looking for good recipes that use barley since we aren’t that familiar with it yet.

  • http://www.theprudenthomemaker.com/ The Prudent Homemaker

    You can get pearled barley in #10 cans from Walton Feed. We have done this before and I have been very happy with the quality. I use it to make barley soup; you can see the recipe here: http://theprudenthomemaker.com/barleysoup.aspx

    It has a really good flavor. This is one of my husband's favorite soups.

  • http://www.imaprepper.blogspot.com/ Polly

    I have used Barley in soups, even in chili to give it a “meaty” bite. ( I’m not a huge fan of TVP). I have ground it and put it in bread.
    But our most favorite way of having barley is in a casserole. I don’t have a recipe, so here goes my instructions:
    Cook about 2 cups barley in 6 cups of water. A rice cooker is perfect, but certainly not necessary. Cook it until it is still very firm (al dente?). Then add 1 sauteed onion, 1/2 chopped bell pepper, 2-3 stalks chopped celery, 3-4 sliced carrots, and any other chopped up veggie you like. I’ve added zucchini, yellow squash, corn, broccoli, spinach. The possibilities are endless. We like veggies, so we add a lot.
    Then add (approximately, to taste) 1t garlic (or less if you like), 1/2t pepper, 1/8t nutmeg, 1/2t thyme, and 2-3 Knorr bouillon cubes (they are larger than the traditional ones.)
    Mix all of these items together well and bake (or continue in your rice cooker) until all the water is absorbed. I like mine a little crispy on the edges, so I leave it in a little while longer.
    The whole process takes about 1.5 hours. I’ve never used Quick Barley, only long cooking stuff.
    My husband likes it topped with Parmesan cheese. This makes a wonderful veggie dinner or hearty side dish.

  • http://www.imaprepper.blogspot.com/ Polly

    I have used Barley in soups, even in chili to give it a “meaty” bite. ( I’m not a huge fan of TVP). I have ground it and put it in bread.
    But our most favorite way of having barley is in a casserole. I don’t have a recipe, so here goes my instructions:
    Cook about 2 cups barley in 6 cups of water. A rice cooker is perfect, but certainly not necessary. Cook it until it is still very firm (al dente?). Then add 1 sauteed onion, 1/2 chopped bell pepper, 2-3 stalks chopped celery, 3-4 sliced carrots, and any other chopped up veggie you like. I’ve added zucchini, yellow squash, corn, broccoli, spinach. The possibilities are endless. We like veggies, so we add a lot.
    Then add (approximately, to taste) 1t garlic (or less if you like), 1/2t pepper, 1/8t nutmeg, 1/2t thyme, and 2-3 Knorr bouillon cubes (they are larger than the traditional ones.)
    Mix all of these items together well and bake (or continue in your rice cooker) until all the water is absorbed. I like mine a little crispy on the edges, so I leave it in a little while longer.
    The whole process takes about 1.5 hours. I’ve never used Quick Barley, only long cooking stuff.
    My husband likes it topped with Parmesan cheese. This makes a wonderful veggie dinner or hearty side dish.

  • http://www.imaprepper.blogspot.com/ Polly

    I have used Barley in soups, even in chili to give it a “meaty” bite. ( I’m not a huge fan of TVP). I have ground it and put it in bread.
    But our most favorite way of having barley is in a casserole. I don’t have a recipe, so here goes my instructions:
    Cook about 2 cups barley in 6 cups of water. A rice cooker is perfect, but certainly not necessary. Cook it until it is still very firm (al dente?). Then add 1 sauteed onion, 1/2 chopped bell pepper, 2-3 stalks chopped celery, 3-4 sliced carrots, and any other chopped up veggie you like. I’ve added zucchini, yellow squash, corn, broccoli, spinach. The possibilities are endless. We like veggies, so we add a lot.
    Then add (approximately, to taste) 1t garlic (or less if you like), 1/2t pepper, 1/8t nutmeg, 1/2t thyme, and 2-3 Knorr bouillon cubes (they are larger than the traditional ones.)
    Mix all of these items together well and bake (or continue in your rice cooker) until all the water is absorbed. I like mine a little crispy on the edges, so I leave it in a little while longer.
    The whole process takes about 1.5 hours. I’ve never used Quick Barley, only long cooking stuff.
    My husband likes it topped with Parmesan cheese. This makes a wonderful veggie dinner or hearty side dish.

  • http://www.imaprepper.blogspot.com/ Polly

    I have used Barley in soups, even in chili to give it a “meaty” bite. ( I'm not a huge fan of TVP). I have ground it and put it in bread.
    But our most favorite way of having barley is in a casserole. I don't have a recipe, so here goes my instructions:
    Cook about 2 cups barley in 6 cups of water. A rice cooker is perfect, but certainly not necessary. Cook it until it is still very firm (al dente?). Then add 1 sauteed onion, 1/2 chopped bell pepper, 2-3 stalks chopped celery, 3-4 sliced carrots, and any other chopped up veggie you like. I've added zucchini, yellow squash, corn, broccoli, spinach. The possibilities are endless. We like veggies, so we add a lot.
    Then add (approximately, to taste) 1t garlic (or less if you like), 1/2t pepper, 1/8t nutmeg, 1/2t thyme, and 2-3 Knorr bouillon cubes (they are larger than the traditional ones.)
    Mix all of these items together well and bake (or continue in your rice cooker) until all the water is absorbed. I like mine a little crispy on the edges, so I leave it in a little while longer.
    The whole process takes about 1.5 hours. I've never used Quick Barley, only long cooking stuff.
    My husband likes it topped with Parmesan cheese. This makes a wonderful veggie dinner or hearty side dish.

  • Cathy

    Barley water is a cold drink – a concentrated juice that you usually mix with water is widely available in all British stores and usually flavoured with lemons, peach or other fruit……http://www.britvic.com/Brand.aspx?id=59
    It can be made by boiling washed pearl barley, straining, then pouring the hot water over the rind and/or pulp of the fruit, and adding fruit juice and sugar to taste.

    Here is a recipe for Royal Barley Water (This is the recipe that the English Royal Family uses to keep their complexions flawless – it is from Mrs Alma McKee who was chief cook to the royal family and is from her book “To set before a Queen)
    1/2 cup pearl barley
    11 cups boiling water
    2 lemons
    6 oranges (organic – they should have no added colouring or preservatives)
    honey to taste
    Put the barley and the boiling water into a large saucepan and simmer at low heat, with the lid on , for one hour.
    Squeeze the fruit and keep the juice. Strain the water from the cooked barley into a bowl, add the honey and rinds from the lemons and oranges. Allow to stand until cold. Remove the rinds and add the orange and lemon juice. Refridgerate (If you are unable to get unsprayed citrus fruit, omit soaking their rinds in the barley water

  • Cathy

    Barley water is a cold drink – a concentrated juice that you usually mix with water is widely available in all British stores and usually flavoured with lemons, peach or other fruit……http://www.britvic.com/Brand.aspx?id=59
    It can be made by boiling washed pearl barley, straining, then pouring the hot water over the rind and/or pulp of the fruit, and adding fruit juice and sugar to taste.

    Here is a recipe for Royal Barley Water (This is the recipe that the English Royal Family uses to keep their complexions flawless – it is from Mrs Alma McKee who was chief cook to the royal family and is from her book “To set before a Queen)
    1/2 cup pearl barley
    11 cups boiling water
    2 lemons
    6 oranges (organic – they should have no added colouring or preservatives)
    honey to taste
    Put the barley and the boiling water into a large saucepan and simmer at low heat, with the lid on , for one hour.
    Squeeze the fruit and keep the juice. Strain the water from the cooked barley into a bowl, add the honey and rinds from the lemons and oranges. Allow to stand until cold. Remove the rinds and add the orange and lemon juice. Refridgerate (If you are unable to get unsprayed citrus fruit, omit soaking their rinds in the barley water

  • Cathy

    Barley water is a cold drink – a concentrated juice that you usually mix with water is widely available in all British stores and usually flavoured with lemons, peach or other fruit……http://www.britvic.com/Brand.aspx?id=59
    It can be made by boiling washed pearl barley, straining, then pouring the hot water over the rind and/or pulp of the fruit, and adding fruit juice and sugar to taste.

    Here is a recipe for Royal Barley Water (This is the recipe that the English Royal Family uses to keep their complexions flawless – it is from Mrs Alma McKee who was chief cook to the royal family and is from her book “To set before a Queen)
    1/2 cup pearl barley
    11 cups boiling water
    2 lemons
    6 oranges (organic – they should have no added colouring or preservatives)
    honey to taste
    Put the barley and the boiling water into a large saucepan and simmer at low heat, with the lid on , for one hour.
    Squeeze the fruit and keep the juice. Strain the water from the cooked barley into a bowl, add the honey and rinds from the lemons and oranges. Allow to stand until cold. Remove the rinds and add the orange and lemon juice. Refridgerate (If you are unable to get unsprayed citrus fruit, omit soaking their rinds in the barley water

  • Cathy

    Barley water is a cold drink – a concentrated juice that you usually mix with water is widely available in all British stores and usually flavoured with lemons, peach or other fruit……http://www.britvic.com/Brand.aspx?id=59
    It can be made by boiling washed pearl barley, straining, then pouring the hot water over the rind and/or pulp of the fruit, and adding fruit juice and sugar to taste.

    Here is a recipe for Royal Barley Water (This is the recipe that the English Royal Family uses to keep their complexions flawless – it is from Mrs Alma McKee who was chief cook to the royal family and is from her book “To set before a Queen)
    1/2 cup pearl barley
    11 cups boiling water
    2 lemons
    6 oranges (organic – they should have no added colouring or preservatives)
    honey to taste
    Put the barley and the boiling water into a large saucepan and simmer at low heat, with the lid on , for one hour.
    Squeeze the fruit and keep the juice. Strain the water from the cooked barley into a bowl, add the honey and rinds from the lemons and oranges. Allow to stand until cold. Remove the rinds and add the orange and lemon juice. Refridgerate (If you are unable to get unsprayed citrus fruit, omit soaking their rinds in the barley water

  • Grandma Lori

    Barley – My favorite little bag of grains to throw into any stew or soup. I like to rinse it off and pick through it before using it – in case there’s a stem or leaf or a little something.

    Now, in Mary Poppins, when Jane and Michael Banks sing their song for a nanny advertisement they sing “Love us as a son and daughter…and never smell of barley water”. What do you think they’re talking about?

  • Grandma Lori

    Barley – My favorite little bag of grains to throw into any stew or soup. I like to rinse it off and pick through it before using it – in case there’s a stem or leaf or a little something.

    Now, in Mary Poppins, when Jane and Michael Banks sing their song for a nanny advertisement they sing “Love us as a son and daughter…and never smell of barley water”. What do you think they’re talking about?

  • Grandma Lori

    Barley – My favorite little bag of grains to throw into any stew or soup. I like to rinse it off and pick through it before using it – in case there’s a stem or leaf or a little something.

    Now, in Mary Poppins, when Jane and Michael Banks sing their song for a nanny advertisement they sing “Love us as a son and daughter…and never smell of barley water”. What do you think they’re talking about?

  • Grandma Lori

    Barley – My favorite little bag of grains to throw into any stew or soup. I like to rinse it off and pick through it before using it – in case there’s a stem or leaf or a little something.

    Now, in Mary Poppins, when Jane and Michael Banks sing their song for a nanny advertisement they sing “Love us as a son and daughter…and never smell of barley water”. What do you think they’re talking about?

  • gaby

    something that I do is I grind barley brown rice spelt equal parts let said 2c of each in the grinder and I put it in a ziploc bag in the freezer and these is my substitute for all purpose flour. it will not work if you use all these as a purpose flour so what I do is I use half whole wheat and half these substitute in any recipe that call for purpose flour and has work really good with all my recipes and sometimes I add some gluten flour,
    I learn these substitute form chef brad.
    hope you like it. I haven’t use all purpose flour for almost a year , and I do have some in my food storage just in case I can’t grind my flour.

  • gaby

    something that I do is I grind barley brown rice spelt equal parts let said 2c of each in the grinder and I put it in a ziploc bag in the freezer and these is my substitute for all purpose flour. it will not work if you use all these as a purpose flour so what I do is I use half whole wheat and half these substitute in any recipe that call for purpose flour and has work really good with all my recipes and sometimes I add some gluten flour,
    I learn these substitute form chef brad.
    hope you like it. I haven’t use all purpose flour for almost a year , and I do have some in my food storage just in case I can’t grind my flour.

  • gaby

    something that I do is I grind barley brown rice spelt equal parts let said 2c of each in the grinder and I put it in a ziploc bag in the freezer and these is my substitute for all purpose flour. it will not work if you use all these as a purpose flour so what I do is I use half whole wheat and half these substitute in any recipe that call for purpose flour and has work really good with all my recipes and sometimes I add some gluten flour,
    I learn these substitute form chef brad.
    hope you like it. I haven’t use all purpose flour for almost a year , and I do have some in my food storage just in case I can’t grind my flour.

  • gaby

    something that I do is I grind barley brown rice spelt equal parts let said 2c of each in the grinder and I put it in a ziploc bag in the freezer and these is my substitute for all purpose flour. it will not work if you use all these as a purpose flour so what I do is I use half whole wheat and half these substitute in any recipe that call for purpose flour and has work really good with all my recipes and sometimes I add some gluten flour,
    I learn these substitute form chef brad.
    hope you like it. I haven’t use all purpose flour for almost a year , and I do have some in my food storage just in case I can’t grind my flour.