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Barley: It Isn’t Just for Beer
According to the American Dietetic Association, barley—like other whole grains—is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. And barley offers something special. It may be good for the heart thanks to beta-glucan, a fiber that helps lower blood cholesterol.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that half of your grain servings be whole grains, and a serving of sweet, chewy barley will help get you there. A ½ cup portion of cooked barley contains 97 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and the minerals iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese.

Like rice, barley can be cooked in water or broth and used in a variety of dishes. Here are some ideas:
  • Add barley to homemade soups and stews.
  • Try a barley and meat stuffing in baked green peppers or zucchini.
  • Mix chilled, cooked barley with chopped vegetables, cheese, and Italian salad dressing for a filling salad.
  • Use leftover cooked barley in meatloaf and casseroles.
  • Make a savory whole-grain pilaf with barley, wild rice, brown rice, broth, and spices.
  • Heat leftover barley with milk, cinnamon, and raisins for a hearty breakfast cereal.
  • Chill or freeze leftover barley, then reheat it for an easy side dish.

Last reviewed: April 2011

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© Krames StayWell 2012.