One of the first known cultivated grains of the Fertile Crescent was Barley. Archaeological surveys and pieces of evidence have dated barley cultivation to 5000 B.C. in Egypt, 2350 B.C in Mesopotamia and 3000 B.C. in Northwestern Europe among various other regions. Barley was also the chief bread plant of the Greeks, Romans and Hebrews as it was for much of Europe through the 16th century.
Barley has a nut-like flavour and is high in carbohydrates, with moderate quantities of protein, calcium, and phosphorus and small amounts of B vitamins. It also contains high levels of fibre.
The pearl barley has a chewy texture and mild grain flavour to it. The barley is harvested with the hull intact after which it goes through a pearling process. Pearling is a scouring process that removes the outer hull and the bran layer of the barley kernel. This process results in a softer and faster to cook grain and is also the most common form of barley available in the market.
- Pearl barley is commonly used in soup and stew. It also makes a great side dish as an alternative to rice or pasta, and any leftovers can be made into a tasty cold salad.
- You can also have it as an iced barley tea or lemon barley water by simply simmering pearl barley in water, straining the liquid, and adding lemon and sweetener to it.
Recipe for Peruvian Emoliente
1/2 cup of Pearl Barley
1/4 cup of Alfalfa Leaves
1/4 cup of Horsetail
1/3 cup of Brown Flax Seeds
8 cups of water
Lemon and Sugar/Sweetener as per taste.
1) Toast the pearl barley in a saucepan/wok over medium heat, until they turn dark brown in colour.
2) Put the toasted barley, alfalfa leaves, horsetail, flax seeds into a pot with 8-10 cups of water.
3) Boil the ingredients for approximately 30 minutes.
4) Strain the liquid. It should be a little slimy from the flax seeds.
5) Add lemon and sweetener to taste.
6) You can either drink it as a hot beverage or place it in the fridge for a cool refreshing drink.
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