For this grain, I had to do some major research...just to tell you the truth. I have one small container in my food storage and this is due to a recipe I was trying about a year ago; Beef, Barley and Mushroom soup.
I had actually forgotten about the recipe until starting this blog. So looks like Beef, Barley and Mushroom
soup in our near future. Hopefully during my research I will find some more recipes that my family will love using Barley.
In one of my prior posts, I had mentioned if your family doesn’t like it then don’t store it or store a small amount. I hate storing items I know my family won’t eat, that is a waste of money. And I hate wasting money on food; don’t get me wrong, I love to eat. I just hate throwing out food that has gone bad.
Barley is a whole grain that has numerous health benefits. According to the FDA, barley’s fiber could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of colon cancer. Those wondering about taste; it is kind of a chewy texture with a nutty flavor. As I mentioned above, it can be used in soup (which is the most popular way to cook with it) and also stews.
Barley can be used in place of rice or couscous in a lot of recipes.
Types of Barley:
There are multiple types of Barley and just as many ways to classify them. Barley can range from 2 to 6 rows of grains. It is grown for several different reasons, to my understanding the high protein grains are grown for human and animal food while the starchy Barley is grown for malt (98% of barley in the U.S. will be made into malt barley for beer).
1. Hulled Barley:
Has been minimally processed to remove only the outer layer which is the tough inedible hull, leaving the bran layer intact. This type of Barley requires the longest cooking time. Sometimes called whole-wheat barley or Dehulled Barley
2. Hulless Barley:
The outer hull generally falls off during harvesting.
3. Scotch Barley / Pot Barley:
Has been polished to remove the outer shell, but a large amount of the grain is left intact.
4. Pearl Barley:
The outer hull has been removed along with some or the entire bran layer removed. Pearl Barley is the most popular of Barley for human consumption. It also cooks quicker than Hulled or Hulless Barley, in about 35 – 45 minutes. (At this stage it is not a whole grain but a refined grain) It may be tan to white in appearance due to how much it has been polished or pearled.
Options from Barley:
1. Barley Grits:
There are whole grain grits (which come from hulled or hulless barley) and refined grits (which come from
pearl barley). Grits are barley kernels cut in pieces. Also called Cracked Barley
2. Barley Flakes:
The same as grits...there are whole grain barley flakes and refined barley flakes. Barley Flakes are made the same way as rolled oats or oatmeal....by steaming the kernels, rolling them and then drying them.
3. Barley Flour:
is commonly used for thickener for soups, stews and gravies. It can be used in baked goods, but it needs to be used in conjunction with wheat flour due to the gluten doesn’t promote adequate rising on its own.
4. Quick Pearl Barley:
Is actually Barley flake and cooks in about 10 minutes. Just remember this is a refined flake and not a whole grain flake.
Where to purchase: Barley can be purchase in some grocery stores in the natural food aisle or next to the
beans or check out any of the natural food stores in the bulk bin section or the baking section. As I have
mentioned in earlier posts also check the local Amish or the LDS Cannery or you can purchase online.
Storage Conditions: Storage at 40-60°F is optimal. Grains are not damaged by freezing temperature, but temperatures above 60°F causes a more rapid decline in seed viability (ability to germinate) but only a slightly faster loss in food value. Moisture above 15% will allow molds to grow. When the moisture reaches 20% some bacteria can start to grow. The result is spoiled grain unfit for use. Store containers off the floor, especially off concrete floors, concrete can wick moisture to stored containers very easily. Inspect grain often for insect activity. 
Shelf life: Rotate, Rotate, Rotate.....with any of your food storage you need to develop a program to rotate your supplies on a regular basis. First in first out.....in others words as you use your stored barley replace it with new barley. Label each container with product and storage date. Commercially packaged barley can have a shelf life on 8 years unopened and opened 18 months. While home packaged wheat is slightly less. The consensus seems to be Mylar bags if sealed correctly and vacuum sealed jars should last as long as the sealed cans if the seal stays intact, and food saver bags are for short term use only.
How much Pearl Barley should I store? 25 lbs. of pearl barley per one adult for a year
What type of Barley should you store for long-term food storage? The answer to this question depends
on you…….. If barley is something that you will use just every so often, then Pearl Barley is your best
option. Pearl barley is highly processed, which means it has a longer shelf life than other types of barley.
(Think about white rice vs. brown rice) If Barley is something you plan on using on a regular basis then Scotch / Pot Barley is the correct option due to it has a better nutritional value than Pearl Barley. Or do a combination of the two forms of Barley.
Cooking ideas / tips and Recipes:
Cooking Barley is like cooking rice or any other grain.
· Cover 1 cup of barley with 2 cups of water or broth and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes on the stovetop then fluff with a fork (just like rice).
· If you use a rice cooker, then add 2 ½ cups water per cup of barley
· Pre-soak for an hour or overnight will cut the cooking time by 15 minutes.
Recipe, Recipe, Recipe……
Side dish….Mushroom Barley
1 ½ c. Barley
2 medium Onions
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 Tbsp. Butter
6 – 8 cloves Garlic
2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
¾ lbs. Mushrooms – preferably Cremini
Cook Barley in chicken broth for 40 minutes. Slice 2 onions and cook in 2 Tbsp. olive oil until caramelized then add 2 Tbsp. of soy sauce. Sauté mushrooms in butter. Then add the onions, mushrooms, dill and salt to taste.
Options: Can add fresh parmesan cheese on top of dish just before serving.
Roasted Beef, Mushroom and Barley Soup
Recipe by Martha Stewart
· 1 pound sirloin steak, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
· 1pound cremini or button mushrooms, stems trimmed and caps halved
· 2 shallots, coarsely chopped
· 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
· Coarse salt and ground pepper
· 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
· 1/2 cup quick-cooking barley
· Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet, toss together steak, mushrooms, shallots, and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast until beef and
mushrooms are browned, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a medium pot and add broth and barley. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high, then reduce heat and simmer until barley is soft, about 12 minutes. To serve, season to taste with salt and pepper and top with parsley, if desired.
You can find more barley recipes here….