Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lemon Honey Barley Water

First, the confession.... I am addicted to Alton Brown's Good Eats on Food TV. There is something about the food/science combo and his quirky personality that keeps me coming back. The goofy visual aids are usually worth the price of admission,too!

Anyway, yesterday the show was on Barley. I've always liked barley and it's truthfully my favorite thing in a big pot of vegetable beef soup. I've never done anything else with it though. Now, Alton advocates buying an expensive German mill to get the barley ground down and that's a little over the top for me. If you've been reading along,you know I'd be buying a new camera if that kind of money flew in my window! So I did some reading today on barley. I am completely amazed at how beneficial this little bitty grain is!

It's loaded with protein,fiber and niacin, seems to be good for all sorts of digestive issues, kidney cleansing, reducing cholesterol, prevents gall stones, helps heart health for menopausal women and diabetics better than oats! Who knew! I also read that drinking barley water can help stimulate the body to burn fat faster and prevent wrinkles.

This recipe for Barley Water is based on the one given by Alton Brown on Good Eats. Doing a search on barley water will show you lots of variations, which I have adapted here. It's suggested that you drink 1 - 2 cups daily to receive health benefits. I'm going to give it a try. Let me know if you do too and lets compare notes.

2 quarts water
1 cup hulled barley
2 lemons
1/4 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
Several slices of fresh ginger

Place the water and barley into a medium saucepan; cover, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the barley comes to a boil, decrease the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. While the liquid is cooking, peel the lemons, being careful not to cut into the white pith. Juice the lemons and place the juice along with the peel into a 3-quart pitcher and set aside. Add the cinnamon stick and ginger slices.

After 30 minutes, strain the barley water through a fine mesh strainer into the pitcher. Discard the barley. Add the honey and stir to combine. Refrigerate until chilled. Will keep up to 5 days.

I made this brew with a few changes, no ginger or cinnamon sticks around so I tossed in whole cloves. It's very good. I think I'll make mine just a little less sweet next time and add more spices, maybe some cardamom. It reminds me of cold chai.

And I didn't toss the barley. I mixed the partially cooked and drained barley with a little butter and about a cup of chicken broth. Then I added some italian seasoning and simmed another 20 min until the broth was absorbed. I tossed in some grated parmesan cheese and we had it as a side dish with grilled turkey. Pretty good! Considering the health benefits, I think I'll try to get more barley recipes in our meals.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting about this...the barley episode of GE just aired in Canada and I was wondering about the lemon-barley water recipe. Think I'm gonna give it a try.
-- Amanda

Anonymous said...

Wendy, a half a year since you posted about barley water. Your blog came up in a search I was doing after watching the Barley episode of Good Eats (repeat, do you think, lol). Thanks for the recipe and the motivation (I shouldn't have needed more after watching the episode of GE-- but barley is NEW to me)
thank you- and by the way- excellent blog :)
take good care!
Amy in MN

Sacred Suzie said...

I just saw the episode here, a long time since you posted this but I'm so glad you did, couldn't find it anywhere else and I am going to give it a shot. I love that he did an elixer, very, very cool and I bet it's so good for you. I also won't waste the barley, super healthy and I really like it in soup too.

Anonymous said...

I was told not to use pearled barley but I cannot find any other kind in super markets or health food stores.

Wendy said...

I suppose, like many other things, a more raw form of barley would be best. I've continued making this and I use the pearled barley, it's all I can easily get too. All I can say is go with what ingredients you can get and try it. Many things in cooking are flexible.

Anonymous said...

NO! NO! NO! Do NOT buy pearled barley, unless you don't need the health benefits! Buy either whole or hulled ONLY! If it is more than that then it is NOT whole grain! Als if you are buying flakes, or cracked barley, make sure it is made fron Whole or hulled grain ONLY! It keeps well as oatmeal or any grain, so order it on line. just google it!

peku said...

Thanks for posting about Barley water...Because I'm trying to find out this from last few days.I saw one show and they say if you drink lemon barley water everyday it will help you to lose fat from hips your lower body and if you drink more then 3 months then it will also help to lose fat from your stomach too..what do you thing is it true.
Because I'm just drinking Lem one barley water for burning fat and lose weight.What do you think i should keep drinking or not?


Anonymous said...

I've been drinking barley water for years and was excited when I saw the GE episode a few months ago. (probably a re-fun) I came across your post when doing some research on the benefits of barley water for a friend.

Anyway, I like to make the barley water plain and then use it in place of water when making orange juice. You don't notice a difference in the taste of the juice, but you get all the health benefits!

Anonymous said...

Also called dehulled. It can be difficult to find.

indianist said...

Most of the people are does't know the benefits of Barley Water. In Olden days most of the people live long because of drinking barley water. nice information Thanks