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
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.
barley water,natural health,menopause,diet aid,Alton Brown,food tv