Barley Field in Orkney

Barley Field in Orkney
Bere Barley Field in Orkney Islands

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Winter is for Scones

This is a long, cold winter!  There have been so many snowy, windy, sub-zero days, when a hot cup of tea, coffee, or chocolate just needed a munchy on the side!  Here is a new recipe that's easy, good, and healthy.  Barley fruit scones can be varied with your favorite dried fruit.  This version has cranberries, prunes, and figs, because that is what I had on hand.  You can use any combination you like.  I was actually wishing for some apricots and cherries!


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1       cup barley flakes
1/2    cup canola oil
1/4    cup brown sugar
1/4    cup granulated sugar
3       teaspoons baking powder
1/2    teaspoon salt
1       teaspoon cinnamon
3/4    cup diced dried fruit
3/4    cup powdered sugar
1       teaspoon vanilla
4       teaspoons milk

1. In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, barley, salt and cinnamon.
2. Add oil and blend thoroughly.  Add fruit and stir until coated.
3. Add milk and blend together.
4. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead 5 times.
5.  Divide into four pieces.  Roll each piece into a circle and cut into six wedgs.
6. Place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 12-14 minutes.
7. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla and milk.  Stir until a smooth consistency for the     glaze.  Brush the glaze over warm scones.

If you can't find barley flakes, try this source: 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How to lower your blood cholesterol with barley

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled in 2005 that the beta-glucan, part of the fiber in barley, can reduce cholesterol when included in the diet.  Moreover, food producers can make this statement on the label of food made from barley.  The FDA specified that at least 3 grams of beta-glucan must be included in the daily diet.

This information may be a bit boggling to consumers because food labels do not state the quantity of beta-glucan in the product.  In addition,m, it is not easy for the average consumer to calculate grams of anything, when we measure in cups and tablespoons.  Hopefully, the following information will be helpful.

First of all, to achieve maximum benefit from barley, you should start with a high-beta-glucan barley.  This would be waxy and/or hulless barley.  One source of this type of barley is Western Trails Foods in Glendive, Montana  ( or 406-377-4284).  The  best product is flaked hulless barley, which has twice the beta-glucan as oats or common barley.

I have recommended this method to many individuals whom I have counseled over the past twenty years, and for myself as well.  If you follow a reasonably healthy diet that is low in fat from all sources, you have a good likelihood of lowering high cholesterol.  This method is considering the barley as a therapeutic product, not a food as such.  This method is quick and easy, and does not require cooking, baking, or addition of flour, shortening or other high calorie ingredients.

Place the barley flakes in a food processor  (a blender will do).  Process for two or three minutes until the barley has the appearance of cornmeal.  I usually process about a pound, and store it iin a closed jar.  One dose is about 2 tablespoons of the processed barley, which you can mix with either applesauce, yogurt, or juice, enough to obtain a consistency you can swallow easily.  I recommend that the barley be taken twice daily, prior to your two largest meals.   This will place the beta-glucan in your digestive tract before food enters.  Then, when you eat, the beta-glucan will be there to do its work.  Less fat and dietary cholesterol will be absorbed, and the liver will be stimulated to take more cholesterol out of your blood for its own use.  Many people have reported that they get full quicker, eat less, and end up losing weight!

I still encourage including barley in meals, and will continue sending out recipes!
Don't hesitate to ask questions~!   Best wishes, Rosemary

Monday, January 13, 2014

Barley versus Oats

     Receently, we saw a small magazine artcle entiitled  "5 Ways to Use Oats".  We thought  "We know 5 ways to use barley, too!"

     Actually, they are both great grains with similar composition.  The reason we say "Barley is Better" is because barley has more of the characteristic fiber ingredient, beta-glucan  than oats.  The beta-glucan is part of the soluble fiber in both grains,  and is responsible for helping to control blood cholesterol.  It is also responsible for the low glycemic index rating of both barley and oats.  The beta-glucan in oats is concentrated in the  oat bran whereas it is found throughout the barley kernel.  Some types of barley known as hulless  (hull-less) and waxy barley, contain greater concentrations of beta-glucans than non-waxy barley or oats.  The term "waxy" has nothing to do with wax but rather the type of starch. More about these varieties in a future posting.

       Meantime, consider two readily available products from Quaker Oates; Rolled Oats and Quick Barley.  Both have about the same concentration of beta-glucan, but are mainly used for different dishes.  Rolled oats are best know for oatmeal, a hot cereal, or for putting into cookies.  Barley can also be rolled as with oats and there are various sources available.  Quick Barley is a  form of pearl barley that is often used in soups.  However we have another use for the Quaker Quick Barley and that is blending half and half with rice which  literally contains no soluble fiber.  Quick Barley and rice take about the same amount of time to cook and the mixture is tasty and provides a good source of soluble fiber.   

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Recipe for Butternut, Bean and Barley Stew


          1  medium butternut squash
          1   medium onion, chop0ped
          6 cloves garlic, minced
          2 stalks celery, sliced
          4 green onions, cliced
         3 tablespoons canola oil
          8 ounces of spicy sausage, sliced or crumbled
          4 cups beef broth
          1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with chilis
          1 teaspoon black pepper
          1 teaspoon thyme
          1/2 cup pearled barley
         1 12-ounce can pinto or Great Northern beans
           10 ounces frozen green beans
          chopped parsley
          salt to taste

          1.  Prepare butternut squash:  cut in half, remove seeds, place halves on a flat pan, place in 425 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Cool, peel, and dice into 3/4" chunks.Set aside.
          2.  Place onion, garlic, celery, green onion, sausage  and oil in a large pot.  Using moderate heat, saute for 5-7 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
          3.  Add beef broth, tomatoes, pepper, thyme ad barley to pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
          4.  Add squash, canned and frozen beans to pot.  Return stew to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until green beans are tender.  Add pars;ey and salt to taste, if desired.

          Serve stew with crusty bread or rolls.  Enjoy on a cold winter night!
           Note:  I used chorizo  sausage, but any sausage will do.  Stew can also be made vegetarian.
 See our next post for a photo of this dish!  Best wishes, Rosemary

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Wintery new year day

January 4, 2014:  It keeps snowing and snowing!  The forecast for here in Montana  is for more snow and cold, cold, cold!

Doesn't a day like this make you think if hot soup and stew?  Watch for a brand new recipe tomorrow.
Meanwhile,  let me remind you of the fantastic health benefits of barley.

Barley, and oats, to a lesser degree, contain beta-glucan, a form of soluble dietary fiber that lowers blood cholesterol, reducing your risk of heart disease.  This amazing compound also acts to lower your blood glucose, lessening risk of diabetes.  For people who already have diabetes, soluble fiber in barley helps to control blood glucose, because it is known as a "slow" carbohydrate.  Slow carbs are always preferable to "fast" carbs as found in white flour or sugar.

I have to go niow, to start the barley stew, and will send you the recipe tomorrow.  Keep warm!
from Rosemary

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Barley for the New Year

Happy New Year, 2014!

The good news is that our new barley book is progressing!

This book will  detail the fantastic health benefits of barley, how to cook with barley, plus over 169 scrumptious recipes!

Meantime, we will be  posting tempting previews.  If you have any questions, or requests for specific recipes, just let us know.

Also, we recently received a barley soup mixture as a Christmas gift.  The product is called Beefed-up Barley Soup Mix produced by Buckeye Beans and Herbs in Kent WA ( It was delicious!!

With best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year,

Rosemary and Walt

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Source of Barley

    Sadly, Nu-World Nutrition, our source of flaked hulless barley, went out of business due to illness of the owner, Wally Corum. Happily, the business was taken over by Western Trails Food, a firm in Glendive, MT. Their phone number is 406-377-4284, and website

    In addition to the basic flaked barley, Western Trails carries pancake mixes, bread mixes, a barley flake cookie mix, and several types of barley, as well as other "cowboy-type" products. They even have whole-grain purple hulless barley that makes a great pilaf or salad. They also offer "booster flakes", a high fiber barley that can be added to cooked cereal, soups and baked products to increase the soluble fiber content. I even put some of this product in meat loaf and casseroles. Anyone with high cholesterol or pre-diabetes would do well to get some barley in their diet every day in this way.

    The following recipe for barley bread made with a bread machine is featured by Western Trails Food. This recipe won first prize at the Wheatland County (Montana) county fair last summer.

        Honey Barley Bread for the Bread Machine

        1-1/3 cups     water, fairly warm        325 mL

        2 Tbsp.         canola oil            30 mL

        3 Tbsp.        honey                45 mL

        1 Tbsp.         lemon juice            15 mL

        1-1/2 tsp.    salt                7 mL

        3 cups        bread or all-purpose flour    750 mL

        1 cup        barley flour            250 mL

        2 tsp.        active yeast            10 mL

Add all ingredients to the inner pot in the order given or as recommended by the instructions for your bread machine. Set the machine to bake as directed.

Note: to turn this into a fruit bread, when the machine beeps, add 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/3 cup raisins, 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds or nuts, and 2 Tbsp. dried chopped fruit.