Choose from these 2 easy barley water recipes so you will make cheap and delicious drinks that could even help you lower your bad cholesterol.
Barley is one of the oldest grains that at least date back to the Neolithic era, you know, the end of the Paleolithic era – the one those people on the paleo diet always refer to -. It’s easy to imagine that those days barley was used to cook soups and stews, just like some people are still doing today.
Other than that, barley is nowadays mostly used to brew beer. When barley sprouts, the sprouts become rich in the sugar "maltose", which then will be fermented into alcohol.
Barley health benefits
It is said that a diet high in beta-glucan from barley, helps lower blood LDL cholesterol (that’s the so called "bad" cholesterol, although "bad" is debatable, because cholesterol is needed for healthy functioning of the cells).
Barley not only is a source of normal fibers, it also brings insoluble fibers into your digestive track. This will be fermented into food for the cells that live in your large intestine.
According to WebMD, barley could reduce blood sugar and insuline levels.
On top of that, barley water could be helpful with kidney and bladder ailments.
Since barley is a grain and the paleo community doesn’t have much positive to say about grains (who to believe), I follow "the father of the paleo diet" (and co-author of the in 1985 (read the in 2010 updated version here) in the New England Journal of Medicine
published article "Paleolithic Nutrition. A consideration of its nature and current implications", which is the fundament on which Loren Cordain started building his "The Paleo Diet" : Stanley Boyd Eaton, who advices that when you are healthy, then a bit of grains are allowed in your diet.
Mind you that The Paleo Diet is a US diet that reacts on the typical western (fast)foods. In Japan exists the Okinawa diet, where people do live a healthy 100 years eating rice, which is another cooked grain. So my stand on it: cooked grains are allowed when you are healthy. On top of that: barley is really delicious in a soup with meat and veggies.
Easy barley water recipe
The barley to water ratio is 1 to 8.
First go shopping for organic pearled barley:
- Take half a cup of pearled barley and add at least 4 cups of water.
- Bring to a boil and keep boiling on a medium fire with the lid off the pot. Make sure you check regularly and add more water if the barley water becomes too dry or really thick.
- Boil the barley water for at least 1 hour and add rock-sugar to taste.
- Some prefer to drink it hot, myself I like to add some ice:
You can add in some lime, lemon or like we do here in Malaysia, some soy skin.
Malaysian barley water recipe
This is my favourite barley drink recipe, deliciously aromatized with screwpine leaves and dried fruit.
- some screwpine leaves (also known as pandan leaves: the "Malaysian Vanilla", a delicious fragrant in Malaysian desserts (read more at Kuih Recipe)
- 1 handful dried winter melon (winter melon, sugar, sulphide dioxide) (Kundur Manis)
- a handful of the best quality barley
- some bean curd skin (tofu-skin, fu chuck) tear into pieces
- lots of water
- wash the barley until water is clear
- put in a medium sized pot, add the other ingredients and fill the pot for 3 quarters with water
- boil until the barley water turns white in color (about 1 hour).