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A wide variety of foods can be made with barley. From top clockwise, muffins, granola, barley flour, pearled barley, no-bake cookies, vegetable beef barley soup, tabouleh, and pancakes.
Photo and caption courtesy Peggy Greb @ ARS-USDA.
Barley, as a grain, is not considered by humans to be as palatable as other grains, but it is still used in many foods that we eat (2, 8, 10, 13). Most barley used for food is either in pearled or flour form (10).Pearled barley
|Fig 1.*|| Fig 2.*|
Despite it's reputation for not being as palatable as other grains, globally barley provides about three times more calories per capita ( Figure 1) than oats (see oats, nutrition). The four top consuming countries get over 100 calories a day from barley, with Moroccan citizens getting the most at 275 calories a day from this grain. By comparison per capita, India averages 7, the US averages 5, and China averages 2 calories per day.
* FAOSTAT data, 2005
Barley is high in carbohydrates, fiber and antioxidants; is a source of protein, calcium and phosphorus and B vitamins; and is low-fat and cholesterol-free (10, 13). Current research is investigating the potential health benefits of barley, but some of the claims are that it can regulate blood sugar and lower cholesterol (8, 10).For more information on barley as a food, visit: