Pearl barley is nothing but specially processed barley grain. Grain got its name from the old Russian word "pearl" - "pearl", due to the external similarity with freshwater pearls. Today it is actively used in the menu of healthy food and diets. Let's get acquainted with the barley, with its benefit and harm, closer.
What is pearl barley?
Barley porridge in the old days was called "royal". In the time of Peter the Great, she often appeared on the table of the nobility in the company of cream. However, her popularity gradually began to fall, and today she is completely associated with soldier food. Few people know what properties it has and what happens.
There are three types of barley porridge, depending on how the barley grain is processed:
- pearl barley - whole grain without bran;
- Dutch - grain, rolled into a ball shape (from it you can cook a more tender porridge);
- barley - finely chopped barley.
Although barley was known in ancient times, it began to process and polish much later.
Is barley porridge useful?
No matter how you treat barley, harm and its benefits to the body should be taken into account when drawing up the menu. If you eat a portion of barley porridge at least 2-3 times a week, you can significantly improve your health. Barley:
- cleans the intestines from toxins due to the high content of fiber, normalizes stools;
- reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood due to the content of polysaccharide b-glucan;
- activates the immune system due to vitamin A, protects the mucous membrane of the respiratory organs from the penetration of bacteria;
- removes stones and sand from the kidneys, gall bladder due to the content of silicic acid;
- normalizes the work of the heart, protects the lens of the eye, restores tissue after damage due to lysine present in it;
- barley decoction normalizes the activity of the stomach and is recommended for recovery after surgery in the abdominal cavity;
- contains vitamin E, which gives skin elasticity and contributes to the normal growth of children; calcium and vitamin D (strengthens teeth, bones, nails and hair);
- it contains more phosphorus than fish; contains iodine, copper, folic acid, thereby stimulating brain activity and the frequency of muscle contractions;
- contains more vegetable protein than there is in wheat;
- eliminates anemia due to the large amount of iron in the croup;
- excellent prophylactic against atherosclerosis due to the large amount of B vitamins;
- calorie dry barley - 352 kcal per 100 g of dry cereal and 121 kcal per 100 g of boiled, so it is actively used in diets for weight loss.
Despite the fact that pearl barley has useful properties, it has several disadvantages and contraindications. Barley porridge can not be used:
- children under 3 years;
- pregnant women;
- people who are allergic to gluten, which in barley is contained in large quantities;
- patients with frequent constipation and high acidity of the stomach, as barley is hard to digest.
Compared to others, this cereal has one drawback: it is cooked for a long time. If you do not steam the barley in the evening, you will have to cook for about 3 hours.
There is a special diet for losing weight on barley. The caloric content of this cereal, as already noted, is small, and its nutritional value makes it possible to obtain the entire set of necessary vitamins, micro- and macronutrients during the day.
Duration of the diet - from 5 days to 2 weeks. At this time, it is recommended to eat only barley porridge without salt and drink mineral or purified water. During the day such a diet can lose up to 1 kg. In the early days, the body is cleared of toxins, and then fat is burned and converted into energy.
How to choose and store cereal?
Perlovka can be sold as packaged, and by weight. There are several indicators of good quality cereals.
Must be brown and golden. If in the total mass glued grains or black impregnations are noticeable, it is better not to take such grits. Damage suggests that storage conditions, temperature and humidity conditions were violated.
Must be fresh, nice.
The storage term of the barley is 1 year. It is recommended to keep dry cereals in a dry, closed glass jar in a cool place.
In stores often there are ready-made canned barley dishes. Their expiration date is indicated on the packaging. Take care that the tin can not be crushed or swollen.
How much can you eat barley?
If you do not sit on a diet, you can eat barley porridge for breakfast or dinner 2-3 times a week, cook kissels from cereals, soups, main dishes.
With a pearl barley diet, it is necessary to eat porridge in small portions 5-6 times a day. To do this, it is enough to cook in advance 1 tbsp. cereals, which during cooking increases 5 times.
How to make barley?
The best way to cook cereal is to pour boiling water over it in a thermos with a wide neck. Before steaming the barley, it should be picked and washed, and then poured into a thermos so that it takes up a quarter of the volume of the dish.
A glass of cereal need 2 cups of boiling water. Fill them with barley in a thermos, wrap well and leave for 3 hours. It is not necessary to add water, as the croup increases in volume.
After steaming the porridge is enough to boil another 5-10 minutes until cooked and serve.
There is also a method of cooking, when the cereal is first poured with cold water for 2-3 hours, and then steamed.
To get a soft and healthy porridge, you can pre-soak the barley. To do this, pour the rump with cold water in a ratio of 1: 5. Soaking time should be at least 8 hours, so it is best to stock up the product overnight. In the morning, cold water should be drained and add 2 tbsp. boiling water. Boil such porridge will have 1-1.5 hours.
The barley must be served warm: this is how it retains most of its useful properties.
This method is the most time consuming. First you need to pour 1 tbsp. cereals 3 tbsp. cold water, bring to a boil and cook for 5-6 minutes. Then drain the water and add 2 tbsp. boiling water, salt, put a piece of butter and cook for about half an hour.
How to serve barley porridge?
Barley is great with many products:
- soy sauce.
Anything with which any cereal is usually used will do. Here are some simple and tasty recipes.
Barley porridge with vegetables
- 0.5 head of cabbage;
- 100 g dry barley;
- 1 Bulgarian pepper;
- 2 carrots;
- 1 onion;
- some vegetable oil.
- Pearl barley, pre-soak and cook in salt water for half an hour.
- Vegetables finely chop and simmer in a little water until half cooked.
- Add boiled grits to vegetables, put vegetable oil, salt, sprinkle with herbs.
- Stew the dish until cooked.
Cabbage soup with barley and mushrooms
- 2 tbsp. l cereals;
- 200 g sauerkraut;
- 30-40 g dried mushrooms;
- bunch of greens;
- 3 tbsp. l vegetable oil;
- piece of celery root.
- Mushrooms wash well. If dried mushrooms are taken for cooking, they must first be soaked in a glass of cool water and allowed to stand for half an hour. Mushroom infusion should not be poured.
- Rinse the barley, mix with the mushrooms and pour the infusion of the mixture from the mushrooms.
- Add another 1 liter of water, boil and cook for 40 minutes.
- Preheat pan and pour vegetable oil into it.
- Put sauerkraut and celery, simmer the mixture for 10 minutes.
- Put the cabbage and celery into a pan of porridge and mushrooms and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Shchi sprinkle with finely chopped parsley.
If you like barley, its harm and benefits to the body should think even before use. In the absence of contraindications, "royal" porridge will improve your health and will be a great addition to the daily diet. Especially if you learn how to cook it tasty and with the preservation of the best nutritional qualities.