Guide to Pearled Barley

Our Organic Pearled Barley is a delicious grain that can be used in a variety of meals, but it doesn’t get a ton of press. It’s high in fiber and nutrients and has a lovely, pleasant taste. So let’s talk about it!

We’re here to dive into pearled barley and help you understand all of its benefits and how you can incorporate it into your meals.

What is pearled barley and why should you eat it?

Barley is considered a grain and has a hard outer shell. It looks a lot like rice and similarly grows in size when cooked in water.

Barley will always need to have its hard, outer husk removed, but there are several options for removal. Some preferred hulled barley, which has only the husk removed. This results in a chewy, hardier barley that takes a bit longer to cook and has a slightly nuttier flavor.

Arrowhead Mills offers pearled barley, which has both the husk and the bran removed. Our barley is a bit easier to cook and has a very light and pleasant flavor. While both pearled and hulled barley are great options, we find pearled is a bit easier to incorporate into dishes.

Our barley contains 7 grams of fiber per serving, 25% of your suggested daily serving. In comparison, rice has less than 3 grams in the same serving size. Barley also contains a number of vitamins, including calcium, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, phosphorus, and iron.

With so much to offer, there are plenty of reasons to make barley a staple in your kitchen!

Cooking with pearled barley

Now that you know all about barley’s benefits, you might feel nervous about cooking it. Luckily, it’s super easy to cook on the stove, just like you would rice.

Barley absorbs a lot of water while cooking. The ratio of water to barley is 3:1 for any stovetop recipe. Therefore, if you want to make one cup of barley, you’ll need three cups of water.

After you’ve measured it out, simply allow the barley to cook under a soft boil until the water is absorbed. This takes around 40 minutes. Once the barley has cooked fully, it will be soft yet chewy. Overcooked barley will become mushy, while undercooked may have a thicker and chewier texture.

You can make barley as a side dish, but you can also cook it into your food. Feel free to cook our pearled barley in your favorite soup or stew, but be mindful that it will absorb a lot of liquid. Cooking barley in sauces or soups can richen the dish and give the barley extra flavor.

Try it out!

Ready to test out our Organic Pearled Barley for yourself? While barley can be incorporated into nearly any dish, we’ve got some options to get you started.

Our Barley Miso Soup is naturally vegan but still incredibly hearty and filling. Made with leeks, shiitake mushrooms, and kale, this soup will be a nutritious addition to your meal routine!

Our Barley Butternut Squash Salad is the salad you’ve been missing in your life! Made with butternut squash, feta, cranberries, and a homemade dressing, this salad perfectly combines the savory with the sweet.

We hope you test out barley the next time you need a grain in your meal. You can learn and explore all of our grain and lentil options on our website.

About Abby Grifno

Abby is a health and wellness writer based out of Washington, DC. As a teacher, she believes health and knowledge go hand-in-hand with helping individuals make the best decisions for their health goals. Through her fact-based research and writing, Abby strives to make nutrition and wellness engaging, accessible, and fun!

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