Barley groats are among the most common groats in Poland. On its basis, you can prepare many tasty dishes. It works well as an addition to soup or cabbage rolls. Pearl barley also has a lot of valuable nutritional values. It is a rich source of fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins, and micronutrients, thanks to which it has a beneficial effect on health. It is, therefore, worth introducing it to our everyday menu.
Kinds of barley groats
Barley’s groats, as the name suggests, is a type of groats made from barley grain. According to the standards applicable in Poland, barley porridge should be light gray with a yellowish shade. It should also have a specific smell and taste.
The barley groats can also be divided into several types. We stand out among others
– pearl barley – whole grain without husk,
– kaszawski pearl barley kashas – whole grain without husk, rolled and polished,
– broken barley (rural) barley – obtained from purified, dehulled and sliced grain, here we also distinguish small, medium or thick groats,
– pearl (Masurian) cereal – obtained from barley groats, p \\ additionally subjected to polishing, here also distinguish small, medium or thick groats,
– roasted pearl barley.
Of all the above-mentioned groats, the most popular pearl (Masurian). Unfortunately, the barley still wrongly is considered to be a product of inferior sort, waste, and it is the whole grains of pearl barley that are the starting raw material for the production of other types and contain the most nutritional values.
Nutritional values of barley groats
Barley groats are characterized by very good nutritional values. In 100 g of this product is among others
– 354 kcal,
– 148 g of protein,
– 30 g fat,
– 748 g of carbohydrates,
– 17.30 g fiber,
– 9.44 g of water.
Barley groats are also a very good source of vitamins and minerals
– calcium – 300 mg / 100 g,
– iron – 60 mg / 100 g,
– magnesium – 1300 mg / 100 g,
– phosphorus – 2600 mg / 100 g
– potassium – 4500 mg / 100 g,
– sodium – 100 mg / 100 g,
– zinc – 77 mg / 100g,
– vitamin B1 – 0.646 mg / 100 g,
– vitamin B2 – 0.285 mg / 100 g,
– vitamin B3 – 604 mg / 100 g,
– vitamin B6 – 0.318 mg / 100 g,
– folic acid – 19.00 μg / 100 g,
– vitamin A – 200 IU / 100 g,
– vitamin K – 2 μg / 100 g.
Regardless of the type of barley, each is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. You can also find phytochemicals that are responsible for lowering blood cholesterol levels. To preserve the best nutritional value of barley porridge, its storage time should not be longer than 9 months. A particularly important fact, mainly for people intolerant to gluten, is that barley is its source.
Health benefits resulting from eating barley groats
Consuming groats obtained from barley grain brings many health benefits. First of all, grits
– it improves the functioning of the excretory system,
– is diuretic and helps in painful urination,
– it has a beneficial effect on the gallbladder,
– strengthens the stomach’s work,
– has antiviral activity,
– thanks to the high content of B vitamins, it acts as an aid to memory and concentration,
– it is filling and quickly fills the stomach,
– cleanses the body by removing unnecessary metabolites,
– acts anti-cancer,
– helps in combating stress,
– thanks to the high content of antioxidants help in removing free radicals from the body, which has a positive effect on the appearance of the skin, hair, and nails,
– due to the high content of fiber binds in the intestines ions of some heavy metals,
– helps in the removal of factions of bad LDL cholesterol due to the presence of fiber and niacin,
– it has a beneficial effect on the production of platelets, thus preventing the occurrence of anemia,
– strengthens the functioning of the nervous system,
– helps in the treatment of constipation and diseases associated with disorders of the digestive system,
– improves lactation,
– thanks to the starch content act as a so-called energy shot,
– helps in combating ischemic heart disease and atherosclerosis,
– because of its high calcium content, it strengthens the skeletal system,
– thanks to the content of vitamin K, it positively influences blood clotting processes, prevents the formation of blockages, clots, and bruises.
The method of preparing barley groats
It is recommended to avoid barley groats packed in a bag. Such groats are subjected to additional treatment, which reduces the content of nutritional values. You should also avoid cooking porridge in a large amount of water because then all the minerals and vitamins get into the water, which is then poured. Undoubtedly a healthier and tastier solution is to cook porridge in a properly selected portion of water until the water is completely absorbed by the grits.
A glass of barley groats should be rinsed in a sieve. In a pot, boil two and a half glasses of salted water with a teaspoon of oil. Then pour the rinsed porridge into the water and cook it over low heat for about 20 minutes. Now and then you should check whether the grits have absorbed all the water, then the cooking time may be slightly longer or shorter. When cooking porridge, avoid mixing it too. When the porridge absorbs all the water, it is worth a few minutes to let it rest on the gas to rest. An exception is the pearl barley. While cooking, you should proceed in the same way, but for one glass of water, there are three glasses of water.
The use of barley
Barley groats are perfectly suited as an addition to dry dishes. It goes very well with goulash, mushroom sauce and various kinds of meat. It can also be used in conjunction with minced meat as stuffing for dumplings or stuffed cabbage. One of the most popular dishes prepared on its basis is soup. Because the barley porridge has a slightly earthy aftertaste, it perfectly blends with traditional Polish dishes. On its basis, also modern dishes are prepared, an example of which is a risotto of barley groats. Undoubtedly, care should be taken that the porridge is cooked properly. More and more often, barley groats are also appreciated by people who are on slimming diets. A properly balanced diet with the addition of barley porridge can bring satisfactory results, its consumption is a great way to keep a slim body.
Contraindications to eating barley groats
Unfortunately, there is also a group of people who should not eat barley.
These are among others
– people suffering from celiac disease and intolerant gluten,
– people suffering from peptic ulcer disease, duodenum, and gastro-oesophageal reflux mainly due to the fact that barley porridge contains large amounts of phosphorus, sulfur, and chlorine,
– fat and heavy dishes with barley groats should also be avoided by persons suffering from cancer,
– negative symptoms may also occur in young children who can not cope with the digestion of barley groats.