As more people strive to eat healthier, barley is quickly becoming more popular. This grain can be found in the cereal aisle, grain aisle, or several other locations throughout the grocery store.
Instead of going on a mission to find barley, learn about this grain to make sure that you’re aware of the benefits of barley. Then, check out these aisles and locations to find barley at the store.
In this article
- What Is Barley?
- Benefits Of Barley
- Where Is Barley In The Grocery Store?
- Eating Barley
- Barley And Weight Loss
What Is Barley?
Barley is a very popular grain with a unique texture that’s used in soups, stews, and even salads. This grain comes in pearled barley, whole barley and Quaker even has quick Barley available.
It’s important to note that Quick Barley is more likely to be found in the breakfast section instead of the whole grains section. This is because quick barley has already been cooked and dried.
This results in a partial loss of vitamins and nutrients, so not all grocery stores put this version in the whole grains section.
Benefits Of Barley
With the sudden increase in popularity of barley, it’s obvious that there are quite a few benefits of barley. This whole grain is beneficial to your heart due to the wonderful vitamins and minerals that it has.
It can also be great for your digestive system. There is a wealth of benefits that go hand in hand with eating just one-half cup of barley.
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One-half cup of uncooked barley has a total of slightly more than 17 grams of fiber in it. This helps to lower cholesterol levels, which is essential to having a healthy heart.
It can also keep bowel movements regular, something that is essential for your health. Remember, over half of your immune system is based in your gut. Being able to stay regular can be especially beneficial to pregnant women.
Barley also contains soluble fiber. This has been proven to help lower your blood sugar, making it a wonderful choice for people that have diabetes.
Barley is packed with B vitamins! These are essential for your heart to be healthy, your immune system to be up to par for when you get sick, and for every organ to function in perfect harmony.
B Vitamins can also give you more energy, hence why those that eat healthier always seem to be full of energy.
This amount of barley also contains a little over 300 calories. While this might seem relatively high, it can be essential for those that are having a hard time gaining weight or need to increase their calorie intake.
If you don’t need the higher calories, consuming barley as part of a meal can help make sure that you don’t wind up with too many calories in your diet.
While barley can be beneficial, those that are on a low carb diet might want to avoid it. This serving size has over 70 grams of carbs in it, which can make it well past the limit for those on a keto or other low carb diet.
On the other hand, if you’re not on a low carb diet, barley can give you some extra energy.
Barley is packed with iron. One serving size can provide 1/5 of the daily intake needed, instantly helping you boost your iron levels and energy.
Those that have iron-deficiency anemia are known for becoming light-headed, dizzy, and always being cold. Instead of iron pills, you can ensure that you include more iron in your diet. Barley is a great way to do that.
Where Is Barley In The Grocery Store?
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Because barley is such a versatile grain, there are a few different locations to check in the grocery store. The first place is the most obvious: with the grains.
Some stores have an individual grain section and often keep barley there. If you don’t see it on the shelf, it can be tucked away in these other locations.
Rice And Beans Section
If there is an individual rice section in the store, sometimes barley will be directly next to it. This is because rice is also a grain, and barley can be found in many things that rice can be. Therefore, it makes sense to put the barley next to rice and beans.
It’s also common for barley to be placed in the breakfast aisle. In this aisle, it would more than likely be put next to the oats as both of these are also grains.
Barley may be split up around the store, too. If that is the case, it’s extremely common to find Quick Barley in the breakfast aisle.
It’s very common for stores, especially grocery stores, to put things that go together right next to each other. This helps them sell more products.
For example, every holiday season there is an end cap at my local grocery store with everything needed to make banana pudding. You see the pudding, and it sounds like a great idea.
Then, you grab the other conveniently placed items because it makes sense that you need those ingredients too. You have what you need, and the store makes a few extra bucks by selling more items.
Barley is a popular ingredient in homemade soups. Because of this, it can often be found in the soup aisle. If there is a section next to the cans of soup with common ingredients for soup or seasonings, you might be able to find barley in the grocery store there.
Most people don’t think to check the baking aisle for grains, but this is a horrible mistake because some stores put a little bit of barley in this section.
This is because barley is a common ingredient in many homemade loaves of bread. Check the part of the aisle with cornmeal, flour, and other baking essentials to pick up some barley.
If you don’t find whole-grain barley here, you might come across barley flour. This is typically used for baking a loaf of bread. It can also occasionally be used as a substitute for barley in some recipes. When used in stews and soups, it can act as a thickening agent.
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After you find barley in the grocery store, it’s important that you understand how to properly prepare it, as well as cook it. There are quite a few rules that one needs to follow when they are getting used to including barley in their diet.
Simmer Barley To Cook It
To cook barley, place three cups water for every one cup of barley in a pot. Then, bring the pot to a boil. After the pot is boiling, let it simmer for the amount of time listed on the package.
It’s important to read the directions on the package. Pearled barley takes less time to cook than hulled barley. Quick barley is the fastest to cook, however.
Don’t Eat It Raw
If you prefer to eat foods in their raw state, it can be tempting to do the same with barley. However, be forewarned that this can be difficult to digest, resulting in stomach cramps.
Instead, pre-soak the barley to make it softer. This will make it easier to both digest and chew.
Pre-Soak Barley Before Adding It To Soup Or Stew
Instead of adding raw barley to soup or stew, as this will take longer for it to cook, pre-soak the barley first. This will make it cook faster.
Usually, it cooks in half the time that it normally would if you soak it first. To properly soak barley, simply let it soak in warm water.
On the other hand, a soup that’s going to be simmering in the crockpot for hours will be fine with the addition of raw barley. There will be plenty of time for it to cook.
Barley Needs Rinsed Before Cooking With It
Most people thoroughly wash grains before they cook with them, but this isn’t necessary with barley. Instead, simply rinse it with water a few times to get rid of any extra dust that might be on it.
This is all that is necessary to clean barley before cooking it. If you choose to pre-soak barley, the dust will come off during the soaking process. However, most people prefer to give it one final rinse before cooking it.
Barley And Weight Loss
Most people instantly add barley to their weight loss plan because it is packed with fiber. While it’s healthy and does make you feel full longer, it might not be ideal for every weight loss plan.
This is because of the higher caloric content and the high carb count. It can be beneficial by decreasing appetite, though, which might make up for the higher calorie content.
Consider your weight loss goals, and try barley for a day to see if it helps curb your appetite. If the trade-off is worth it to you, then it can be implemented into a weight loss plan.
Barley can be an ideal ingredient in soups, stews, and many other things. Check the places in the grocery store listed above, and enjoy all of the health benefits that this whole grain can offer.