There’s a reason our elders drink a lot of barley water. Barley is a great resource for potassium, phosphorous and niacin. Many people claim it to be highly nutritious in other minerals and vitamins but you need to be careful what you read. A lot of online ‘statistical’ data is misleading and based upon raw pearl barley. Pearl barley that has been cooked (which occurs in the process of making barley water) has a much greater reduction in nutrients then raw barley. Follow my recipe below on how to make your own barley lemon water.
First let me tell you about the health benefits:
- Potassium helps to balance the PH in the body, which can help with things like UTI infections and acidic conditions. It also helps to balance blood pressure.
- Phosphorous is an ‘essential’ mineral which helps to strengthen bones and maintain the musco-skeletal system. This keeps our joints and muscles healthy and flexible.
- Niacin is a B vitamin which is essential in the metabolising of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into usable energy.
- Lemon is used as a ph balancer and preserver but it also has its own health benefits.
INSERT NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF 1 CUP OF BARLEY LEMON WATER (my recipe)
Now the bonus: IT’S A ZERO WASTE RECIPE.
So imagine you wanted to make a salad with pearl barley, all you have to do is add a few ingredients like lemon and sugar to the cooking process and you can utilize the water, rather than disregard it. So you are not wasting the water.
Now imagine you wanted to make barley lemon water. You are using all parts of the lemon, the zest and the fleshy juice and if you cook the barley all the way through, you can add it to salads, pastas and other dishes too! Now you are not wasting the barley.
The Recipe Barley Lemon Water
- 125grams 3/4 cup of Pearl Barley
- 1.2 Litres of Hot boiling Water
- 2 Lemons
- 50grams 1/4 cup of Castor Sugar
VIDEO TUTORIAL (coming very soon)
- Rinse barley under cold running water
- Grate the zest of both lemons put the rest of the lemons aside for using later
- barley, sugar, lemon zest and 1.2 litres of boiling water in pan and heat to low simmer with lid on for around 45 mins (or time on the packet mine said 40mins) (this will cook the barley all the way through it will be edible to use in other recipes, if you heat for shorter. barley will maintain more nutrition but there will be less nutrients in the water , cook for too long and you will kill off all the nutrition in the water so its fine balance. Cooking it this long will make a concentrate you will have a very small amount of liquid at the end that you can water down. you can cook the pearl barley for less time and have more liquid at the end but the pearl barley will not be cooked and inedible and youll want to cok it longer to eat anyway. I found the best way to maximuize the ingredients and avoid waste is cook all the way through, make the concentrate and then top the bottle up with water you can then eat the pearl barley and have a full bottle of ready to drink without mixing pearl barley water.
- once cooked = cloudy milky water remove from heat allow to cool and strain keeping the liquid. liquid will reduce by 2/3rds
- Squeeze in the juice of the two lemons and gently stir into the mixture making sure it is thoroughly cooled first.
- Bottle up and pop in the fridge for up to a week. Dilute with water or just top up the bottle so it’s ready to pour. Dilutions are depended on taste.
Add some mint leaves and pour over ice on a hot summers day for a cool refreshing drink Or add some spice such as ginger or cinnamon and serve hot as a warming infusion. Some people prefer to use this as a concentration and dilute it with water, so if you find it a bit strong you can do that, or mix it in with some clear spirits like vodka or gin for a fruity cocktail.