Properties of Barley
It is considered to be the oldest variety of cereals known to mankind – the mention of its cultivation comes from the historical times of the ancient world. For example, traces of this grain were found in Egyptian tombs dating back five thousand years BC. Barley was known to the ancient Ethiopians, who used it not only as a source of food, but also as a raw material for intoxicating drinks.
This grass was grown in Babylonian lands, India, Asia and China, it was the most important harvest of ancient Rome. There is evidence that in what is now Switzerland barley was known in the Stone Age.
The current cultivated barley area ranks fourth in the world, followed by only wheat, maize and rice.
This grass is very popular in agriculture because of its short growing season, so it has a ripening time in fairly cold areas. Therefore, barley plants can even be found high up in the mountains and far away in the vast northern regions.
This culture is frost-resistant, drought-resistant and does not require a rich soil composition.
Barley is used in various sectors of the economy. The main amount of the harvested grain is turned into grits (for example, ordinary pearl barley is made from barley). Barley flour is used as a baking ingredient for many types of bread. Bread made entirely of barley flour is not baked – it crumbles and hardens too quickly.
Barley flour also produces a coffee substitute that does not contain caffeine. A significant amount of grain is spent on the production of raw materials for breweries – at the same time the grain sprouts to produce malt. Barley grain is also used as a raw material for the production of grain alcohol (in the production of such well-known alcoholic beverages as Scotch whiskey and English gin).
In addition to applications in the food industry, barley is the basis for the production of fodder. Untreated barley grain is added to the feed for pigs and horses because it has a higher nutritional value than oats. Barley straw is also used as food for livestock. Sometimes, in the case of forage, the barley is specially sown.
How to choose and store barley products
When choosing barley products in the store, it is worth paying attention to barley cereals. Indeed, in its production, unlike pearl barley, grinding and polishing technology is not used, which has a positive effect on the preservation of nutrients and fiber. If you choose transparent packaging when buying cereals, you can judge the quality of the processing and the absence of impurities.
The presence of moisture droplets inside a bag with pearl barley or barley groats is highly undesirable, pathogenic microorganisms quickly develop on wet grains (such a product can even be poisoned).
Barley porridge, packed in polyethylene, is stored for a short time and becomes rancid. Cardboard packaging is preferred so that the product maintains its quality throughout its shelf life, which is six to twelve months. Barley and its properties
The freshness of pearl barley can also be determined by the presence of a smell: old barley has no odor at all or is musty.
Barley grain, depending on the degree of grinding, is divided into numbers from one to three, shops usually sell a mixture of all numbers. They retain their beneficial properties throughout the shelf life (up to fifteen months). For long-term storage, it is better to pour it into a tightly closed container and store it in a dark, dry place.
Barley and calories
The caloric content of barley grains is 288 kilocalories per 100 g. After processing, the caloric content increases to 313 kcal. It is possible to reduce the energy value of cereal barley if it is prepared together with other products. For example, barley porridge with potatoes “gives away” only 150 kcal.
Pearl barley is slightly more nutritious – its energy value is 320 kcal. Barley porridge boiled in water retains only 109 kcal, which is already created for dietary food, while barley soup contains only 43 kcal per hundred grams.
Excessive use of butter in dairy products and barley groats obviously significantly increases the caloric content of the final dishes, reducing their dietary properties. Barley and its properties
Properties of barley flakes
Composition and availability of nutrients
Barley is a real storehouse of vitamins, macro and microelements. Contains high fiber content. Contains B vitamins, PP, E, H, choline, phosphorus, chlorine, sulfur, potassium, sodium, calcium, potassium. In grass there are iron, iodine and zinc, copper, selenium and molybdenum, silicon and manganese, chromium and fluorine, aluminum, titanium and zirconium.
Useful and healing properties of Barley
The inclusion of cereals and barley soups in the diet is recommended for overweight people. In this case, the cellulose contained in it becomes a particularly useful element, it irritates the intestines and is almost not absorbed, which increases peristalsis.
In acute inflammatory bowel diseases, a mucilaginous barley broth (especially with a high degree of comminution) is very helpful. The positive effect of the barley diet is noticeable with eczema, psoriasis, pyoderma. Barley and its properties
Barley flour decoction will help with colds. For skin diseases, a bath with grain extract is used. Barley is known to be a diuretic. In case of fever, barley water has a cooling and moisturizing effect.
It is used both in its pure form and with the addition of fennel and parsley.
Hot barley ointment will help get rid of freckles. The gout will subside if you prepare a medical barley bandage, with the addition of vinegar and quince.
Barley malt improves metabolism, helps get rid of ulcers and pimples. Malt extract is useful in diabetes. Traditional medicine recommends barley broths, barley coffee to treat tuberculosis, throat, scrofula, hemorrhoids, kidney stones, improve sleep.
Barley is also used in cosmetology in the production of shampoos, lotions, creams.
Barley cereals are used in cooking soups and all kinds of dishes. Barley and its properties Barley and its properties
When using barley groats, certain features should be taken into account. The barley is cooked rather slowly, so it is advisable to put it in water for three hours before cooking. Barley groats during heat treatment increase their volume up to five times.
Classic additions to barley flakes are sunflower oil and dairy products. In baby food, it can be additionally crushed in a coffee grinder.
Dangerous properties of barley
There are no special contraindications for barley products. Of course, this porridge should be introduced to children very carefully, as there is a risk of an allergic reaction to the gluten protein they contain.