An easy way to reduce the cooking time for all grains is to pass them through a table-mounted, hand-cranked, roller mill. It is also called a grain flaker mill. We have one on display at market and we highly recommend it. We have had one for over 10 years and we love it—especially our children. It turns wheat berries into cracked wheat for a delicious breakfast porridge (known as cream of wheat). It turns rye berries into cracked rye, which can also be used in a breakfast porridge. It turns oats into beautiful, truly old-fashioned rolled oats. Most important, it’s an easy and fun way to include small children in food preparations. They love it and it connects them. It is a great step in eating wholesome, fresh food.
You can use hulless barley in any of the following recipes where pearl barley is called for; just cook it partially before proceeding with the recipe.
Barley, feta and pear salad from Epicurious
Barley risotto with beans and escarole from Smitten Kitchen
Barley with toasted cumin and mint from Epicurious
Mixed mushroom chowder with barley from 101 Cookbooks
Barley and herb-stuffed vegetables from NY Times
Roasted mushroom and barley gravy from Epicurious
Barley tea from Epicurious
Our freshly rolled oats or barley can are delicious when used raw for Traditional Muesli, a most nourishing breakfast full of wonderful flavor and texture. We offer many ideas depending on seasonal and local availability of the ingredients.
Ingredients for One Serving
1/2 cup freshly rolled oats or barley
2 teaspoons-1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider
pinch of salt
your choice of walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, or other
half an apple or peach, grated or diced
honey or maple syrup
berries, fresh or frozen
- Combine oats with juice or cider and salt
- Using your fingers or a spoon, toss the oats to just barely moisten them with the liquid. Do not saturate them as you would with conventional oats, or they will become soggy and lose their texture.
- Leave them to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- To the oats add the seeds and nuts you desire in any proportions or combinations you like
- Add fruit and stir to combine
- Add a drizzle of honey
- Serve with berries and yogurt, if desired.
So you bought your grains but are not sure how to cook them properly? Let us guide you! To cook your whole groats (wheat, oat, rye, or barley), simply
- Combine 1 part grain with 3 parts water in a heavy saucepan with a pinch of salt (use 1/4 – 1/3 cup uncooked grain per serving)
- Bring to a boil
- Reduce heat to medium low
- Simmer, covered, for 50 minutes-1 hour until grains are tender, but pleasantly chewy
Once you have cooked your grains, they can be drained and used right away or cooled and stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Add them to soups, dress with vinaigrette for grain salads, combine with nuts, seeds, berries, honey and yogurt for breakfast, or use them simply in place of rice or quinoa.
You can reduce cooking time by first soaking grains overnight, or up to 48 hours. For this method, cover grains with filtered water by one inch, and leave to soak for at least 12 hours or up to 48 (if you are soaking them for longer than 12 hours, store them in the refrigerator). Drain, discarding soaking liquid, and cover with 2 parts water to 1 part grain in a heavy saucepan. Add a pinch of salt, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until tender. Cooking time will depend on how long the grains were allowed to soak.
See our pages devoted to individual grains for additional serving suggestions and recipes.