… Barley vs Oatmeal … The Great Debate …

My oldest stepson recently asked me how to cook barley. Having never worked with it, I was slightly intrigued by the information I found as I was searching how to make it. He had purchased rolled barley flakes, which you cook just as you would rolled oats. {Then he doused them with brown sugar and they were pretty damn good.} But I was more interested in doing a little more research to weigh its health benefits against the rolled oats that I sometimes cook for breakfast.

names: barley flakes = flaked barley = rolled barley

barley{top} vs rolled oats{bottom}

names: rolled oats = oatmeal = old fashioned oats = flaked oatmeal = flaked oats

Nutritional Content

Calories: 80 in 1/4 cup barley flakes vs 95 in 1/4 cup rolled oats

Carbs: 18g in 1/4 cup barley flakes vs 32g in 1/4 cup rolled oats

Protein: 3g in 1/4 cup barley flakes vs 7g in 1/4 cup rolled oats

Fiber: 3g in 1/4 cup barley flakes vs 5g in 1/4 cup rolled oats

note: ranges vary in regards to the nutritional content but I provided what I thought was the best average

Overall Health

Satisfaction: It looks as though the jury is out on which is more filling. From personal experience I have found myself more full and satisfied after eating the barley.

Health Benefits: Whole grains like barley and oats are great for lowering cholesterol, protecting against heart disease and diabetes, and the fiber content assists with bowel regularity.

Gluten: While oats are typically gluten free, barley is not. I read a lot of information stating that those with mild gluten allergies tolerate barley, but due to it not being entirely gluten free it is not appropriate for those with Celiac Disease. I would assume it would be best for one to do their own research in regards to their individual health needs.

Types: Hulled barley tends to be more nutritious because only the tough outer hulls are polished off, while the outer bran layer in pearled barley is also scrubbed off making it less nutritious. Then there is organic vs non-organic, instant vs regular…

Price: 4.5lbs Bob’s Red Mill Old Fashioned Rolled Oats $8.53 vs 4.5lb Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Barley Flakes $9.75 … buying from the bulk bins can save you!

And the winner is…

After a few taste tests I settled on barley for my breakfast ‘oatmeal.’ It’s a toss up when it comes to nutritional content, because they’re so similar although it ranges once something is cooked. The internet provides a {huge} range in nutritional information and personal opinion. I’ll continue to look at the packaging/bin for nutritional values, but still keep both in my pantry. It’s a draw on this debate for sweatpantsandsuperfoods.

*barley with a dollop of Truwhip and a sprinkle of brown sugar*

 

How To Cook Barley {or oats!}

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add 1 cup of barley flakes, cover & simmer {stirring occasionally} for 15 minutes or until the flakes are tender. Top with fruit, flax meal, chia seeds, or other healthy additions to get a breakfast with a nutritious punch.

Place 1 cup of barley and 4 cups of water into a crockpot/slow cooker and turn it on low. Add some cinnamon, nutmeg and/or dried fruit and let it cook overnight. In the morning you’ll have a hearty breakfast just waiting to be eaten.

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