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Whole Grain Cooking Guide

Easy cooking instructions for 9 healthy whole grains.

Trying to eat more whole grains? Keep trying! Grains provide a healthy boost of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Grains are also rich in carbohydrates—the body’s main fuel supply—so we need a fair amount daily (despite what low-carb/no-carb gurus say).

 

Barley

Barley has a tough hull that is difficult to remove without losing some of the bran. Hulled barley, available at health food stores, retains more of the whole-grain nutrients but cooks slowly. More readily available, and more convenient, are “pearled” barley (the bran has been removed) and “quick cooking” barley (parboiled). Technically neither are whole grains but nutritionally speaking they count toward your whole-grain servings because of their high fiber content.

To Cook: Pearl barley

Bring 1 cup barley and 2 1/2 cups water or broth to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook, covered, until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 40 to 50 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Makes 3-3 1/2 cups.

Per 1/2-cup serving

97 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 22 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 3 g fiber; 2 mg sodium; 73 mg potassium.

To Cook: Quick-cooking barley

Bring 1 3/4 cups water or broth to a boil; add 1 cup barley. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook, covered, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 2 cups.

Per 1/2-cup serving

86 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 3 g fiber; 2 mg sodium; 64 mg potassium.

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