I realize that barley is considered one of the gluten grains and if you are gluten sensitive at all, you may be thinking you want to try and avoid barley and all its glorious nutritional goodness.
First of all, I am one of those gluten sensitive people. Yep, had myself tested and the Doc says I have some definite gluten sensitivity. He couldn't really tell where on the spectrum I was. From what I can tell, it's a sluggishness in my whole metabolism after eating white flour and wheat products. Gluten Sensitivity is quite a range, to say the least. There is the full-blown Celiac Disease, where any kind of gluten can wreak havoc on your system, damaging tissue and organs, all the way to just the slightest irritation in the system when too much gluten is consumed. Because of its immense nutritional value it becomes a question of whether or not the benefits of eating barley outweigh the risks. For me, I say yes!
"Wheat is unquestionably a more common source of food reactions than any of the other "gluten grains," including barley. If you are implementing a wheat-free diet, you will want to experiment at some point with re-introduction of this food. You may be able to take advantage of its diverse nutritional benefits without experiencing an adverse reaction. Individuals with wheat-related conditions like celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathies should consult with their healthcare practitioner before experimenting with any of the "gluten grains," including barley." -whfoods.org
Barley is such a good source of dietary fiber and selenium! What does that mean for you? It means, for one thing, that chances are good you can avoid colon cancer because the fiber going through your colon can sweep out the cancer-causing cells in the colon, plus selenium is shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer significantly! That is huge for me because one of our best family friends died an early death because of colon cancer. He was running marathons one day and dead a few months later. He also had two older children who died even sooner than he did from colon cancer and brain cancer. I think I'll keep eating barley!
Here's the recipe! I served it at a family get-together and it was gone in no time! Everyone loved it!
Corn and Barley Salad
1 cup hulled barley
Approx, 3 cups chicken broth (I used 2 bouillon cubes in the water)
2 tbsp olive or avacado oil
15 oz. frozen corn
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tbsp. chopped chives or green onion
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
In a medium saucepan bring the barley and chicken broth to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until done, about 40 - 50 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat oil and saute both the frozen corn and onion along with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder until transparent, about 8 minutes.
Mix 1 1/2 cups of the barley with the corn mixture together in a medium salad bowl. Toss in the tomatoes, the mint and the chives/green onion. Serve warm or cold. It is wonderful!
Adapted from Solid Gold Eats, a great food blog!