Barley is an important cereal that is not only used for beer production. What didn’t you know about him?

Barley, one of the most important cereals in the world. But do you know how it is prepared for consumption? And what are its species?

Many people associate barley with the production of beer and other spirits. But what are its benefits? Why is it beneficial for our body?

You will learn everything in this article, which will introduce you to one of the most produced cereals in the world.

Barley, one of the most important cereals

Barley began to be cultivated 10,000 years ago. After corn, wheat and rice, it is among the most produced cereals in the world.

But where is its global production used? 70% of the production is processed as animal feed, the remaining 30% is used for the production of beer and other spirits.

In 2021, 160 million tons were produced worldwide barley.

How can you consume this crop? You can use it in salads, stews or as a side dish. It is also often used in soups. For example, you can find inspiration for processing in the recipe for zucchini soup .

Why consume barley?

Barley can be considered a so-called superfood . And reason? The soluble fiber betaglucan is found in barley, which is useful for diabetics and patients with high cholesterol. It also increases the feeling of satiety.

What other benefits does it provide? Low glycemic index, important minerals such as magnesium, phenolic acids and, last but not least, B vitamins.

It is a very good source of carbohydrates and fiber. This makes it good for digestion and reduces the risk of intestinal diseases or chronic diseases.

It should be noted that it is not gluten-free. And that’s why people with celiac disease should avoid barley. Compared to wheat, however, it contains much less gluten, roughly 5-8%.

And what does it taste like? It can be compared to a nutty flavor.

What is the difference between barley and rye?

Before we focus on a more detailed description of this cereal, let’s clarify what is the difference between barley and rye.

These cereals have many characteristics in common. Together with sorghum, it is among the most consumed cereals in the world. They are mainly used for the production of flour, beer and other distillates.

You can see their nutritional composition in the following table:

Nutritional values Barley flour 100 g Rye flour 100 g
Calorie 361 calories 357 calories
Proteins 10 g 9.8 g
Carbohydrates 78 g 77 g
Fats 1.8 g 1.3 g
Fiber 7.1 g 8 g

It can be said that both flours have a similar nutritional composition. But unlike barley flour, rye flour is divided into 3 types:

  • light,
  • medium,
  • and dark.

The table shows the nutritional values of light rye flour. But how do different types of rye flour differ from each other?

Dark rye flour has a more intense rye flavor. Conversely, light rye flour is more similar to wheat flour. And middle school? The name itself speaks for itself.

The difference between barley and rye flour is also in the gluten composition. Rye also contains secalin – a gluten protein.

Nutritional values

As already mentioned, barley is rich in carbohydrates and fiber. It should definitely not be missing from a balanced menu. So if you want to know more about portioned food, read how to properly portion food .

In the following table you can see how many grams and calories of nutritional value it contains. Data for both raw and cooked barley is presented here. Values vary of course.

Nutritional values Raw barley 100g Boiled barley 100g
Calorie 352 calories 193 calories
Proteins 9.9 g 3.6 g
Carbohydrates 78 g 44 g
Fats 1.2 g 0.7 g
Fiber 31 g 6 g

Types of barley

Even barley has different types. As a rule, they differ from each other in the processing of the grain.

Among the most commonly consumed varieties are pearl barley and hulled barley.

Hulled barley

This type of barley is also called whole grain. This is minimally processed barley from which only the outer husk is removed.

It is considered a healthier variant of barley because it contains compounds – phytonutrients. These have beneficial effects on our health.

Hulled barley also contains a large amount of fiber and protein.

A handful of hulled barley

Hulled barley

This is a variety of barley that has a loose outer husk and a whole grain. It is a good source of fiber.

It is sold without any processing.

Pearl barley

We see this type most often in stores. It is smaller and white in color.

As for the preparation, its processing is faster than that of the peeled one.

A sample of pearl barley

Green barley

Green barley, often called “young barley”, can be considered a hit in recent years. And why? It offers a number of benefits for our body.

What makes green barley? These are barley grass shoots that are dried and then crushed.

It is full of beneficial nutrients and vitamins such as A, K and C. And how are these vitamins good for us? It protects our immune system, heart, blood and bones.

Green barley also has strong antioxidant effects.

Another benefit of green barley is its zero gluten content.

Green barley and its processing forms - green barley powder, green barley juice

Green barley is good to consume if you are trying to lose weight. For what reason? Because it contains a number of B vitamins that literally kick your metabolic system into gear. In addition, it improves the level of fats in the body.

The following table lists the nutritional values of green barley:

Nutritional values Green barley 100 g
Calorie 318 calories
Proteins 26 g
Carbohydrates 72 g
Fats 4 g

Green barley is a rich source of vitamins A, C, E. It also contains large amounts of potassium and calcium . You can see other contained vitamins and minerals in the following table:

Vitamins and minerals per 100 g of green barley Amount
Vitamin A 20.5 mg
Vitamin B1 0.61 mg
Vitamin B2 1.56 mg
Vitamin B6 1.12 mg
Vitamin B12 1.16 mg
Vitamin C 251.6 mg
Vitamin E 15.0 mg
Calcium 479.4 mg
Iron 23.3 mg
Magnesium 183.2 mg
Potassium 3384 mg
Zinc 3.43 mg

Forms of green barley processing

In what forms can green barley be consumed? The most common processing is in the form of powder or tablets.

If you choose green barley powder, just dissolve 6 – 9 g in water. You might be put off by the weed-like taste, but get over it…Your body will thank you! Of course, there are also ways to improve the taste of green barley.

You can add green barley to:

  • smoothies,
  • protein shakes,
  • and into juices.

Not sure about processing green barley into a smoothie? Try a variety of fruit and vegetable smoothie recipes.

How are green barley and chlorella different from each other?

They have the same color and form of processing. But the difference is in the nutritional values. Green barley is rich in carbohydrates, on the other hand, chlorella contains a high proportion of protein, specifically 45%.

You can see a closer comparison here:

Nutritional values¹² ¹³ ¹⁵ Green barley 100 g Chlorella 100 g
Calorie 318 calories 411 kcal
Proteins 26 g 58 g
Carbohydrates 72 g 23 g
Fats 4 g 9 g

Chlorella contains amino acids and is richer in mineral content.

Vitamins and minerals Green barley 100 g Chlorella 100 g
Vitamin A 20.5 mg 51, 300 IU
Vitamin B1 0.61 mg 1.7 mg
Vitamin B2 1.56 mg 4.3 mg
Vitamin B6 1.12 mg 1.4 mg
Vitamin B12 1.16 mg 0.13 mg
Vitamin C 251.6 mg 10.4 mg
Vitamin E 15.0 mg 1.5 mg
Calcium 479.4 mg 221 mg
Iron 23.3 mg 130 mg
Magnesium 183.2 mg 315 mg
Potassium 3384 mg 0 mg
Zinc 3.43 mg 71 mg

Barley groats

Do you know how barley groats are made? First, the barley grains are roasted and then crushed into several pieces. Barley semolina can be used in soup, as a side dish or to process cereals.

Barley flakes

Barley flakes are very similar to oatmeal. They are created by steaming, rolling and drying barley kernels. You can buy barley flakes in health food stores. Preparation and cooking time are similar to oatmeal.


Nutritional composition of the most consumed types of barley

Pearl barley and hulled barley are among the most commonly consumed. The table shows their nutritional values.

Nutritional values Peeled barley 100 g Pearl barley 100 g
Calorie 354 calories 340 calories
Proteins 12 g 8 g
Carbohydrates 73 g 66 g
Fats 2.3 g 2 g
Fiber 17 g 10 g

Cooking barley

How to properly cook barley? A correctly selected ratio of water and barley is definitely important.

2-3 cups of water are needed for 1 cup of dry barley. Boiled barley will of course expand due to the liquid. So if we put 1 cup of dry barley, we will have 3 cups of boiled barley.

The cooking procedure is as follows:

  1. First, rinse the barley through a fine sieve with cold water.
  2. Put 1 cup of barley and 3 cups of water in a pot. Then add a pinch of salt.
  3. Then bring to a boil.
  4. Cook until the barley is tender.
  5. If you are preparing hulled barley, cook it for 40-50 minutes. Pearl cake approx. 25-30 minutes.
  6. Strain the boiled barley again through a sieve and then fluff it with a fork.

Barley products

Barley flour – a raw material that you can use for baking, also as a thickener for soups and sauces. Similar to wheat flour, it contains gluten, but not as much. For this reason, it also rises more slowly.

Beer – undoubtedly the most popular product in the Czech Republic made from barley and other ingredients. It is barley that is the essential component of this “golden juice”. But do you know everything about him? Enrich your knowledge of its nutritional composition .

Barley water – is made from the water left over from cooking barley. You can use sugar, lemon or orange to flavor it.

Tsampa – porridge made from roasted barley flour mixed with salted butter tea. It is a traditional delicacy in Tibet, but it is not so well known here.

In conclusion, we can only recommend that you include barley in your diet. This is also proven by a study involving 360,000 people who consumed cereals such as barley and thereby reduced the risk of dying from cancer and diabetes by 17%. Studies have also shown that eating barley lowers blood sugar and insulin levels.

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)