Barley is a sleeper superfood! This exceptionally versatile intact whole grain food is exceptional for boosting health. Thanks to its mother load of fiber (3 times more than oats!), as well as its hefty dose of magnesium, B vitamins, and selenium, barley is arguably one of the best foods around for lowering cholesterol, preventing heart disease, improving gut health, and combating type 2 diabetes. And yet few people take advantage of it! One study found that a single daily serving of barley improved metabolism and helped curb hunger in as little as one week by stimulating the growth of a special, “good” bacteria in the gut called Prevotella copri.
Have a bowl for breakfast or simply add it to soups, salads, stews, or use as an alternative to rice or potatoes.
This hearty salad is prefect as a main dish or on the side.
2 cups cooked barley
1 15oz. can of beans of choice, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
3 green onions, sliced (green and white parts…no waste!)
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
3 tbsp capers, optional
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried oregano, optional
Whisk together last four ingredients and set aside. Combine barley, beans, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, green onions, olives, and capers if using. Toss with the dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let sit for at least 20 minutes to let flavors meld.
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