This barley recipe is gonna load your body up with healthy, glorious carbohydrates. Yes, I said carbs…and just like healthy fats have lots of scientific studies linking them to various health benefits…so do complex carbohydrates (aka the good carbs).
Low carb diets like Keto, Bulletproof, and Adkins are rapidly gaining popularity. And I’m not saying you can’t lose weight on those diets. The problem for so many people is sticking with it. And as soon as you have carbs again, your body is instantly out of ketosis and it starts using whatever carbs it gets for fat storage, unless your energy levels are high enough to balance it out.
Personally, when I did low carb I’d sometimes get hypoglycemic on my heavy training days. So, for me, it wasn’t possible to stick with this style of eating for the longterm.
My body needed carbs…and I’ve found that to be the case in lots of other people too.
Bad Carbs VS Good Carbs
Good carbohydrates (complex) are found in fruits, vegetables, dairy, and whole grains like quinoa, rice, sprouted wheat, and barley. Complex carbohydrates often supply energy and other nutrients and fiber that the body needs.
Then there are bad carbs (simple) that are mostly made up of refined sugars with very few essential vitamins and minerals. Simple carbs are found in doughnuts, cakes, white bread, cookies, crackers, soda, and other sugary, processed foods. Over time filling up on too much bad carbs raises your risk of heart disease and diabetes, not to mention a bigger waistline.
I found this little tidbit over on Dr Axe’s site, “Researchers from the American Heart Association examined the harmful effects of high glycemic index and high glycemic load foods like processed carbs. The intake of bad carbs correlated with impaired glucose intolerance, greater insulin concentrations circulating throughout the bloodstream, and an overall increased risk for type 2 diabetes and type 3 diabetes — otherwise known as Alzheimer’s.”
Swapping out refined “bad” carbohydrates for fiber-rich “good” carbs can boost your heart health, lower your risk of diabetes and help you lose weight.
And barley just so happens to be one of the good guys!
Barley is available “pearled” (with the bran removed) or “quick-cooking” (parboiled). While both contain soluble fiber, pearl barley has a little more. It’s a good source of potassium and other heart-healthy nutrients, and it can also help you slim down. In one small Japanese study, eating barley helped people reduce their cholesterol, shrink their waistlines and lose dangerous visceral fat.
Eating good carbs is a total win! Replace refined carbohydrates with whole, unprocessed carbs, and you’ll boost your heart health and lower your risk of diabetes. And because good carbs are typically rich in fiber (which helps you feel full), they can help with weight loss and also maintaining a healthy weight for the longterm.
A 2018 JAMA study shows that eating unrefined, high-quality foods, including good carbs, counts more toward weight loss than counting calories.
Hello there good carbs…it’s nice to have you back in my life. 🙂 Now let’s get in the kitchen and have some fun with this tasty complex carb dish!
First, I’m going to walk you through all the steps of making it, and if you want to skip over that and get right to the handy printable then just scroll on down toward the bottom.
Barley With Sundried Tomatoes & Toasted Pine Nuts
Let’s get your workstation all setup—organic barley, chopped pepper, sundried tomatoes, onions, garlic, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, filtered water, sea salt and pepper…and a little grassfed butter (or ghee, avocado oil, or algae oil). Herbs: fresh chives and parsley (I used Italian flat leaf).
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Take 1 cup of barley and rinse it really good through a strainer.
Then add the washed barley and a tablespoon of grassfed butter (or other oil noted above), dash of salt, and stir it together. Let it cook for a couple minutes.
Now add in your chopped peppers, onions, garlic, sundried tomatoes. Give it a good stir and let cook another minute or so.
Pour in 3 cups of filtered water and add a little more salt. I go light with it because you can always add more later. It’s a lot harder to reduce salt if you’ve used too much. Increase the heat and bring to a boil.
Now for my secret ingredient—Nutritional Yeast. This adds a smoky, cheesy flavor and I love it mixed with the sundried tomatoes. You can totally skip this step if you want too. If you’re using it, add it in once it starts to boil. Give it another good stir and then reduce heat to simmer and put on the lid. It’ll take around 45-50 minutes to cook so you can move onto the next step now, or wait a little and then get to as the barley is closer to being finished.
To toast your pine nuts, heat a dry pan over medium and give it a minute to warm up. Pour your pine nuts in and gently stir them. Don’t turn your back on them as they can burn pretty quick. For me, they usually toast in a minute or two (depending on how hot my pan is.)
Once your barley is ready—it’s moist but most of the water is evaporated—mix in the toasted pine nuts and chopped herbs.
It’s ready to serve now or store it in the fridge for up to a week.
Save a couple of the parsley tops for a purdy garnish. This dish is packed with lots of nutrients, fiber, protein (though you can easily add chicken, beef, eggs, tempeh, tofu, etc. to get more if you need), and glorious healthy carbs.
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http://www.eatingwell.com/article/18002/6-carbs-to-add-to-your-diet-to-help-you-stay-slim/ Eating Well
https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Carbs-Simple-vs-Complex-3007674 Pop Sugar