Doing the Sugar Smart diet has made me smart in other ways too. Becoming aware of carbohydrates in no mean way is one side effect.

One of the substitutes for white wheat which they advised was barley. I am not sure about others but barley water was something we might have been given as children when we had urinary problems( probably, or so I’ve heard). No one ate barley- I didn’t even know what it looked like.

The recipes in this diet substituted white rice, white flour, white sugar for all whole food. I did not feel inclined to eat brown rice as I was on a separate agenda to lose my taste for rice. Though we are predominantly rice eaters and rice figures in our breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes, I could easily do without it at a time. Over the years, I developed a taste for it and it became difficult for me to imagine lunch without rice of some sort. Added to this was the soothing comfort that a plate of rice afforded me. Branless, white wheat has been used in our house for years and I can make a mean roti ( pita type bread) in minutes. Ever since my daughter had a problem with her monthlies and possibility of having cysts in her ovaries, which could lead on to polycystic ovarian disease, we (the two of us) have tried to give up wheat too- in all its forms. So both rice and wheat were off for me on the Sugar Crush diet. I had to pick and choose the recipes that would suit my additional requirements.

And then I found a couple of recipes featuring barley. The grocery store had these small packets of barley ( barely 250 gms) and very cheap – so I bought a couple of packets and tried to cook it as in the recipe. Believe it or not, barley is so good- it has a white, chewy, almost crunchy taste to it, and I am huge on crunchy, chewy food ( that’s why I love chocolate so much). There was a recipe with cucumber, tomato, black bean and barley salad, that I initiated myself on. It was tasty and I was hooked. Additionally, you don’t feel too hungry after a mean of 1/2 a cup of cooked barley.

I read up more about barley and here is some of what I learned. It is supposed to have originated in the Orkney Islands off the coast of the Scottish Highlands and also a native of the Tunisian desert. Barley is a versatile crop and can grow anywhere. Barley can be of different types – one is the hulled variety ( not very commonly available) and then the common pearl barley. But the Ethiopian black barley is supposed to be the best of all in terms of nutrition. pearl-barley

( Google images)

Have you tried eating barley ? Have you liked it or become addicted to it as it seems, I have ?