Cook with Barley: Nutrition, Tips, & Silly Food Facts

Silly Food Fact

Barley is a popular health food, often used in soups, side dishes, as a part of main dishes, and even sometimes dessert. However, did you know that over half of what’s produced in the U.S. is used for making barley malt and feeding animals? Barley is one of the world’s oldest crops. It’s been around since farming first began around 10,000 years ago!

Why Our Bodies Love It

In addition to it being super yummy, barley is rich in protein, fiber, and whole grains (hulled varieties). These nutrients are important for building and repairing muscle tissue, keeping our digestive systems in check, and support our immune systems in fighting off infection. Make sure to get plenty of these nutrients in so you can stay focused in school, buzz through your homework, and have enough energy to play outside with your friends!

Care and Picking

Barley lasts for 6-12 months if stored properly. To maximize its self-life, keep it stored in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark place. For hotter climates, it’s a good idea to store it in the refrigerator. Whatever you do, keep it out of sunlight. Barley contains  small amounts of oil, which might cause it to go bad quicker!

Tips and Warnings

Cooked barley can be refrigerated for 3-5 days. For quick, power-packed meals, freeze cooked barley in individually portioned, freezer safe containers. Make sure the cooked barley has cooled off before freezing! When you’re ready to eat, just remove it from the container, place on a microwave safe plate, heat, and enjoy! You might even add some fresh veggies on top for an even healthier meal or snack.

Learn how to cook barley grass here.


Uncooked Barley nutrition label copy


Do you have creative ways that you cook with barley?