March 27 2013 - Pass the Barley!

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Did you know that barley is Canada's third largest home grown crop?

No longer known as a "poor man's food" (beef and barley soup was a staple for struggling families during World War II), barley is making a come back - and it's a big one! It's now considered a superfood, with health benefits ranging from lowering cholesterol, contains both soluable and insoluable fiber, is low in gluten, and is chock full of minerals and B vitamins. 

It is also 100% Canadian grown. With more and more emphasis on eating local, barley should be a staple in everyones pantry. And there are so many different barley products now to choose from! You can cook with pot or pearl barley, the difference being the pearl is more refined with most of the bran removed, you can bake with barley flour, making your favourite muffin and cookie recipes substitue equal parts barley flour to white flour, OR you can kick it old school and brew up a batch of beer in your bathtub with malt barley!

I had the pleasure of hosting Linda of the Alberta Barley Commission here in Ottawa a couple of weeks ago. She showed the host over at CTV Ottawa Morning Live how to cook up some easy recipes using barley products, and in the afternoon Linda hosted a Sexy Barley Party for local food bloggers.

And a party it was! It ended up being all women in attendance, so we did what women do best. We ate delicious food, we chatted about the delicious food that we were eating, and we ended the event with a giant slice of chocolate barley cake! On the menu was an Asian barley salad, black bean barley salad, barley jambalaya, barley & pea risotto, chocolate barley cake, rhubarb barley muffins, fruit & barley scones, and an herby barley loaf. Linda was a fabulous host and of course there were leftovers and gift baskets of barley baked goods for everyone to take home to their families :)

Here are some photos from the Sexy Barley Party. All of the recipes can be found at www.gobarley.com




Thank you Linda!