The magical barley rice combination has helped me change my diet for the better. Before, In was a bit reluctant to eat a lot of rice. Even though I perfect the recipe for whole grain rice, I still had reservations simply because I prefer the starchiness of potatoes. Having said that, rice is a lot healthier so I do recommend you have it as part of a healthy and diverse vegan diet.
So what exactly is this combination barley and rice? The truth is, putting barley and rice together is probably the best combo yet. The texture marries each other so beautifully and the tastes are wonderful. I first came across rice and barley when I was in Japan. I absolutely loved the idea so I tried it at home. We're now addicted and can't imagine eating rice any other way.
What is barley rice?
Barley rice is a combination of barley and rice put together. You normally cook them separately and then mix them at the end. They take the same amount of time to cook so you won't be inconvenienced.
Barley is a cereal grain grown in temperate climates globally. It is one of the first cultivated grains, so as humans we had barley as part of our diet for a long time. It dates back to as early as 10,000 years ago. Barley has a lot of fibre which is essential for a healthy vegan diet. But, gluten intolerants should stir away from barley as this grain contains gluten.
Brown rice is packed with folate and vitamin E and it has its fair share of fibre. Overall, the combo of the two grains is fantastic for you and guaranteed to put your hunger at bay. It also keeps in the fridge for up to 5-7 days so you can make a healthy amount at the beginning of the week, and continue to eat it every day, with fresh vegetable toppings.
How to make barley rice
Making barley rice takes just 20-25 minutes. Bring some water to a boil (around 1.5 litres). Add the barley to a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes. You know the barley is ready when it's fairly soft and swollen. Drain and set aside.
While the barley is simmering, you can start preparing the brown rice. I have a recipe here explaining how to cook the perfect wholegrain rice. You will need a deep pan. Add a little olive oil and a cup of rice. Add spices: salt, vegetable stock, paprika, thyme and coriander. Mix with a wooden spoon to ensure the rice is covered in oil and spices. Add two cups of water over the rice, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low-medium and simmer for 20-25 until all the water is absorbed. The rice should be tender and delicious.
Add the drained barley over the rice and mix well. Serve in a deep bowl with the toppings of your choice. We like to add vegan beef stew, mushrooms, chickpeas and more. You can be super creative.
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.