Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful…
Salt Lake City, Utah is one of the most beautiful places on earth, especially during the winter. The Wasatch Mountains to the East when capped with snow are breathtakingly beautiful. But, I hate cold weather. Being a native to Arizona, the minute the weather falls below 50 degrees, I’m begging my husband to turn the heat up and I bundle up in layers and turn on the heated blanket. Quite frankly, I’m ridiculous.
But my favorite part of winter is soup season. There’s something so satisfying about a hot bowl of soup when the world is white and coated in ice. When I need to warm up, I take a hot shower, dress in my layers upon layers of clothes, then eat a bowl of soup. My favorite soup being this Chicken and Barley Soup. I love the nutty chew of the barley with the surprising zing that the lemon gives. It is healthy, warm, and filling.
When I woke up this morning and felt like death, I knew today was the perfect day for some Chicken and Barley soup. A nice warm bowl of soup is one of the 10 ways I fight a winter head cold. And it is easy to make too, perfect for when you just aren’t feeling well.
The Health Benefits of Barley
Although barley may not be as popular as other whole grains like oats, wheat, or even grain-of-the-moment quinoa, barley has some impressive health benefits. A very high fiber content, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, heart health and diabetes protection are just some of the barley nutrition benefits that make it one of the best whole grain choices.
Barley is actually one of the oldest consumed grains in the world. It was a staple grain for peasants during medieval times for centuries and today is still included in the diet of many European, African, and Middle Eastern nations that have been eating barley for thousands of years.
Barley provides a range of important vitamins and minerals: fiber, selenium, B vitamins, copper, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, and more. And when compared to many other grains, even other ancient whole-grains, barley is lower in fat and calories, but higher in dietary fiber and certain trace minerals. For example a one-cup serving of cooked barley has less calories, but more fiber, than an equal serving of quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, sorghum, millet or wild rice.