We’ve had a pack of pearl barley sitting in the cupboard for a while, waiting for us to remember it when we’re cooking a stew. Finally, stewing and remembering came together this afternoon and so I opened it up and set some barley boiling to soften it before adding to the slow cooker
While reading the instructions, I noticed that it mentioned that pearl barley could be used to make barley water. I remember that from childhood, where we often had some form of Robinson’s barley water (a fruit squash) on the shelf. However, I’ve never made it from pearl barley before.
There were no further instructions on the packet but a little bit of Googling suggested that the method could be as simple as boiling pearl barley and taking the liquid. Therefore, instead of tipping the water down the sink, I poured it into a cup before adding the barley to my stew. I flavoured the water with some honey and freshly squeezed lemon and waited for it to cool a little.
I took my first sip with some trepidation but it tasted great. I’ll wait for a day or two just to make sure I don’t suffer any adverse side effects but I’m optimistic. Not only will this be a reminder to use pearl barley (which is beneficial enough itself) but I also get a fantastic drink out of it. I’ll have to try roasting barley sometime as well – apparently it can be used as a caffeine free coffee substitute, which might be good if I want to cut down my large daily intake.