Barley Water is an old fashioned recipe that is effective when your kidneys need rest from excessive stress, be that from all the processed foods that you have eaten or alcohol that you have consumed ~ especially during the silly season!!
People suffering from kidney and bladder ailments can take barley water for therapeutic uses.
Barley has been known to be full of vitamins and minerals ~ The vitamin C content in barley is almost twice than that of oranges. This vitamin particularly strengthens your immune system and reduces the chances of cold and flu.
Iron improves the blood volume and prevents anemia and fatigue. It aids in proper kidney functioning and the development of body cells. Furthermore, barley contains copper, which forms hemoglobin and red blood cells (And we all need that!!!).
Barley is a good source of Selenium which helps you to preserve skin elasticity, thereby protecting it against free radical damage and loosening/ageing. Moreover, it also improves our heart, pancreas, and immune system functioning. A deficiency of selenium can lead to cancers of the skin, colon, prostate, liver, stomach, and breast.
I recommend drinking anywhere from 2 – 4 x 200 ml cups a day whilst you have any ailments..
HOW TO MAKE BARLEY WATER (the Traditional way):
1 cup organic Pearl Barley
5 cups of pure water
Juice & Rind of 1/2 – 1 lemon OR other preferred juice (to taste)
1 tablespoon honey OR agave OR Maple Syrup OR Raw Sugar (whatever your preference is ~ optional to taste)
Added extras: Cinnamon sticks and Ginger pieces. (Optional)
Place the Pearl Barley in a sieve and rinse for a minute or so with plenty of fresh running water. This gets rid of any dust from the grains when they were packed…you don’t want to be consuming that!!
Place the Pearl Barley, water in a pan that can easily accommodate the volume of barley water you are making.
NB, if you are putting cinnamon sticks or ginger pieces in, now is the time to do that!!
Switch the heat on and bring the water to the boil and then simmer for 20-35 minutes with the lid off. This will reduce the amount of water by about 1/3. The grains should be softened and cooked, if not simmer for a little longer. If the mixture is too dry then add more water.
Pour the barley water mixture through a sieve to separate the barley grains, from the Barley Water. Add the lemon juice (or other preferred fruit juice) and your preferred sweetener if any, to taste ~ stir and leave to cool.
Barley water is normally drunk cold and it is best to drink it on the day of making when it is at its freshest. Your home-made Barley Water should keep well in a covered container (I prefer a glass bottle that has a wide neck ~ easy pouring ~ easy cleaning) in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Remember to give it a good shake before you serve it so you get all the goodness of the sediment that may be at the bottom of the container.
Raw Barley Water ~
Although the recipe above is probably the most common type of Barley Water recipe you can also make a raw version by placing all the ingredients into a jug that is covered with a breathable lid / kitchen towel. Stir the mixture and leave to stand for 24 hours. Strain the mixture using a fine metallic sieve and serve.
What do I do with the left over Barley?
The left over Barley is useful for a number of other recipes such as:
** Bulking out and thickening soups and stews with it.
** Combining it with some chopped nuts, seeds, sultanas, raisins, berries and other dried fruits for an alternative to muesli or porridge. This has natural sweeteners and is high in dietary fibre. Plus you can add dates to the above muesli mixture and process in your food processor to make snack bars.
** Add it to salads to add another texture to your ever so lovely veggies!!
** Pop it in your blender and use it as a thickener for your smoothies.
Variations on the recipe ~
You can use the same recipe but just substitute other flavours into the drink instead of the lemon/ginger/cinnamon/honey. Try using fresh Mint leaves, Orange juice and peel or Lime juice and peel, Maple Syrup and other herbs and spices to your taste.
So I hope you will try Barley Water when you are not feeling well…