Saturday mornings are always met with excitement and a twang of bewilderment. The excitement comes in because I have the time to leisurely make myself a nice brunch, but at the same time, I spend most of my weak cramming down bites of oatmeal between hairbrush strokes so I can get out the door on time, so it takes a little bit of effort to break that habit.
As a nod to this week’s lecture on carbohydrates with an emphasis on whole grains and fiber, I decided to fill my belly with those things on this morning. I originally headed into the kitchen to make a breakfast quinoa bowl, to find my quinoa stash had been depleted. However, staring up at me from my pantry was a hearty bag of barley. One great reason to have a fiber heavy breakfast is that is keeps you full and helps prevent your blood glucose from spiking. The soluble fiber absorbs water and turns your stomach contents into a gel, and forces your body to slow down and digest everything appropriately. Since your stomach contents are emptying slower, and are buffered by fiber, glucose will be released much slower, making you feel better and aiding in insulin sensitivity. While the soluble fiber is doing its thang, the insoluble fiber acts as natures pipe cleaner to keep your GI tract clean and your colon happy.
I bet your digestive tract is smiling just reading that above paragraph!
Anyways, back to the stuff that happened between me finding the barley, and satisfied, pushing away an empty bowl, a little sticky from peach syrup.
I par cooked the barley in a pretty standard way. While barley cooked away, I stewed up a diced peach in coconut oil and maple syrup with some raisins. When the barley was almost there, I transferred it to the stewed peach mixture, added almond milk, and then let it simmer for a bit longer. Garnished with slivered almonds, coconut flakes, and some fresh almost milk.
Ya, so that just happened. Everything worked in perfect harmony and has left my body charged for the day ahead.
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 peach, diced
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice
- slivered almonds, for garnish
- flaked coconut, for garnish
- Combine the barley and water in a small pot, bring to a boil, and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
- While the barley is cooking, melt the coconut oil and maple syrup in another pot over medium heat.
- Add the peaches and raisins and cook until the peaches are soft and the raisins have plumped up, maybe 5 minutes.
- Once most of the water has been absorbed by the barley, transfer it to the pot with the peaches.
- Add 1/2 cup of the non-dairy milk and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
- Spoon into bowl, and top with almonds, coconut, and additional milk.