Pearl barley (also known as pearled barley) has the lowest glycemic index of all of the grains (35). Because it has a longer cooking time than some of the other grains, it works well to cook a larger batch of barley to eat for the week.
I love the warming Chai spices, and often add them to oatmeal, cookies, muffins, and other baked goodies around here. Inspired by my new favourite “Coco Chai Rooibos” tea, I’ve added coconut to the traditional Chai spice mix, and rolled it all into my morning porridge.
Coconut Chai Barley Porridge
Serves 4 — Making a larger batch even if you’re just one person means you can keep some on hand for busier mornings. Cook once, eat all week!
- 1 c. pearl barley, rinsed
- 3 c. milk (skim, soy, almond, rice…)
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- 5 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- whole nutmeg, run a few times over a microplane (or 1/2 tsp. ground)
- 1 thumb-sized nub ginger, peeled and microplaned or grated
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 pinch black pepper
Cover the barley with water, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, then drain. This step is essentially a really good rinse for the barley.
Now we’re really cooking: bring the milk to a boil and add the drained barley, and remaining ingredients. Cover, and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. If the barley develops a skin on top, just stir it back in.
Serve warm, topped with your choice of fresh, frozen, or dried fruit, nuts and seeds. This morning, I had it with pistachios and walnuts, and an extra splash of milk — mmmmm.
Will keep covered in the fridge for up to a week.