Coconut Chai Barley Porridge

I’ve been missing my oatmeal breakfasts while doing the 5 Days Low Glycemic Challenge, and so wanted to come up with a low glycemic index porridge to get my morning started.

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.

Tags: , ,

Categories: Breakfast & Brunch, Vegan, Vegetarian


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

6 Comments on “Coconut Chai Barley Porridge”

  1. Pemma
    March 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    Is this the David’s Tea coco chai rooibos that we had?

    porridge looks great – will try.

  2. March 27, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    Yes, it is the rooibos from David’s Tea — Heather got me some as a prezzie. Mmmmm.

    I’m obsessed with the porridge. I added actual unsweetened coconut to it this morning — and goji berries. Yumm.

  3. Bonnie
    June 9, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    Thank you! This porridge is amazing. Ok. I left out lots of ingredients we didn’t have. But it still turned out amazing. Approval from 1 yr old and 3 yr old too. Can’t wait to buy all the other ingredients and try them out too.

    And David’s Pure Chai is by far the best chai I have ever ever tasted! Not a fan of the rooibus.

    • June 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

      Ooh yay, so glad that you (and the kids – high praise!!) enjoyed it! It’s one of my favourite winter breakfasts!

  4. Paula
    March 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Thanks for the recipe. I am on a wheat-free diet, trying to fight inflammation. This recipe certainly fits the bill. I added turmeric (which does turn the porridge a suspicious colour of yellow, though it doesn’t add a curry flavour, in case you’re wondering). To serve, I added almonds and brilliant pomegranate seeds. Delish!


  1. How to Cook Quinoa « The Kitchen Operas - July 22, 2010

    […] Add some milk & heat through for a quinoa porridge, great with cinnamon and fruit — or you could use it in place of barley for a Coconut Chai Porridge. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: