Given what we now know about the dangers of over processed and over-sugared foods, many of us are looking for healthier alternatives to feed our families and ourselves. That can look like apple slices and grapes instead of french fries and chips, natural sugars instead of corn syrup, and an assortment of whole grains that are much better for you than white flour. So, what about barley? Is barley flour healthy?
Barley flour is a healthy alternative to white flour. It is high in fibre and protein, as well as many key nutrients and antioxidants. It can also be a more sustainable choice. Barley flour has a nice, nutty flavour, and it can be used as a substitute for regular flour in baking, making it a welcome addition to many kitchens.
Why Is Barley Flour Healthy?
You probably know that ‘regular’ flour comes from ground wheat. Similarly, barley flour comes from ground barley, which is another member of the grass family (like wheat). Barley itself is a whole grain that can be cooked, often used as a side to replace things like white rice or risotto, or added to soups, salads, and oatmeal.
And of course, when barley is ground into flour, it can be used to make breads as well as other baked goods. For example, check out this recipe for soft ginger cookies using barley flour. And who can turn down a healthier red velvet cake?
Barley flour is so healthy because it is a whole grain, and as numerous studies have shown, diets high in whole grains and fibre are associated with a decreased risk of disease and death. Moreover, barley flour is high in both soluble and insoluble fibre, both of which are essential to supporting your cardiovascular and digestive health. Lastly, barley is a lower gluten option compared to wheat, making it a nice alternative for those experimenting with cutting back on gluten.
Barley flour is also high in protein—one serving of our upcycle barley flour has 9 grams. It also has many critical nutrients, like vitamin B6, folate, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
Beyond this, the health benefits of barley flour are seemingly endless: studies show it may help relieve constipation, improve gut bacteria, improve symptoms of ulcerative colitis, help control your appetite, and reduce cholesterol and belly fat—and that’s just to start!
All from a tasty flour with a low GI (glycemic index) – this is what will have your gut thanking you!!
Is Barley Flour Good For The Planet?
Given our concerns around global warming and the future of the planet, many of us consider the wider implications of our food choices these days. In order for food to be truly ‘healthy,’ it can’t just be good for us. It needs to be good for the planet, too.
That’s why we make sustainable barley flour, using barley that we ‘upcycle’ from local beer producers. To make beer, you need to steep malted barley in water, and then extract all the sugar from it. But all that beautiful grain is left behind!
In the past, that grain would just be wasted, contributing to skyrocketing levels of food waste we’re currently seeing (an estimated 450,000 tons/day of spent grain, aka. beer waste, is estimated to be produced daily by craft breweries in Canada). That’s why we started rescuing this spent grain, helping people benefit from this nutrient-packed grain in a healthy, tasty way. It’s a whole grain approach for the 21st century – one where you can have your beer and cookie (or waffle) too!