What is pearled barley?

Barley is used in salads, soups or in place of rice. Pearled barley is commonly found in grocery stores.

But what is pearled barley? When barley is polished, or “pearled,” it removes some or all of the bran layer, as well as the barley hull. If it is heavily pearled, it has a white color. If it is lightly pearled, it has a tan color.

It is classified as a refined grain, but is still healthier than other refined grains because it still has some bran and fiber is throughout the entire kernel.

Pearled barley cooks quickly. There is also a quick pearl barley that is a barley flake that cooks in about 10 minutes.

How old are your spices?

Do you ever buy a can of herbs and only use it once? It happens to all of us. Then we have a cabinet full of herbs and spices that get old by going out of date.

Here’s a general guide for how long to store herbs and spices:

• Dry herbs — one to three years

• Ground spices — two to three years

• Whole spices — three to four years

• Seasoning/herb blends — one to two years

• Extracts (except vanilla extract) — four years

Safe and healthy food pantries

Food pantries help meet the nutrition and health needs for people who are food insecure, and low-income who may have chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Without food pantries, many buy inexpensive, unhealthy foods for their families. Food pantry guests are at increased risk for foodborne illness.

Research conducted by the University of Wisconsin shows food pantry guests want more fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, turkey, fish, chicken, peanut butter and eggs. The challenges with offering these foods are many including equipment to store these foods. Food pantries need to make these foods more visible before less healthful foods. Recipes to use the foods will also encourage guests to choose them.

Donors must be mindful of the foods they donate. Establish a nutrition policy to guide donors of needed foods.

Cindy Williams40 Posts

Cindy Williams is the Meadowlark Extension District agent in the areas of food and nutrition.


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