Love the creamy taste of risotto but looking for a low-maintenance, vegan option that’s higher in fibre? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Using pot barley to make a risotto instead of the classic arborio rice means you’re getting healthy soluble fibre and using a whole grain that’s low on the glycemic index, aka a slow carb. Slow carbs offer up sustained energy and don’t spike insulin levels like fast carbs. The result? Lower risk and/or better control of type 2 diabetes, fewer cravings and a slimmer waistline. All good things!
This recipe is super easy to make and even better as leftovers. If you eat cheese, you can add some feta if you like. Flavour-wise, you don’t need it… the gremolata (translation: chopped herb condiment made with super fresh-tasting lemon zest) packs in all the deliciousness you could ever want in one bowl!
More reasons to love barley:
- Barley is a good source of selenium, a nutrient shown to significantly reduce colon cancer risk.
- Glucan, the soluble fibre found in both barley and oats, provides several health benefits. Beta glucan acts as a prebiotic, which means it provides fuel for the good bacteria in the colon. This can, in turn, improve digestive health and strengthen the immune system. It may also help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Glucan also traps LDL cholesterol, the unhealthy type of cholesterol, and removes it from the blood. This helps reduce risk of heart disease. Barley also contains niacin, a B vitamin that is essential for heart health.
- All types of barley are nutritious, but hulled barley is highest in fibre because it contains the bran, while pearl and Scotch barley do not. The fibre in barley helps to slow the digestion of carbohydrates, leading to more stable blood sugar levels and helping you feel full for longer. For this reason, including high fibre foods in your diet can help promote a healthy body weight.