May 31, 2020 · By Foodtolive Team
Are you curious about the nutritional powerhouses that are farro and barley? These ancient cereal grains have been cultivated for thousands of years and continue to captivate our taste buds. Join us as we unravel the nutritional differences between these two grains that have stood the test of time.
The Difference Between Farro and Barley
Farro and barley, both beloved grains, have a fascinating history dating back to the early days of agriculture. Farro, a member of the wheat family, stands out for its larger grains and protective outer shell that shields it from pests, external influences, and moisture loss. In contrast, barley, known for its remarkable versatility, has been cherished throughout history for its use in porridge, soup, bread, and even animal fodder.
Farro vs. Barley Nutrition
When it comes to nutritional value, farro outshines traditional wheat varieties. Packed with vegetable protein (ranging from 25% to 37%), unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, iron, and B vitamins, farro is a nutritional powerhouse. Its gluten protein, abundant in essential amino acids, plays a crucial role in promoting a healthy immune system. Furthermore, the human body readily absorbs the nutrients in farro, making it an excellent choice for maximizing nutrient intake. However, it’s essential to note that farro contains gluten, a known allergen.
Barley, on the other hand, boasts an optimal ratio of proteins (up to 15.5%) and carbohydrates (up to 75%). Unlike wheat protein, barley protein surpasses it in terms of nutritional value. With 3-5% fat, 9.6% fiber, enzymes, and vitamins B, D, E, and A, barley is a nutrient-dense grain. Additionally, barley’s high fiber content sets it apart from other cereal crops, except for oats. Pearl barley, which is similar to wheat, is a common variation of this versatile grain.
Hulled, Semi-Pearled, and Pearled
As barley undergoes husk removal, it transforms into “Pearled” barley. This variety is lighter in color, less chewy, and requires a shorter cooking time. However, the husks of both barley and farro are rich in fiber, making many prefer the natural form of these grains to reap the full nutritional benefits. For a compromise, consider semi-pearled barley, where only a portion of the bran layer is removed.
To expedite the cooking process for hulled barley or farro, soaking the grains overnight can reduce the cooking time to a mere 10-15 minutes. If soaking isn’t feasible, grinding the grains is another option worth exploring.
Farro and barley share many similarities and can serve as excellent alternatives to wheat in various culinary creations, including flour, porridge, and soup. Both grains offer a substantial protein content, with farro taking the lead. Therefore, both can be valuable sources of protein for individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets. However, it’s crucial to remember that both grains contain gluten and may not be suitable for everyone.
To explore these nutrient-packed grains further, why not visit BDK Restaurant. Experience the culinary possibilities and embrace the wholesome goodness of farro and barley in your next meal.