Barley Drink: Nutritious and a must-try for summer

If you've read my post on forgotten super foods, I mentioned barley as one of the least used grains. Oddly, barley has always made it through my diet since I was young. My mother always made this yummy barley drink which I could not resist. Since summer is around the corner and the heat waves will be catching up with us soon, I had to share this recipe with all of you. Barley is known for its hydrating and cooling properties. It helps with lowering body heat during summer time. Barley is also high in fiber and very gentle in your digestive tract. As I'm typing this post, I'm getting inspirations to create more recipes with barley grains. Barley bread, breakfast barley porridge......looks like I have more experiments coming up in the kitchen. I know many people just boil the barley grains with some sugar and consume it as barley water. But I have made some tweaks to the basic barley water recipe. Actually, I learnt it from my mother and I just repeated what I have learnt from her. Since it is Mother's Day...let her take the credit. Ohh Happy Mother's Day to all the mommy's in the world. Getting back to the barley topic, this recipe requires very few ingredients but a lot of patience. I am telling you ahead of time. It can take up anywhere from 2  to 3 hours. So make sure you have nothing to do an entire afternoon if you're planning to battle with barley. All you have to do is keep an eye on the boiling liquid, nothing else. I shall stop yapping and get to the recipe.

Ingredients.....

                                                               

Let's begin.....

Part 1: Cooking the Ginko nuts
  • The Ginko nuts come with a hard shell. Firstly, they have to be boiled in water for 30 to 45 minutes.
  • After boiling, run them through some cold water and allow them to cool.
  • When you're ready, place them in between a cloth and use a rolling pin or a pestle to hit on it and break the shells. Time to release some pent up anger. Hey, yogini's have emotions too.
  • Peel the soft seed  and discard the shells. 
  • Run the seeds through cold water to remove excess skin.


Part 2: Making the barley drink
  • Add all the ingredients into a deep pot and fill it up with 4 liters of water. 
  • Keep the flame on high and allow it to boil for 2 to 3 hours until all the soy bean skin has broken down. You may need to add on more water until all the soy bean skin has broken down and you have reached the sweetness level that you desire.
  • The final color of the drink should be similar to the color of soy milk as shown in the picture above.


Taste Test.....

It taste nothing like barley water. Tastes more like soy milk with barley added to it. As you can imagine, it's rich, creamy and full of flavor. I am a soy milk lover and obviously I wasn't going to hate this. By the way, addition of Ginko seeds are totally optional. It requires more work and time actually. Feel free to omit it if you're just not in the mood to peel stuff. I did tell you that it takes about 2 to 3 hours before you enjoy your hard work. That's because we have to wait for the soy bean skin to break down completely and not floating in the drink in bits and pieces. You don't have to stand by the stove the entire time, just keep an eye on it. The soy bean skin really lifts the flavor to another level and makes this drink different from ordinary barley water. A must-try for this summer. Have a great week and Happy Mother's Day.

~M~


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