Reduce cholesterol with different heart healthy recipes of barley
Barley is a healthy high-fiber, high-protein whole grain boasting numerous health benefits such as bringing blood pressure down.

Barley is a healthy high-fiber, high-protein whole grain boasting numerous health benefits.

Barley has a chewy texture and nutty flavor, similar to brown rice. Although mushroom barley soup is probably the most popular way to eat barley, you can use it like any other grain such as couscous or rice.

Here’s a little barley trivia: did you know that barley is one of the top five cereal grains in the world and its use dates back to the stone age? And, 98% of barley grown in the united states is not used for meals!

Barley is either refined to make barley malt – a key ingredient in beer and whiskey or grown specifically for feeding livestock. Pearled barley has been refined.

Hulled barley (also known as whole-wheat barley) has only the outer layer removed, leaving the bran layer intact-so although it takes longer to cook (and chew) it’s your best bet for more nutrition.

Try this delicious mushroom barley risotto and take advantage of this underused whole grain wonder food.

Barley Risotto with Shitake Mushrooms

This side dish is a great way to get in barley, the whole grain, LDL or “bad” cholesterol lowering alternative to oats.


6 servings (serving size: 1/6th of the recipe)


  • 1 (32 fluid ounce) container of free range organic chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup whole grain barley
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen shitake mushrooms, defrosted (I use Woodstock Farms organic shitake mushrooms, available in the frozen foods section of your local health food store)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese

Method of Preparation:

  • In a saucepan, heat chicken broth, bay leaf and thyme and bring to a simmer.
  • Let simmer while preparing barley. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent, approximately 3 minutes.
  • Add barley and package of mushrooms and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add chicken broth and simmer, covered for approximately 45 minutes until most of the broth has evaporated and the barley is tender.
  • Season with salt and pepper, add in the parmesan cheese, stir and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information per Serving (1/6th of the recipe):

  • Calories: 128,
  • Fat: 5 g,
  • Cholesterol: 6 mg,
  • Sodium: 577 mg,
  • Carbohydrate: 17 g,
  • Dietary Fiber: 4 g,
  • Sugars: 2 g,
  • Protein: 6 g

An excerpt from the book Cholesterol Down. To learn more visit:

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