Barley and wheat are two of the most popular grains in the world. They’re part of everything from food to drinks to animal feed (basically, you’ve had both, even if you don’t realize it). But which is better for you
Because they are so similar in appearance, taste, and nutritional value, it’s easy to confuse the two. But don’t be fooled: barley and wheat have some key differences.
Whether you want to change your diet or just want to know exactly what you are consuming, here are the biggest differences between barley and wheat so you can make the most informed choices for your diet.
How do barley and wheat stack up?
These two popular plants share some similarities: both are nutritionally dense and full of vitamins.
Manufacturers usually grind wheat into flour before using it, while barley is eaten as a whole grain. Because wheat flour has so many uses, wheat is a little more versatile than barley.
But barley contains more fiber and beta-glucan than wheat, and research suggests that barley may help lower cholesterol and blood sugar.
Let’s address the similarities first.
Both barley and wheat come from the Middle East and have been around for about 10,000 years. Both are grasses, a family of plants that also includes rice, sugar cane, and corn.
Each grain consists of three layers: the outer bran layer, the endosperm layer, and the nutrient-rich inner core. There are different varieties of barley and wheat, but some are more common than others.
When it comes to processing, barley and wheat are slightly different.
You can eat whole grain wheat as wheat berries or sprouted wheat. Most often, however, it is used as a flour thanks to the grinding process.
Milling cracks the grain and separates the layers – voila, flour! You can now make bread, cookies, pasta, noodles, and breakfast cereals.
Some people ferment wheat to make beer and other alcoholic beverages. And farmers sometimes feed it to cattle.
Barley doesn’t need to be ground, but manufacturers usually peel it to remove the outer layer.
Peeled barley is a whole grain, pearl barley is not – mother-of-pearl is a polishing process that removes the outer layer of the grain. Barley is no longer as common in food as it used to be, although people certainly still eat it.
You can find peeled and pearly barley in soups, stews, porridge, and baby food. People also malt barley to make alcoholic beverages. And barley flour is available for products like bread, pasta and baked goods.
Both barley and wheat are nutritionally dense foods. But the composition of each one really depends on the degree of processing of the grain.
For example, all-purpose flour (white flour) made from wheat contains only some parts of the grain, while whole wheat flour contains all of the grain. Peeled barley contains all of the grain, while pearl barley contains part of the grain.
Here’s a look at how 100 grams of pearl barley, peeled barley, all-purpose white wheat flour, and whole wheat flour compare in macronutrients.
Overall, the macronutrients for pearl barley, peeled barley, white wheat flour and whole wheat flour are very similar. But white wheat flour has significantly less fiber. (We see you wear off, white wheat flour.)
For example, 100 grams of pearl barley, peeled barley, all-purpose white wheat flour and whole grain flour compare in minerals.
Both wheat and barley are rich in minerals. Whole wheat flour contains more manganese than barley, while peeled barley and whole wheat flour are high in potassium and iron.
For example, 100 grams of pearl barley, peeled barley, all-purpose white flour and wholemeal flour compare in vitamin content.
These forms of barley and wheat are quite similar in vitamin content, although whole wheat flour contains the most folic acid.
White wheat flour provides the smallest amounts of these nutrients (with the exception of folic acid – but whole wheat flour still outperforms white wheat flour in terms of folate content).
Wheat loses a lot of fiber during processing. White flour is processed more than whole wheat flour, so it contains less fiber. Barley isn’t processed as much as wheat, so it has more fiber.
Most wheat fiber is insoluble, so it gets through your digestive system and adds bulk to your stool (sometimes feeding the hungry, hungry gut bacteria as well).
Peeled barley has significantly more fiber than pearl barley. Most of the fiber in barley is soluble fiber that, when combined with liquid, forms a gel. Research suggests that this type of fiber can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar control.
Whole wheat flour is a clear winner here. It offers the greatest protein wallop of any grains we’ve discussed. But pearl barley has more protein than white flour, so it’s not easy to say that wheat wins right away.
Peeled barley contains more protein than pearl barley, while whole wheat flour contains more protein than white wheat flour (since white wheat flour loses a lot of protein when it is refined).
Barley and wheat are both nutritious and healthy.
Compared to other grains, whole grains (like whole wheat) are a better source of nutrients like:
Whole wheat is an insoluble fiber and can act as a prebiotic. The results of some observational studies suggest that whole wheat may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Barley is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including:
Peeled barley is generally healthier. Some research from 2015 suggests that peeled barley may help lower blood sugar and improve digestion.
Under the microscope, both grains offer important nutritional benefits. But how easy are they to find? How versatile are they? And how do they taste?
Both barley and wheat are readily available and easy to find. With wheat the most grown crop in the world and barley the fourth most grown, it is safe to say that wheat is generally easier to find.
Most of the time, you will likely buy wheat as a flour and use it in baking or cooking. If it doesn’t rock its flour bag, you can find wheat in the form of wheat berries or sprouted wheat.
Barley does not need to be ground. You can buy it as a grain and cook it at home, much like rice. It just takes a good wash first.
Both grains are relatively simple after use. The prep time for both really depends on what you’re cooking.
Barley has a more pronounced taste because you consume it as a whole grain. Wheat is often a flour that can be baked in various dishes so that it can take on many different tastes.
It is possible to magically turn flour into a sweet cake or savory bread – no matter what mood you’re in, flour has likely got you covered.
Barley doesn’t have quite as many preparation options as wheat, so it’s a bit more limited when it comes to flavor variations.
Both wheat and barley are good for you – which one is “better” really depends on your nutritional goal. It’s hard to choose one as each one glows in its own way.
Benefits of barley
Peeled barley contains more fiber and beta-glucan than wheat and loses fewer nutrients during processing.
It’s full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including potassium, iron, and zinc. Barley can help lower blood sugar and improve digestion.
Barley is a great nutritious alternative to rice and is easy to prepare.
Benefits of Wheat
Wheat flour is full of nutrients like folic acid, copper, and vitamin B6. Whole wheat can be beneficial for colon health and even reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Wheat flour is also versatile and can be used in so many different ways that it takes on different flavor profiles and serves as a general kitchen staple.
These grains affect conditions such as celiac disease, wheat allergy, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and metabolic syndrome in different ways.
Gluten sensitivity / Celiac disease
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which your body cannot tolerate gluten. This can damage the lining of the intestines and lead to unpleasant side effects such as gas, constipation, and diarrhea, as well as weight loss.
Without a diagnosis, much more serious health problems can arise.
Both barley and wheat contain gluten: wheat contains glutenins and gliadins, and barley contains hordeins. If you have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, you shouldn’t eat barley or wheat.
If carbohydrates are not broken down during digestion, they ferment in the colon and produce gas. In people with IBS, this process can cause side effects such as gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
Both barley and wheat contain carbohydrates that aren’t broken down during digestion, and research suggests that they can trigger IBS symptoms. So if you have IBS, pay attention to how you feel when you eat barley and wheat.
If you live with IBS and experience symptoms from consuming barley and wheat, you should probably avoid these grains. Your doctor may recommend that you try an elimination diet to determine which foods are causing symptoms.
Blood sugar and cholesterol
Peeled barley contains more beta-glucan than wheat. Research suggests that beta-glucan can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar control.
At least in terms of beta-glucan content, barley has an advantage over wheat.
Oats are another whole grain with nutritional benefits like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Like barley, oats are a great source of fiber and beta-glucan.
According to some research, oats are the only food source of avenanthramides, antioxidants that can protect against heart disease.
Manufacturers usually roll oats into oatmeal, but you can find oatmeal and oat milk as well. Oats are arguably more versatile than barley or wheat.
They’re also usually gluten-free, which makes them a great choice for people with a gluten sensitivity. Only buy oats that are labeled “gluten-free” to ensure they are protected from gluten contamination.
Because of their versatility and nutritional value, oats are sometimes a better choice than barley or wheat.
Barley and wheat are two very popular plants in the grass family.
While food manufacturers typically grind wheat into flour for baked goods and other foods, you can also find wheat in some whole grain forms. Barley is eaten in both whole grain and pearl forms.
Both grains contain a wide variety of nutrients and vitamins that make them a healthy part of your diet.
Both grains also contain gluten, so anyone with a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease should avoid them. And both contain carbohydrates, which can cause nasty side effects for anyone with IBS.
Barley contains more fiber and beta-glucan than wheat and can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
The hunt for New Zealand’s best meal kit delivery service
Jihee Junn analyzes the numbers from a recent study comparing the greatest players in the Meal Pack game.
As a single parent, childless person who doesn’t mind eating five bowls of oatmeal a day, I can’t say I’ve ever fully embraced the movement of meal sets. But I know that for many families, having the same meals cooked or taken away every week is not a viable option. For example, my eternally exhausted sister and her busy husband have three young children who don’t eat anything all the time, except chocolate, french fries, and pizza. Eating out – even at McDonald’s – somehow always costs a small fortune.
It is no coincidence that parceled meals have found a lucrative niche in families like hers. When the concept first hit the market in Sweden in the late 2000s, they were exactly with the modern family in mind – one where both parents worked full-time. Created to combine our desire for fresh, healthy home-cooked meals with our increasingly busy, comfortable lives, it wasn’t long before the concept gained momentum and spread across the continent to central Europe and the United States by 2012 .
Around the same time that food parcels were on the rise in the USA, the idea with the introduction of My Food Bag 2013, which was co-founded by star chef Nadia Lim, had also found its way to Aotearoa. A few years later came the slightly more gourmet Woop service (which stands for “world on our plate” in case you’re wondering), followed by the Bargain Box, a cheaper option launched by the My Food Bag team. Then, in 2018, HelloFresh came on the market – the German meal kit juggernaut that managed to capture a large part of the local market in less than three years.
As the Covid-19 lockdowns accelerate the growth in meal set deliveries, My Food Bag, Woop, Bargain Box and HelloFresh have had a lot to celebrate over the past two years. More people than ever are trying these “essential services” instead of the supermarket chaos, and while they all share the same business model, there are important differences, a recent study by consumer-centric research website MoneyHub points out.
Over the course of six months, the team subscribed to the four largest and most popular meal set delivery services in New Zealand and consumed over 100 different meals to directly compare almost every detail you could ask for, including cost, cooking time, and packaging waste ( Unfortunately, taste was deliberately left out because it was perceived as “too subjective”). We have summarized their key insights into which company did well in which areas. To read full details and see photos of each meal, go to MoneyHub website.
Prices and plans
Aside from the Bargain Box, which only offers two types of plans (classic and vegetarian), the remaining three offer meals tailored to a gluten-free or health-conscious diet, as well as a plant-based plan from My Food Bag that is completely vegan in ingredients . All three also have options that instead let you choose from a selection of recipes from different plans, with HelloFresh having the largest selection of recipes (20+) that you can combine and customize each week.
However, if you only want to get the most bang for your buck, the Bargain Box is your best bet, especially if you want to feed a large family or have multiple servings on hand. Designed to accommodate the largest number of people from all four services, a regular five meal plan can only cost $ 6.30 per plate for six people ($ 190 per week), $ 7.30 per plate for four people (140 USD per week). and $ 11.50 per plate for two ($ 115).
Remember: meal sets are designed so that the bigger your order (more servings, more meals), the cheaper it will be per plate.
HelloFresh (including the $ 10 delivery fee) ranks second in the price per platter. But with more than 20 recipes to choose from compared to Bargain Box’s eight recipes, HelloFresh has a far wider choice for just a few more dollars, especially if you have dietary requirements. However, it’s worth noting that there is an additional $ 5 delivery fee in the South Island.
Packaging and ingredients
Woop may be the most expensive of the four, but the comparison found that not only does it contain the highest quality local ingredients, but it also produces the least amount of waste. Its pre-made sauces and precisely portioned ingredients were found to leave the least amount of food waste and unused ingredients, while its recipes also required the fewest and simplest “pantry items” (ingredients not included).
Most of woops The packaging is made from materials that are suitable for roadside recycling, but Woop also gives you the option to return all of your packaging directly to the company (provided it is completely clean, dry, and food-free) that it at yours next order and properly recycled. This includes things like soft plastics as well as gel cold packs that are disinfected, frozen and reused for other woop deliveries.
Cooking and preparation
With regard to the actual preparation of the meals, the comparison showed that the preparation and cooking (carried out by one person) took significantly longer than all estimates of all four providers. Based on the recipes used during the comparison, the actual time taken to prepare meals averaged between 20 and 30 minutes longer than the average estimated times. Of course, this all depends on the speed and skills of whoever does the job, but if you’re your average home cook, it’s safe to say that it will likely take a little longer than any of these companies think.
However, among the four companies, the recipes were the fastest to prepare thanks to Woop’s pre-made sauces and sometimes pre-cooked vegetables, with an estimated time averaging 23 minutes, or around 40 minutes in reality. My Food Bag and HelloFresh (excluding the “fresh and quick” recipes that only take 15 minutes) were the second and third fastest with an estimated average time of 37 and 40 minutes, in reality around 55 and 60 minutes. The Bargain Box meals lasted the longest, with the 35-minute meals running closer to 65.
In the meantime, if you’re the cook who needs all the help you can get, comparing HelloFresh’s recipe cards proved to be the best of the group. Her detailed instructions included pictures of all the ingredients and each step of the cooking process, as well as a list of the utensils you need and suggestions as to whether you should prepare a particular dish earlier than another. The ingredients for each dish are also packaged in individually color-coded paper bags, so you can easily sort what you need each time you cook.
Which one is right for me?
No company does the best at everything, and all have their individual weaknesses. For example, Woop only delivers to certain cities, HelloFresh charges extra for the South Island, Bargain Box has little for those with dietary requirements, while My Food Bag often requires more unusual supplies such as whole grain mustard, rice vinegar and corn starch. It’s up to you to decide what is important and what is not, but here is which service, in MoneyHub’s opinion, is best.
“Best for people in large cities (because of their delivery areas) and plans for one person. Their estimated prep times are consistently shorter than those of the other companies, and while we didn’t necessarily finish the meals in the estimated time, they were faster than the other food companies we tried. All of their plans use high quality ingredients, but we especially liked their ‘Foodie’ plan as it is the only gourmet option on the market that is available for one, two or four people. “
“Best for people without much cooking experience, because the recipe cards are very detailed and the app helps too. [It also has the] largest selection of recipes to choose from and you get access to the HelloFresh cookbook with thousands of recipes. They offer a particularly good price-performance ratio for low-calorie and vegetarian recipes. “
My grocery bag
“Best for weight loss plans and herbal recipes, but there are many plans. Wide availability across New Zealand (according to their website, they serve 86% of New Zealanders). We have found that they use more adventurous spices than HelloFresh and Bargain Box, but also require more supplies for their preparation. “
“Best for the budget-conscious, families with more than four members or picky eaters, as the recipes are usually kiwi classics.”
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10 Kale Pasta Dishes, from Spaghetti to Lasagne!
Kale is a plant in the cabbage family, which also includes favorites like cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, arugula, and Brussels sprouts. Kale was nicknamed King Kale for its excellent nutritional profile and health benefits. It’s also tasty and easy to incorporate into many meals.
Kale is rich in vitamins A, K, C, B6, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium. It’s high in chlorophyll and contains 3 grams of protein per cup. In fact, a cup of raw kale contains more vitamin C, an important antioxidant, than an orange and is also one of the most well-known sources of vitamin K. Plus, kale is a good source of fiber and is low in fat and calories. This makes kale one of the most nutritious foods out there.
There are obviously many ways to include kale in your meals, from side dishes to smoothies to desserts. Here we have a list of the best ways to incorporate kale into your favorite pasta dishes.
1. Garden picnic noodle salad with vegetables, herbs and orange-miso-tahini dressing
Source: Garden picnic noodle salad with vegetables, herbs and orange-miso-tahini dressing / One Green Planet
Kale plays an important role in this garden picnic noodle salad with vegetables, herbs, and orange miso tahini dressing from The Whole Foods Diet. Pasta is tossed along with a rainbow of vegetables and topped with a creamy orange-miso-tahini dressing that adds a lemony touch. Here, kale is eaten raw. This is a quick toss-up meal and works wonderfully as leftovers.
2. Creamy kale and zucchini pasta
Source: Creamy kale and zucchini pasta/ A green planet
This is a great recipe for anyone looking for an alternative to wheat noodles. It is also ideal for this time of year when zucchini are in season. In this recipe for Creamy kale and zucchini pasta from Rouxbe, the kale is cooked with caramelized onions and stirred into the zucchini noodles. A creamy tahini sauce brings it all together.
3. A pot of creamy Tuscan kale pasta
Source: One Pot Creamy Tuscan Kale Pasta / One Green Planet
You can put this meal together in under 30 minutes. The creamy sauce of this One Pot Creamy Tuscan Kale Pasta by Shanika Graham-White is made from cashew nuts, which gives you a velvety texture and a protein boost. The kale is sautéed with garlic and tomatoes for a rich hearty taste.
4. Pasta Primavera
Source: Pasta Primavera / One Green Planet
This is a really simple dish that requires you to add some veggies and, of course, some kale to a jar of tomato sauce. This could be one you had in your pantry waiting for the perfect recipe. This Pasta Primavera recipe from Wholesome LLC is a perfect weekday meal.
5. Vegetable protein pasta salad bowl
Source: Plant Protein Pasta Salad Bowl / One Green Planet
This vegetable protein pasta salad bowl from Nikki and Zuzana call for red lentil noodles that add protein power, but you can use any pasta of your choice. You’re still getting plenty of protein from the black lentils and hemp heart-based dressing. Here kale is accompanied by its green friends spinach, rocket and many fresh herbs.
6. Kale Walnut Pesto Noodles
Source: Kale-Walnut-Pesto-Pasta / One Green Planet
This Mitra Shirmohammadi Kale Walnut Pesto Noodle Recipe couldn’t be easier. Aside from making a pot of pasta, all you need to do is put all of the ingredients in a blender to make a batch of this kale pesto. Kale is added to the pesto along with the traditional basil flavor. Walnuts are used in place of pine nuts and a healthy dose of nutritional yeast gives it that “cheesy” note.
7. Spaghetti a la Caesar
Source: Spaghetti a la Caesar / One Green Planet
This recipe for Spaghetti a la Caesar by Kim Sujovolsky is also easy to make. Kale is sautéed with garlic and mixed with the spaghetti. Then the dish is served with a serving of almond parmesan, lemon and chilli flakes.
8. Sweet potato noodles with garlic and cashew cream
Source: Sweet Potato Noodles with Garlic Cashew Cream / One Green Planet
Here’s another great gluten-free pasta option. This Garlic Cashew Cream Sweet Potato Noodle Recipe by Christine Zulkosky takes a creamy cashew sauce and serves it with sweet potato noodles, a generous helping of kale, and chunky mushrooms to give it a bite.
9. Soothing kale pesto pasta casserole
Source: Soothing Kale Pesto Pasta Casserole / One Green Planet
This soothing kale pesto pasta casserole from Florian Nouh is full of texture and flavor. The crust is made from gluten-free breadcrumbs and the noodles are tossed in a kale-based pesto. The whole dish is then baked for about 15-20 minutes. It’s a nice vegan version of a classic comfort food.
10. Kale lasagna
Source: Kale Lasagne / One Green Planet
We can hardly make a list of pasta favorites and leave out the lovely lasagna. This kale lasagna from Peffe Stahl is vegan and gluten-free. This is a really simple recipe that requires a soy or oat milk based bechamel sauce layered between sheets of vegan lasagna. The kale is then sautéed with onions before joining the bechamel.
Make your pasta dishes particularly tasty and nutritious with a generous helping of kale.
Learn How To Make Plant-Based Meals At Home!
It is known to help reduce meat consumption and eat more plant-based foods chronic inflammation, Heart health, mental wellbeing, Fitness goals, Nutritional needs, Allergies, good health, and more! Milk consumption has also been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, Prostate cancer and has many Side effects.
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based foods, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App – With over 15,000 delicious recipes, it is the largest herbal recipe source to reduce your ecological footprint, save animals and get healthy! And while you’re at it, we encourage you to find out about the environment and health benefits from a vegetable diet.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
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Types of Chocolate, Explained:
You’ve seen these numbers on fancy candy bar packaging, but what do chocolate percentages mean and which one should you choose? We’ll break it down so you can make the best chocolate choice possible.
When it comes to chocolate, I used to be part of the high cocoa cult. My favorite was 70 percent, with an 82.5 percent shot every now and then. However, the more I learned about chocolate, the more I realized that the percentage had nothing to do with quality: I had greasy 85 percent bars and fantastic 40 percent bars.
That’s because the cocoa percentage is the percentage of the bar that comes straight from cocoa beans. Take my beloved 70 percent bar as an example: 70 percent of this bar is made from refined cocoa beans, and 30 percent is made from all the other ingredients like sugar, vanilla, sea salt, pop rocks, whatever.
Just because you’ve tried a 70 percent bar doesn’t mean you’ve tried them all. Everyone has a unique mouthfeel and taste. (A genius came up with the fancy sounding “mouthfeel” to describe how things feel in the mouth. In practical terms, this means whether the chocolate is grainy or smooth, melts quickly or slowly, etc.) One reason is that one chocolate bar contains significantly more cocoa butter than another. Both cocoa solids and cocoa butter are included in this 70 percent.
As I write in my book, “Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution ”,“ A 70 percent bar could contain 50 percent cocoa mass and 20 percent cocoa butter; another could have 30 percent cocoa mass and 40 percent cocoa butter (that would make a very smooth, buttery bar!). To make it even more complicated, different types of beans naturally contain different amounts of cocoa butter. Some are leaner, others fatter. The natural “butteriness” of a bean changes the consistency of the resulting chocolate. “
Milk chocolate generally has a fairly low percentage, usually around 40 percent or less (Hershey’s is 11 percent). I’m in love with Zotter’s 40 percent bar diluted with “Bio Tiroler Bergmilch” and Frans smoked salt.
Dark chocolate has no legal definition in the United States (it comes under the umbrella term semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate). It’s usually at least 55 percent, but most dark chocolate lovers enjoy 70 percent or more. I’m obsessed with a new variety called dark milk chocolate, a high-proof milk chocolate that combines the best of both worlds: you get the intense flavors of dark chocolate with the creaminess of milk chocolate. My favorite right now? Chocolate Naive’s 62 percent dark milk with porcini mushrooms. (Yes, you read that right: mushrooms!)
Then there are some dark candy bars that stamp in at 100 percent. That said, they only contain ground and refined cocoa beans, and the trick for the chocolate makers is to bring out the natural flavors of these beans to make them not only edible but also enjoyable. The best – like those from Fruition and Pralus – are far from making chocolate. I urge you to try a 100 percent bar for Valentine’s Day: you might find your true love.
But don’t forget the white chocolate either.
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