Barley is a super whole-grain must-eat this Ramadan, it is naturally low in fat as well as excellent for lowering cholesterol, due to its fiber content. It helps to maintain a healthy gut by feeding the healthy bacteria and it has a low glycemic load, which means it keeps blood sugar balanced, helping you stay fuller for longer. It is also high in selenium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium, as well as being rich in amino-acids.
It is common to eat it in stews and as a substitute to rice, but I have included some sweet recipes using the whole grain flour as an alternative snack during Ramadan when you want something to keep you going… Enjoy!
Spiced barley pancakes:
1/2 cup self-raising flour
1 cup whole grain barley flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
Grated rind of 1 lime
Juice and grated rind of 1 satsuma
½ cup raisins
½ cup ground almonds
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 cup naturally sweetened almond milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
Combine the dry ingredients and then gently add the other ingredients. Ensure fully combined, but don’t over-mix. Cover and leave in the fridge for about 30 mins.
Lightly coat a heated non-stick frying pan with coconut oil and place 1-2 tablespoons of the batter onto the pan. Repeat this for as many pancakes you can fit on your pan, allowing some space between them. When bubbles start to appear, flip over. Stack and cover with a tea towel as you cook.
While they are still warm drizzle with melted butter and honey or melted coconut oil and date syrup.
Barley carrot and pineapple energy muffins:
½ cup whole grain barley flour
½ cup white spelt flour
2/3 cup oatmeal
¾ cup coconut sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp Himalayan salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup finely grated carrot
½ cup crushed pineapple
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon cashew nut butter
½ cup chopped dates
½ cup coconut chips.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the coconut oil with the cashew nut butter and vanilla and add to the dry ingredients along with the egg, grated carrot and crushed pineapple. Gently fold all the ingredients, add the chopped dates and coconut chips, combine but don’t over-mix.
Place 1-2 tablespoons in mini muffin tray holes or can place 1 tablespoon onto a greased baking tray and bake as soft cookies.
Bake as mini-muffins for at 180 ˚C for approx 20 mins. Bake as soft cookies at 180 ˚C for approx 10 mins.
Allow to cool on racks before storing and keep in the fridge. Take out of the fridge 10 mins before serving.
Squash, kale and feta frittata
1 onion, chopped
Half a squash, peeled and chopped into chunks
Half a bag of kale, torn off the stems and chopped
Half a packet of goat’s feta, chopped into small pieces
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 table spoon of coconut oil
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
½ teaspoon coriander powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
5 eggs, beaten
½ cup milk
¼ tsp Himalayan salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven 180 ˚C.
Add the coconut oil to a hot wok and add the chopped onions, sauté for about 5 mins then add the squash, sauté for another 5 mins, then add the kale and the seasoning and spices, lightly sauté for a few mins. Spread out into a glass or ceramic baking dish approx 9 x 12˝.
In a mixing bowl crack the five eggs and add the nutmeg, ¼ tsp of salt and the milk, beat with a balloon whisk. Sprinkle the feta chunks evenly across the vegetables and pour the egg mixture over, place the halved cherry tomatoes across the top of the dish.
Place in the oven and bake for approx 30-40 mins until the egg is set and the top browned.
Grate parmesan cheese on top, if desired
This is a dish commonly eaten in Libya, using the Mediterranean vegetables of the region. It is usually served cold and so makes a hearty companion to a large salad or a frittata with hummus and warmed flat bread.
Tabbahaj: Libyan-style grilled vegetables
3 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 courgette, sliced length-ways
1 aubergine, sliced lengthways
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
Olive oil for grilling
Himalayan salt for grilling
1 tin chopped tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
Place the aubergine slices on a flat plate and rub salt onto each side. Put the slices on top of each other with kitchen paper between each layer, place a few plates on top to create a weight. This will draw and squeeze some water out of the aubergine allowing it to grill better. Leave for about 30 mins. Meanwhile, rub olive oil onto the other prepared vegetables and lay out on a baking tray, sprinkle with salt and place under a hot grill. Turn occasionally ensuring they don’t burn. Meanwhile in a saucepan heat the tinned tomatoes, until almost simmering, add the crushed garlic, salt and spices. Allow to simmer for 20-30 mins. Blend into a smooth liquid. Take off the heat.
When the other vegetables are ready, take them out of the oven and while they are cooling, prepare the aubergine by removing the plates, paper and soaking up any excess liquid. Rub olive oil on both sides of each slice, place onto an oiled baking tray, drizzle a little more oil and sprinkle with salt. Place under a hot grill, keep turning until browned and cooked, taking care not to allow them to burn or become crispy.
In a glass or ceramic dish start by putting a little sauce at the bottom, place a layer of the grilled potatoes onto the sauce, followed by the courgettes, aubergines and peppers, add some sauce and keep layering in this way until all the sauce and vegetables are used up.
Garnish with coriander.
Jasmin Izagaren is a Naturopathic Iridologist, Master Herbalist, Abdominal Sacral Massage therapist and Permaculturist. She has worked in the complementary health field for over 10 years in both Britain, where she has held workshops in London’s Notting Hill, and the UAE with private clients including members of Abu Dhabi’s royal family. She currently lives in London.
Editor: Seyi Kareem