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Fix a Healthy Breakfast of Barley Porridge

Updated on November 4, 2014

Barley Porridge with Berries

Barley Berry Porridge (Ohraryynipuuro)
Barley Berry Porridge (Ohraryynipuuro) | Source

Try Berry Barley Porridge for a Healthy Breakfast

Hot breakfast cereal has been a family Christmas tradition since I was a child. My mother would always make Riisipuuro or a hot rice porridge. It is one that I've carried over to my own children, but I wanted a healthier option that didn't use white rice.

Enter barley, an ancient grain that is making a comeback due to it's flavor, chewy nuttiness, adaptability and the many health benefits. Barley is a very versatile; it can be eaten a sweet cereal, a savory side dish as a substitute for rice or risotto and as the grain ingredient in soups and stews.

Barley Porridge (Vandgrød in Danish or Ohraryynipuuro in Finnish) is a healthful breakfast treat especially when topped with beautiful colorful anti-oxidant rich berries and nuts.

To give you more reasons (other than taste) to try barley, I've included several of the health benefits along with links to articles with even more information on the benefits of eating barley and even more barley porridge recipes.

Barley Berry Porridge copyright (c) 2013 by Kirsti A. Dyer

Barley Porridge with Pomegranates and Coconut

Barley Porridge with Pomegranate Seeds
Barley Porridge with Pomegranate Seeds | Source

Barley with Pom and Coconut by Migle. Used under a Creative Commons License.

Barley can be used as a delicious breakfast cereal, in soups and stews.

It is also a great rice substitute for dishes such as risotto.

— Dr. Perricone

Basic Barley Porridge Recipe with Berries

Blackberries and Longonberry Jam on Barley Porridge

Barley Berry Porridge
Barley Berry Porridge | Source

Berry Blast Barley Porridge Recipe

Barley Porridge is a wonderful healthy breakfast treat especially when topped with a handful of colorful berries.

Cooking the barley before you make the porridge can take quiet a bit of time. One trick I found to making it quicker is by using the 10 minute barley that I found at Trader Joe's.

Another option would be to soak the grain overnight before cooking, which works best for those who plan their meals significantly in advance.

Adjust the thickness of the porridge by adjusting the amount of milk. Add less milk for thicker porridge, more milk for thinner porridge.

Serves 4

Barley Porridge topped with blackberries and lingonberry jam, cinnamon and cane sugar copyright (c) 2013 by Kirsti A. Dyer.

Organic Pearled Barley on Amazon

Arrowhead Mills, Pearled Barley, Organic, 28 oz
Arrowhead Mills, Pearled Barley, Organic, 28 oz

A serving of barley is 1/4 of a cup or 44 grams.

The price on this pearled barley works out to less than $ 0.50 a serving.

That's a pretty inexpensive breakfast.


Quick Cooking Barley

Mothers Quick Cooking Barley, 11 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Mothers Quick Cooking Barley, 11 Ounce (Pack of 12)

Quick cooking barley makes for a faster morning breakfast option (or you can make it the night before and just reheat).


Barley Porridge Ohraryynipuuro

5 stars from 1 rating of Barley Porridge

Making Barley Porridge

Time required: 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours


  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) package of pearl barley
  • 2 cups milk of choice
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • Optional: 1/2 cup dried berries (cherries, cranberries, blueberries, lingonberries)
  • Toppings: cinnamon, sugar, fresh or dried fruit


  • Pan or pot with lid

Measure the Barley

Measure the Barley
Measure the Barley | Source


1. Cook the barley first according to package directions.

(10 to 30 minutes depending on the type of barley)

Cook for 10 to 30 Minutes

Cooked Barley to be Strained
Cooked Barley to be Strained | Source

2. Strain barley.

Cooking Barley with Milk

Cooking Barley with Milk
Cooking Barley with Milk | Source

3. Place the cooked pearl barley, milk, sugar, and salt in a pan or pot.

4. Cook this mixture in covered pot for 30 minutes over low heat.

5. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Barley Porridge is Ready

Barley Porridge ready to Eat
Barley Porridge ready to Eat | Source

6. Mixture will becomes a creamy porridge.

7. Add dried berries to the mixture if desired. Stir to mix well.

(If you want softer dried berries, add them at the beginning)

Barley Porridge with Berries and Nuts

Adding Extras to Barley Porridge
Adding Extras to Barley Porridge | Source

8. After the porridge is done top with berries, nuts, cinnamon, sugar (or molasses) and your choice of milk.

This serving of barley is topped with

  • Fresh blackberries
  • Lingonberry jam
  • Cinnamon
  • Cane sugar
  • Milk

Toppings for Your Barley Porridge

Lingonberry Jam

Sweet Barley Porridge Toppings

Barley is a very versatile grain. You can eat it as a sweet cereal or as a savory side dish.

  1. Berries - fresh, jam or dried

    Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, lingonberries, cranberries, currants

  2. Fruit - mangoes, bananas, apples, peaches, pomegranates
  3. Nuts - chopped almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts
  4. Coconut - unsweetened
  5. Chocolate - chips, shavings

Extras on Amazon

Extras that you might want to add to your barley porridge.

Discover the Many Health Benefits of Barley

A Simple Grain with Many Health Benefits

Cooked Barley
Cooked Barley | Source

Barley fibre helps reduce cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease.

3 grams of barley beta-glucan per day is effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels.

— Health Canada

Health Benefits of Barley

With both soluble and insoluble fiber providing significant health benefits, barley can be considered to be a Superfood. The soluble fiber helps in lowering blood cholesterol and the insoluble fiber helps promote a health digestive tract by serving as a food source for intestinal bacteria.

The fiber in barley helps to slow down starch digestion, which may be how barley helps in keeping blood sugar levels stable.

A summary of just some of the many health benefits of barley from the Whole Grains Council.

  1. Barley helps control blood sugar and lower blood glucose.

    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2010; 91(1):90-7. Epub 2009 Nov 4.

  2. Barley reduces blood pressure.

    Journal of the American Dietetic Association, September 2006; 106(9):1445-9

  3. Barley lowers serum lipids.

    Annals of Family Medicine, March-April 2009; 7(2):157-63

  4. Barley lowers cholesterol and visceral fat.

    Plant Foods and Human Nutrition, March 2008; 63(1):21-5. Epub 2007 Dec 12.

  5. Barley provides greater satiety (feeling of fullness).

    Unpublished study.

  6. Barley is a very good source of fiber and selenium. It is a good source of several minerals.

Barley (Hulled)

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 100 grams (3.5 ounces)
Calories 354
Calories from Fat18
% Daily Value *
Fat 2 g3%
Saturated fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 1 g
Carbohydrates 73 g24%
Sugar 1 g
Fiber 17 g68%
Protein 12 g24%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 12 mg1%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Videos on Health Benefits of Barley

Find out more on the health benefits of barley from citytvofficial, two videos from CTVOttawaMorningLive and another from WinnipegShawTV all that feature Linda Whitworth of the Alberta Barley Counsel and one from Chef Robert.

Benefits of Barley

Barley is a Superfood

Barley is a Superfood - Part 2

Barley Benefits - Video

Healthy Grains - Barley

Barley Recipes

More Barley Porridge Recipes

The recipe for barley porridge with mangoes and porridge is something I am going to be trying very soon.

Finding Barley

Quick Cooking Barley on Amazon

Quick cooking barley options, if you don't have the time to cook the grain from scratch.

Have You Tried Barley?

How do you like to eat your barley? Sweet or Savory?

Comment on Barley for Morning Breakfast

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    Post Comment

    • HealthfulMD profile imageAUTHOR

      Kirsti A. Dyer 

      5 years ago from Northern California

      @SteveKaye: Since it is to good for you too, it is double yum, yum.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great idea! I like to eat grain-based breakfasts. Yum.

    • HealthfulMD profile imageAUTHOR

      Kirsti A. Dyer 

      5 years ago from Northern California

      @Merrci: It is really healthy - great source of fiber, whole grains and helps with maintaining blood glucose levels.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      5 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Love barley, but never thought of it for breakfast. Thanks for sharing this. I'll give it a try.

    • HealthfulMD profile imageAUTHOR

      Kirsti A. Dyer 

      5 years ago from Northern California

      @thesatanrecords: I like them too.

    • thesatanrecords profile image

      The Satan Records 

      5 years ago from The Satan Records

      pomegranates one of the healthier fruits :)

    • HealthfulMD profile imageAUTHOR

      Kirsti A. Dyer 

      5 years ago from Northern California

      @anonymous: Enjoy your breakfast!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thank you :)

    • HealthfulMD profile imageAUTHOR

      Kirsti A. Dyer 

      5 years ago from Northern California

      @captainj88: It is a good one.

    • HealthfulMD profile imageAUTHOR

      Kirsti A. Dyer 

      5 years ago from Northern California

      @tranlubakiet: Enjoy your healthy breakfast.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      Thanks! Looks like a recipe I would enjoy all year long.

    • Stephanie36 profile image


      5 years ago from Canada

      We always make eggs, bacon, toast, and fruit. But this looks great for another day! Very yummy.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      iam hungry now

    • HealthfulMD profile imageAUTHOR

      Kirsti A. Dyer 

      5 years ago from Northern California

      @Kim Milai: Plus the lingoberries and pomegranates are filled with antioxidants!

    • HealthfulMD profile imageAUTHOR

      Kirsti A. Dyer 

      5 years ago from Northern California

      @Diaper Bag Blog: Thank you. Barley porridge is wonderful.

    • HealthfulMD profile imageAUTHOR

      Kirsti A. Dyer 

      5 years ago from Northern California

      @Elyn MacInnis: Will have to look up Stollen. Always fun to try something new.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 

      5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      We always have homemade stollen for Christmas morning - but this sounds wonderful. It is easy to get stuck on oatmeal...

    • Diaper Bag Blog profile image

      Stanley Green 

      5 years ago from Czech Republic

      I am a serious porridge fan and this lens is just amazing! Thanks for those superb recipes!

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 

      5 years ago

      Oatmeal but this beats all! I will definitely try it with pomegranate. I LOVE lingonberry too!


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