Health experts have known for decades, a dietary plan of minimally processed foods, including a variety of plants, is a healthy option and promotes a healthy planet. Personally, I enjoy lean meat, fish and poultry as part my healthy diet; however, over the past five years I’ve added more plant-based foods and ingredients. Two of my top recommendations are to “go nuts” and “plant seeds” in your diet for nutrition, taste and texture. Let’s welcome spring and plant these three GoBarley recipes on your menu!

Overnight Barley Breakfast

Most people have busy schedules and want quick, convenient and nutritious foods to fit their lifestyle and this easy and versatile recipe is just the ticket. With a base of barley flakes and yogurt, it is easy to customize your breakfast with your favourite ingredients. I enjoy my barley breakfast with ground flaxseed, ½ cup (125 mL) of berries, chopped almonds or walnuts plus cinnamon and honey. Are you a smoothie fan? Use this base as the starting point. Just add fruit juice and the other ingredients, then start the blender!

Jane’s Meal Planning Tip
This recipe can be easily adjusted to make additional servings and will keep well in the refrigerator for up to two days. First morning it’s a bowl and the next a delicious smoothie. Yum!

Sunflower Barley Crackers

This recipe is effortless with only five ingredients: whole barley flour, finely ground sunflower seeds, canola oil, salt and water. Like all other seeds, sunflowers are nutrient-dense and calorie-dense. They contain high amounts of vitamin E—a powerful antioxidant, healthy fats, plus selenium and lignins that contribute to bone health. These nutritious crackers are delicious with pate, cheese and fruit. Plus they make an excellent on-the-go travel snack

Jane’s Meal Planning Tip
I use a coffee bean grinder to mill the sunflower seeds needed for the recipe but you can also use a blender or food processor.


Thai Beef and Barley Salad

Spring is a time of renewal and this Thai Beef and Barley Salad is a fresh twist on a classic pairing. Salads are a great way to pack more produce and nutrients into your diet. The combination of the crushed peanuts, fresh mint and fresh cilantro add nutrition, texture and flavour to traditional ingredients of beef and barley. Eating healthier meals this spring is an ideal way to support your healthy habits.

Jane’s Meal Planning Tip
I recommend using a low sodium soy sauce for the dressing to reduce the added salt in this flavourful salad.

Barley Bottom Line
Variety is the spice of life and adding more plant-based foods like barley, nuts and seeds to your diet can boost the nutrition, taste and texture of your meals. So go ahead and plant these three simple and delicious GoBarley recipes on your menu this spring.