Barley is a type of grain you may not have considered serving as a breakfast cereal. Rich in fibre and minerals, it also contains B vitamins – and it has a lovely nutty flavour.
Most of us are familiar with pearl barley, which is most commonly used in soups and stews. And whilst pearl barley may be nutritious, an even better choice (if you can find it) is hulled barley, which undergoes the least processing and retains the most nutrients. That being said, hulled barley takes longer than pearl barley to cook – and its texture is a lot more chewy.
Today’s recipe calls for pearl barley, which is more widely available and a bit easier for baby to cope with (from around 6 months+).
The resulting dish makes a really tasty breakfast, which you can pop into a food processor and blend if your baby prefers (just add milk or extra yogurt for a smoother texture). Although we’ve suggested some tasty additions to include with the barley, you can experiment to discover a flavour combination that YOUR baby really enjoys!
Note: This recipe isn’t ideal if you’re rushing about first thing in the morning, because the barley takes a while to cook! You could try cooking it advance and warming a portion when needed, or you could freeze portions to thaw overnight and then warm in the morning! If you choose to freeze the barley, do so BEFORE you add the yogurt – that’s best done just before serving!
To Make Baby’s Creamy Barley Breakfast You Will Need…
8 fl oz (1 cup) apple juice
6 fl oz (3/4 cup) water
2 tbsp dried apricots, chopped
4 oz (1/2 cup) pearl barley
good pinch of cinnamon
Pour the apple juice and water into a pan and add the chopped apricots and cinnamon.
Bring to the boil.
Stir in the barley, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Cover the pot and cook for around 1 hour until the barley is tender. If the mixture looks too dry at any point, add more apple juice. By the end of the hour, the barley should have absorbed all of the juice.
The barley is now ready to eat, but to create a creamier texture for baby, stir in a good dollop of natural yogurt. You might also like to try stirring in mashed banana or applesauce, a combination our little one loves!
Don’t forget to let us know whether your little one enjoys his Creamy Barley Breakfast – and you can learn more about introducing barley to your baby (plus find lots more tasty recipes) here!
Looking for more breakfast ideas for baby?
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