Lemon Barley Water

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It’s a rainy March morning. We all have colds. We’re sneezing, coughing, and blowing our noses. Lemon Barley Water is just what the doctor ordered.

This beverage is strangely familiar. It’s reminiscent of Snapple. It’s rich and flavorful.

Barley has soluble and insoluble fiber, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. It can also lower cholesterol.

Regular consumption of barley water will cleanse your kidneys and keep them toxin free. Decades ago, it was used as a sort of sports drink given to farmers working in the fields.

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This recipe came from the same Irish cookbook as the Brown Soda Bread. It’s quick and easy and so very delicious.

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This recipe makes enough for 2 servings but you’ll definitely want to double it. I used a vegetable peeler to obtain the strips of zest.

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While the barley and zest is simmering with water, the juice is squeezed out of the lemons and reserved. Go ahead and put a dab of lemon juice on your wrists and the nape of your neck. It’s the perfect natural perfume.

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The barley and zest is strained out and discarded, leaving a fragrant full bodied liquid. The reserved lemon juice is added along with a bit of honey to taste. It’s then chilled.

Lemon Barley Water

(recipe adapted from Real Irish Food by David Bowers)

  • 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup pearl barley
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup honey (to taste)

Trim the zest off the lemons in long strips, avoiding the bitter white pith. Put the strips of zest in a medium saucepan with the barley and the water. Squeeze the lemon juice into a cup and reserve.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently for a half hour, until barley is soft. Strain out and discard the barley and zest.

Stir in the reserved lemon juice and honey. Chill before drinking. Store in a glass bottle or jar in the refrigerator for up to three days.

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