Inside Scoop: Rich and creamy vegan mushroom barley risotto.
Risotto is a magical food. So rich, so creamy, even without dairy added it has the ability to melt in your mouth.
The liquid + slow cook nature of risotto takes the once hard grain and makes it soft and creamy, but no one really associates risotto with grains other than the classic Arborio rice. But we’re not lying when we say that this barley risotto recipe is going to change the way you look at cooking risotto.
Simple ingredients, slow cooked, not too much stirring required, rich and creamy taste, rustic and filled with the wonderful mushroom and leek flavours, as well as an abundance of nutrients.
So, if you’re looking for healthy barley recipes, or healthy risotto recipes… this recipe is just for you.
A note on barley
Barley is an ancient cereal grain that’s been harvested in SE Asia and Ethiopia for over 10,000 years. Barley has a nutty taste and a pasta-like consistency. Because of its texture it makes a great whole grain for adding to soups and stews, and makes a rich and warming comfort food.
Barley up, it’s a smart play. Not only does it have all of the above benefits in a risotto, but we’ve jotted down a couple of health benefits it possesses as well. Check it out:
3 HOT FACTS ABOUT THIS VEGAN MUSHROOM BARLEY RISOTTO.
Great for your intestinal health. Barley is high in dietary fiber, providing food for your beneficial gut bacteria. Fiber also keeps food moving through your intestines, keeping you nice and regular.
High in niacin. Whole grains are incredibly high in B vitamins, but barley (specifically) is high in the B3 vitamin Niacin. Niacin can help protect against cardiovascular disease, and help to reduce cholesterol and lipoprotein (a) levels (which is similar to LDL cholesterol).
High in trace mineral copper. Copper is one of those trace minerals incredibly important for hair, skin, nails and bones. Copper has been shown to be useful for the activity of a specific enzyme that cross links collagen and elastin, which are vital components to provide flexibility in the blood vessels and joints.
As you see barley is a pretty awesome whole food, hence the reason why we uses it on a regular basis.
Check out our awesome recipe for Mushroom Leek and Barley Risotto below and get a meal that’s:
- High in protein & complex carbs
- High in fiber
- Tastes delicious!
Have you tasted barley risotto before? Drop a comment below with what you thought of it.
Creamy Mushroom, Leek & Barley Risotto
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 1.5 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 leek *see below on prepping leek
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 4 cups mushrooms sliced (mushrooms of choice)
- 1.52 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or white wine/ white wine vinegar
- 1 green onion to garnish (optional) or seasonal veggies
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup cheese (vegan) and optional, or if you're not a vegan goat cheese
- Bring 5 cups of broth to a boil, add barley, reduce heat to medium, cover and let simmer (this will be simmering for about 45 minutes).
- Meanwhile in another saucepan heat oil, add leeks, soften about 5-7 minutes.
- Add garlic, cook for apx. 1 minute.
- Add mushroom, salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add vinegar or wine, simmer for an additional 3-5 minutes, then remove from heat.
- Keep an eye on the barley, it will absorb water and bulk up. If the barley becomes dry add the rest of the broth 1/4 cup at a time. Continue to watch barley until its soft (about 45 minutes of cooking).
- When barley is cooked add the leek and mushroom mixture and goat cheese. Stir while warm.
- Top with garnish.