It seems that every year the gunk in the air settles in, the goobangoo gets passed from house to house, the sniffles, sneezes and coughs are ‘shared’ though not welcome at all, and the body aches.
Since we can’t hibernate till spring, regrettably, when all this too familiar scene started again a few years back, I went on a search for something to ward off the yucky stuff when it came a knocking at my door. I found a recipe that Alton Brown had up with barley. I was surprised to learn that barley had so many nutrients and by cooking and straining off the water, you can add to the vitamin rich water other fabulous natural anti-oxidant’s to chase the germs and gunk away!
I make this up in big batches and freeze it. Then, as soon as I feel a bit icky, I pull get this out, my weapon of germ warfare, and it has really worked many times. I use the cooked barley in soups, on top of green salads for extra protein, in meat loaf or meat balls – so many ways. It freezes well for later use so there is no waste.
5 cups water
1 cup hulled or pearl barley (not the quick cooking type)
2 lemons, washed and rinsed off
5”-6” fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup honey
12 oz. can of frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed, do NOT add water
Place the water and barley into a medium to large saucepan (it tends to boil over); cover, set over high heat and bring to a boil.
Once the barley comes to a boil, decrease the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until it is tender but a bit chewy to the bite.Meanwhile, while the barley is cooking, peel the lemons, using care not to cut into the white pith.Juice the lemons and pour the juice, along with the lemon peel into a 3-quart pitcher.Peel the ginger root and slice into 1/4″ – 1/3″ slices.Add the ginger root slices into the pitcher with the lemon juice and lemon peel.When the barley is cooked, strain the barley water mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the pitcher, which as the lemon peel mixture. Allow to sit for 2-3 hours on the counter to steep.Next, strain the lemon peel mixture into a container, add in the orange juice concentrate and honey, stirring well to combine. Store the liquid in the refrigerator. Best served chilled. Use within 4 days. Makes approximately 32 oz.
If you do not use within 4 days, you can freeze in your choice of serving portions in ice cube trays, then pop them out and store in baggie size zip lock bags or small containers to thaw and drink when feeling sick with flu, cold, etc. OR pour directly into the baggie or container and thaw when ready to use.
*Use the barley in a soup or another recipe. You can freeze it easily also for use later on.
I am not a doctor, nor trained in any way medically, nor claim to be. Please see your physician with any questions about these products, recipes or ingredients and use at your own discretion and responsibility. I waive all responsibility medically or any otherwise.
Carrie Groneman’s original recipe. Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2016
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