Pearl Barley Risotto

Risotto – a creamy Italian rice dish and my inspiration for this delicious recipe I am bringing to you.

You might be wondering why I decided to use pearl barley for this iconic dish. Well, that’s because my only other option was basmati rice, I saw a bag of pearl barley (which I had never cooked with before this day) and I decided to challenge myself to create a dish with it.

This risotto is creamy and delicious with the lovely addition of vegetables to boost its nutrient count. The nutrients in this recipe include vitamin A, thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin (vitamin B-2), niacin (vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), folate (vitamin B-9), vitamin K, choline, magnesium, manganese, selenium, iron, copper, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, lutein + zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids and fibre. As usual, an explanation of the functions of these nutrients can be found in the Nutrient Index.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe.

Bon Appétit!



Pearl barley

Hot Water 

Red onions, finely chopped

Leek, chopped

Ginger, minced

Garlic, minced

Carrots, chopped

Tomatoes, chopped

Chilli powder

Black pepper

Sea salt

Smoked paprika


Almond milk

Dried mushrooms

Stock cube (optional)

Lime juice

0.5-1tbsp Soy sauce

1tsp Date syrup (or sweetener of choice)



  • In a saucepan, cook some pearl barley (on high heat) in enough boiling water to just cover the grains. The cooking process should take 10mins before all/most of the water has evaporated.
  • Add the chopped vegetables, herbs, spices and enough almond milk to cover all the contents of the pan.
  • Stir the contents well to ensure all contents are fully saturated and the barley is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Turn the heat down to medium/med-low and simmer the contents for approximately 35mins stirring occasionally and adding the dried mushrooms in, halfway through the cooking process and more almond milk, if needed.
  • During the last few minutes of cooking, stir in half a teaspoon of freshly squeezed lime juice (or as much as the juice of half a lime), soy sauce and date syrup or your sweetener of choice.
  • The pearl barley should be creamy and al dente (soft, but with a bit of a bite) or a little more than that when done cooking. If it is not, add more almond milk, give it a stir and continue the cooking process till you reach your desired consistency.




If you try the recipe, upload a picture of it to Instagram with the hashtag #lickyourplaterecipe so I can have a look at and like it.

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