ORGANIC HEIRLOOM BLACK BARLEY FLOUR (Treasure Life Farms)
Ingredients: wholegrain heirloom hulless black barley, 1901
Production: Barley is the first known domesticated plant in the world, first domesticated along with Einkorn, Emmer, and flax. Cultivated by early Halocene farming communities in Western Asia, these ancient grains formed the basis for systematic agriculture in the Middle East, North Africa, India, Persia, and later Europe.
This heirloom black barley grain grows in a loose hull which allows the processing of the whole grain thus preserving optimal nutritional qualities. It has not been grown for over 100 years and has become almost extinct before Ben and Claudia at Treasure Life Farms decided to follow their commitment to biodiversity and sustainability. On their certified organic farm, they cultivate this crop in rich alluvial soil in a “rotation and fallow” method, carefully rotating seed beds, ensuring sufficient nutrient buildup through cover cropping.
Grains are allowed to ripen at their own pace and are then harvested, cleaned, and stored in wooden granaries on their farm - all contributing to superior taste and nutritional value. Their flours are milled in small batches on a centrifugal mill which pulverizes the grains so finely that it requires no sifting and without any temperature increase, preserving optimal nutrient density of the flour.
Qualities: this organic, “high quality gluten” (see below), heirloom*, unsifted barley flour, is rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
“High quality gluten”: not all gluten is created equal. Since most people have been exposed to GMO gluten but not been sensitised to the ancient genetic composition of heirloom grains, even gluten sensitive individuals often have excellent tolerance to these heirloom grains.
*Heirloom or heritage plant varieties are open pollinated varieties that has been cultivated and passed down sometimes for thousands of years. They have evolved over time by natural or human selection exhibiting superior taste and complex aromas as well as a diverse mineral profile and higher vitamin contents. They also play a crucial role in protecting our continued food supply through preserving genetic diversity.
Common use: barley flour can replace up to ¼ of wheat flour, and in quick breads and other baked goods, can be used to replace up to ½ of the flour called for by the recipe. Barley flour adds an extra nutty flavor, loads of nutrition, and a wonderful tender texture.
From sweet to savoury applications, barley is recommended for cookies, cakes, muffins, pancakes, squares and quick breads, etc. Barley flour not only makes a healthy addition to your favourite baked goods but also may be used as a thickener for soups, stews and gravies.
Storage: keeps well in a sealed container in a cool, dry, and dark location