Quinoa vs. Barley

When my roommate moved out, she left behind some barley. I haven’t cooked with the stuff much, but it seemed easy enough, and I made a tasty salad of barley, broccoli, olives, tomatoes, balsamic and feta. I was very excited to bring it to work for the week until, out of nowhere, I felt slightly sheepish that it wasn’t quinoa.

Do I lose foody stripes for eating barley? I actually prefer the texture of barley, but is it secretly really bad for you? What am I missing?

In search of validation, I took to the internet to compare the nutritional value of the two grains. (Ok, quinoa’s a berry. Is that why everyone loves it?) Anyway, here are the findings, for one-cup cooked serving size:

Calories: 192
Fat: 1 g
Fiber: 6 g
Protein: 4 g
Calcium: 2% recommended daily value
Iron: 12% rdv

Calories: 222
Fat: 4 g
Fiber: 5 g
Protein: 8 g
Calcium: 3% rdv
Iron: 15% rdv

So, you see, quinoa’s way ahead in both protein and fat. So you know what I’m going to do? Go home and make a barley burger. I’m going to mix in some canellini beans (protein!), bread crumbs and an egg (more protein!), and I bet it will taste better than anyone’s quinoa burger.


    1. I find it fascinating and great nutritional information to know. Quinoa is all the rage right now and about 5 times the cost of barley.


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