Barley and orange porridge

This was inspired by an Yotam Ottolenghi barley and orange pudding. I thought it had breakfast written all over it, so I played around and made it more breakfast than pudding.  The barley does take a while to cook, so it’s worth making it the day before and then just warming it up in a pan with an additional glug of milk to soften it up again.

This has a much more ‘bitey’ texture than normal oat porridge, in fact it probably isn’t really a porridge at all, but the cooking and serving is similar so I think I can get away with it.  It also has more protein than oat porridge, and that has to be a good thing.

Barley & Orange porridge (makes two portions)

  • 125g pearl barley
  • 700ml coconut milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • One orange
  • Plus toppings of choice


In a saucepan put the barley, sugar, vanilla pod (scrap out the seeds and add these and then add the remaining pod as well), milk and the grated zest of the orange.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 50-60 minutes.  Keep checking in case you need to add a bit more milk. The barley should keep some of its bite.

Then either eat straight away and add your toppings, or cool and put in the fridge overnight.  Remember to take out the vanilla pods before eating.


Melt a bit of coconut oil (or other oil) into a small pan and add some orange segments and a bit of brown sugar.  Heat for a couple of minutes to soften and caramelise the orange.

Other toppings include:- cacao nibs, chocolate coconut yoghurt (truly lovely with this), sesame seeds work well too.




Cinnamon Barley bowl

I rarely get around to using Barley, it just seems to take so long to cook compared with other grains.  In an effort to eat more barley – (because it’s really good for you and has lots of fibre and protein!) – I pre cooked a load to eat during the week. This makes it much quicker to use for brekkie – so here is my first barley inspired brekkie bowl.  A great substitute for oats if you fancy something a little different and very quick to make.

Cinnamon Barley Bowl (serves one)

cinnamon barley

  • 100g cooked barley
  • 100ml almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Nutmeg – a good grating or 1/2 teaspoon ground
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraiche (or yoghurt or coconut cream)
  • 1 banana

Put the barley, milk, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg into a pan and bring to the boil.  Turn it down and add the tablespoon of crème fraiche.  Simmer for 3-4 minutes – keep checking it doesn’t run out of liquid and burn.

Just before serving slice a banana and mix it through.  Sprinkle a bit more nutmeg on top.