Today, many consumers want less processed foods and are instead choosing whole foods for their meals and snacks. In Canada, even though our climate can be unpredictable and cold, we have a number of interesting homegrown ingredients that are often available year-round. So, let’s move past the stereotypical Canadian bacon and maple syrup, and explore three recipes featuring our homegrown barley—the ideal ingredient for your next spring brunch.

Barley Granola Fruit Yogurt Parfait

This delicious granola is made with barley flakes, oats, coconut, nuts, raisins, and my personal favourite, sunflower and sesame seeds. It becomes the special ingredient in the beautiful granola and fruit parfait for your next brunch. You can choose any fruits you and your guests desire. I like to combine it with strawberries and blueberries, especially when the Canadian ones are in season. I recommend using tall parfait glasses and begin layering with the granola. For extra protein and less sugar use Canadian made plain Greek 2% yogurt to complement the honey-sweetened granola.

Jane’s Meal Planning Tip
Make this granola a few days ahead and stored in an airtight container. Prepared granola makes brunch assembly a snap!

Barley Water

Spring is a time to refresh, renew and rejuvenate. For most of my clients, I don’t recommend expensive cleanses or fasting. Instead, I suggest a healthy dietary pattern and my healthy lifestyle equation: Energy = Food + Fitness + Sleep. I also recommend adding more plant-based foods, such as barley, to a healthy diet and drinking lots of water throughout the day. I love the simplicity of this barley water recipe; it uses homegrown barley to create a refreshing and delicious drink—and the perfect addition to your spring brunch menu. Barley water can be served hot or cold and garnished with lemons and mint leaves.

Jane’s Meal Planning Tip
The cooked barley can be refrigerated or frozen to add to salad, soups or this next recipe!

Brunch Hash Baked Eggs

These savoury bowls, made with homegrown barley, eggs and sausage, make a tasty little brunch dish. You can be prep the hash and refrigerate the individual ramekins the day before, then on the day of the brunch just top each portion with an egg before popping it into the oven. This recipe is easily customizable for those who don’t eat the same thing or if someone (like me) wants to add shredded aged cheddar cheese and honey mustard. The versatility of this delicious recipe has made it one of my favourite brunch dishes and I hope it becomes a favourite for you too.

Jane’s Meal Planning Tip
If using barley you’ve cooked ahead of time and stored in the fridge, add three to four extra minutes to the cooking time.

Final Thought
There’s no better way to enjoy brunch this spring than with delicious homegrown barley. Keep spring eating simple with wholesome ingredients and fresh flavours. Let me know what you create for your brunch menu with our favourite homegrown grain—barley!