Sustainable Organic Gardening

Granddad’s lemon barley water

Lovely lemons

I love the flavour of lemons – lemon tart, lemon butter, gin and tonic with a twist of lemon… The humble lemon is also heralded as a cure of many maladies, from coughs and colds to halitosis and rheumatism.

Lemon barley water ingredients

My fondness for the not-so-humble lemon probably comes from happy memories of being in the kitchen while my grandfather recited Dylan Thomas – ‘rage, rage against the dying of the light’ as he made lemon barley water. He drank it every day and while I can’t say for sure it was because of the lemon barley water, he lived a long and healthy life till 89.

Recently I’ve started making lemon barley water myself because I was told it is a great liver detox. I certainly find it refreshing at the very least. If you find you have a surplus of lemons, consider making this great drink. It’s as simple as using organic pearl barley, lemons and water. Once made, you can use the cooked barley in soups, salads stews or even feed it to your dog. (My dog, Ebbie, who knows good food, loves barley!)

I thought I’d share my grandfather’s recipe with you, but before we get started, did you know that if you leave your harvested lemons in the fruit bowl two weeks before juicing they will yield you more juice than if squeezed just off the tree? Another tip when harvesting is to turn your secateurs upside down so you can cut close to the ‘button’ of the lemon at the end of the stem. That way you can get close and not leave stems to scratch your fruit. If the fruit gets scratched, it can invite disease that rots the fruit quickly.

Lemon Barley Water Recipe

  • 1 cup rinsed organic pearl barley
  • Juice of 3 organic lemons (more or less depending on your taste)
  • 2 litres of water
  • Honey to taste

Place water and barley in saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain off water from barley. Leave to cool and then add the lemon juice. You can add honey to taste if you wish. Store in the fridge. It’s that simple!

Lemon barley water

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