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Pearl barley risotto

Although it takes a bit of time, this is a fabulous risotto using pearl barley which gives a different taste to a risotto using arborio rice and adds a lovely nutty flavour. The beta-glucans in pearl barley also have a cholesterol lowering effect, so combined with the portion of Flora ProActiv this recipe provides, the 2.5 portions of fruit and vegetables per person and that it is low in fat and saturated fat, this really is a cholesterol-friendly recipe.
  • cookingtimeCooking time1 hour 0 minutes
  • preparation timePrep time5 minutes
  • servingsServings2 portions
recipe image Pearl barley risotto


  • 20 grams Flora ProActiv Light
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 courgette chopped
  • 80 grams frozen peas
  • 160 grams spinach
  • 150 gram pearl barley
  • 1 reduced-salt vegetable stock cubes crumbled
  • 1200 ml water boiled
  • 1/2 tsp mixed herbs
  • black pepper

Nutritional facts

Energy (kcal)479 kcal
Energy (kJ)2018 kJ
Protein (g)14.4 g
Carbohydrate incl. fibre (g)75.4 g
Carbohydrate excl. fibre (g)74.1 g
Sugar (g)9.7 g
Fibre (g)6.6 g
Fat (g)12.5 g
Saturated fat (g)2.6 g
Unsaturated fat (g)6.5 g
Monounsaturated fat (g)5.1 g
Polyunsaturated fat (g)1.4 g
Trans fat (g)0.0 g
Cholesterol (mg)0 mg
Sodium (mg)763 mg
Salt (g)1.61 g
Vitamin A (IU)6439 IU
Vitamin C (mg)44.0 mg
Calcium (mg)134 mg
Iron (mg)4.59 mg
Potassium (mg)912 mg


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan.
  2. Gently fry onion and courgette.
  3. When soft, add the pearl barley and fry for 1 minute.
  4. Add 200ml boiling water and the crumbled stock cube and stir well.
  5. Season with black pepper and mixed herbs.
  6. As the water becomes absorbed, add more in small amounts, continually stirring, until the pearl barley becomes soft (approximately 50 minutes).
  7. About 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the frozen peas.
  8. When the pearl barley is almost soft but is slightly firm to the bite, add the spinach to wilt into the risotto.
  9. When wilted, remove the risotto from the heat. Melt the Flora ProActiv into the risotto and serve.