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Pulses and Barley: Great Alone, but a Protein Power House Together SEP 25 2014 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of Pulse Crop News.

Alberta Barley’s Linda Whitworth has long touted the nutritional benefits of eating barley with pulses, so it is by design that delicious recipes featuring barley and pulses together are a staple of the cookbook that she recently co-wrote.

“The amino acid component is slightly different between barley and pulses, so by combining them, you end up with the correct combination of amino acids to get a complete protein,” she explained. “They’re really nice together because they have different but interesting nutty flavours that really complement each other.”

Whitworth, who co-authored Go Barley: Modern Recipes for an Ancient Grain with Pat Inglis, noted that pulses and barley each thicken soups well, and provide a rich flavour for a variety of dishes, but especially soups, stews and salads.

“The flavour profile is wonderful,” she said. “When we were first promoting Go Barley, the recipe that I made for 15 of the 18 TV stations was the Black Bean Barley Salad because it is so delicious, so pretty, so filling and throws together quickly. It’s also an absolutely fabulous vegetarian meal.”

Whitworth recalled promoting the consumption of pulses as a good alternate source of protein to vegetarian high school students when she ran Beef in the Classroom workshops.

Currently, Whitworth is the market development manager for Alberta Barley, as well as a home economist with an extensive background in the food industry. She is the host of “Linda in the Kitchen” on, which profiles recipes from this cookbook and other sources. In the spring of 2013, she completed a whirlwind media tour promoting barley across Canada and informing consumers about the health benefits of eating barley.

Despite all of the excitement in the kitchen, Whitworth never forgets about the farmers who grow the key ingredients. The book’s dedication reads: To the farmers – those men and women who make sure we have food on our tables.

“It’s wonderful to work with organizations like Alberta Pulse, Alberta Canola and Alberta Wheat,” she said. “A lot of the crops are grown by the same farmers. It is to everyone’s advantage if farmers are benefitting from growing these crops.”

Whitworth said that she is excited about the new Barley Falafel with Chickpeas recipe that will soon be added to the Go Barley website, saying: “They’re baked, and they’re amazing!”

This is one of many new recipes that Whitworth is working on for a new cookbook that she hopes to be available in time for Christmas 2015.

The current Go Barley cookbook is available at most bookstores, some grocery stores and online. Check out one of Whitworth’s favourite winter recipes from the cookbook below.