Waking Up With Breakfast Barley


I’ve been in a food rut lately and desperately needed to try something new. There were caveats though. Since I haven’t been to the grocery store this week, the recipe had to be made with ingredients in my pantry and it had to be easy. It sounded like it was time to drag out the crockpot! After flipping through my cookbooks, I landed on the perfect recipe to try – I had everything but the pecans!

Orange-Flavored Breakfast Barley with Cranberries and Pecans

breakfast barley with coconut milk
Breakfast Barley with Vanilla Coconut Milk

This recipe comes from The Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Judith Finlayson. Breakfast Barley offers the same satisfaction as a hardy bowl of creamy oatmeal but is a nice twist. Slightly different in texture and flavor, I loved how the orange flavor came through. Here’s Judith’s recipe:


  • 3 cups water (I used 2 cups of water and 1 cup of vanilla coconut milk)
  • 1/2 cup whole (hulled barley, rinsed and drained (I used pearled barley)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 TBS finely grated orange zest
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans (I skipped these but they would make it even better)
  • Milk, milk substitute, sugar, honey or maple syrup for topping


1. Lightly grease slow cooker. Combine water, barley, dried cranberries, orange zest and salt, stir to combine. Place a folded dish towel (2 layers) over slow cooker to absorb moisture and cover with lid. Cook on LOW for 8 hours (or overnight) or on HIGH for 4 hours. Stir well and garnish with pecans and other toppings if desired.

Makes 6 servings, this recipe can easily be halved.

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By Heidi Van Heel
Heidi Van Heel

Heidi Van Heel

Writer, freelancer, and believer in magic living in Minneapolis. In my free time, I love reading, exploring the great outdoors, and experimenting in the kitchen.

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