healthy lunches, blueberry barley muffin

Food, love and blueberry barley muffins

Carol Harrison Healthy Lunch Ideas, Healthy Snack Ideas, Recipes, Yummy Lunch Club Leave a Comment

Photo credit: GoBarley

When you were a kid and got sick I bet you got soup.

When I was sick I got green grapes…

In our household with five kids, grapes were a rare splurge reserved for times when we were sick. Guaranteed once those grapes arrived you instantly had a room full of siblings fighting to get a spot in the bed to share the grapes. Of course, the dog would often be there begging for grapes too and as I recall she was quite the expert at catching grapes thrown into the air.

I suppose it’s the love that comes with caring for a sick family member that really makes these food memories stick.

My daughter was recently ill for two months straight. Eating made her feel worse. At one point the doctor ordered no exercise as it was too much strain on her little heart.

While the doctors scratched their heads trying to find out what was wrong I kept some sense of control trying to figure out what she could eat (after all I am a dietitian this is my life’s work). She often could manage these Blueberry Barley Muffins – you can replace 1/2 to all of the all-purpose flour with barley flour in muffin, cookie and scone recipes (see 5 Surprising things to know about barley – Quiz!). I replaced the milk with a high-calorie liquid meal replacement to boost the nutrition and make every bite count.

Seeing her eat was gratifying in the same way when your new born struggles then gets that perfect latch and you know she is getting nourishment (and your engorged breasts some relief!).

My daughter is on the mend and has offered to make me these muffins whenever I’m sick.

Food is definitely love.

What food memories do you have from when you were sick as a kid?

Do you have a question about baking with barley flour? Email

You may also be interested in 5 ways to work barley into school lunches.





Blueberry barley muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Dietitian's tip: One cup of barley flour adds a whopping 16 grams of fibre to your recipes! See 5 surprising things to know about barley. I've added 2 tbsp ground flaxseed to the original GoBarley recipe because it's such a simple way to boost the fibre of any muffin recipe you have on hand. Kids Cook* Younger kids can crack and beat the eggs, measure and pour the milk and stir ingredients. Older kids can likely manage most of the recipe on their own with supervision. Use your judgement with kids using the oven.
Serves: 12
  • 2 cups (500 mL) whole barley flour
  • ½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) ground flaxseed
  • 4 tsp (20 mL) baking powder
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) canola oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tray, or line the cups with paper liners.
  3. In a large bowl, combine barley flour, sugar, ground flaxseeds, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and blueberries.
  4. In a small bowl, lightly beat eggs; stir in milk and oil and pour into the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.
  5. Spoon batter into each muffin cup until almost full.
  6. Bake for 18 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched in the centre.
Freezer friendly: Freeze extra muffins for 2-3 months.

Tip: I use fresh berries in season and frozen at other times. The frozen berries work great. They don't need to be thawed. Just dump the frozen berries into the batter and gently stir unless of course you want blue muffins!

Image and recipe source: GoBarley

*All “Kids Cook!” ideas are meant as a guide only. You know what your child can safely manage. Make sure they understand your rules for working in the kitchen safely. Always supervise kids in the kitchen and have fun!

Would love to hear from you!