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Is Barley Gluten-Free? A Comprehensive Guide

by Zarmeen Zia
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Is Barley Gluten-Free? A Comprehensive Guide

So, check it out, barley is a dope grain that’s been around for mad long and can be used in all sorts of tasty dishes like soups, stews, salads, and sides. But for peeps who can’t handle gluten cuz of celiac or intolerance, they might be like, “Yo, is barley gluten-free or what?” Ya, feel me?

Aight, so in this piece, we’re gonna dig into the link between barley and gluten and give you all the deets you need to make smart decisions regarding your grub. Let’s get it!

Listen up, peeps! This article is fire, and you gotta peep at these sick recipes: “Cooking Barley“. Think I’m lying? Chill, my homies! I’m telling ya, give these dishes a go – they’re straight fire.

What is Gluten?

Listen up, folks! Gluten is a protein that’s chillin’ in some grains like wheat, barley, and rye. It’s what makes the dough stretchy and gives baked goods that fire texture. But watch out, cuz it’s also hiding in tons of processed foods too.

If you’re one of the homies who have celiac disease or can’t handle gluten, then eating that stuff can lead to some whack symptoms like gut problems, feeling drained, joint pain, and more. Not cool, right?

Is Barley Gluten-Containing?

Yep, it’s got gluten in it. It’s got this thing called hordein that’s a gluten protein and can set off an allergic reaction in folks with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Barley’s one of the top three grain culprits for gluten, right up there with wheat and rye.

Can People with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance Consume Barley?

Folks who can’t handle gluten or have celiac disease should steer clear of barley. It can mess up your insides and give you all sorts of issues. Even a touch of gluten can set off an autoimmune attack that tears through the walls of your gut.

If you’re someone who can’t stand gluten or is sensitive to it, you might not know what’s what. Some folks can handle little bits of gluten, but for others, it’s a serious problem.

If you think gluten’s not your friend, go talk to a health expert to figure out what you should do next.

Gluten-Free Barley Alternatives

Hey, if you’re dealing with celiac or gluten issues, then barley’s a no-go. But no stress, there are plenty of other options out there that are gluten-free and can fill in for barley in your meals. Peep these top picks for some dope gluten-free subs:


Yo, quinoa is a dope grain that’s free of that gluten mess and has mad protein and nutrients. You can whip it up just like barley in soups and salads and it’s all good.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is a dope grain that is gluten-free and can replace barley. It’s loaded with fiber and other good stuff and can be cooked in water or any liquid you want.

Brown Rice


Don’t let the name fool ya, Bucky ain’t got no relation to wheat, it’s gluten-free, unlike barley. Plus, it’s got a dope nutty taste that goes well in all kinds of food, like oatmeal or flapjacks.


Millet is a tiny, wheatless grain that packs a punch with its high levels of protein and fiber. You can cook it up and swap it in for barley in hearty meals, such as pilafs and stews.


Sorghum is a grub that’s free of gluten unlike barley and packed with fiber and rad antioxidants. It’s not too strong in taste and can be swapped in for barley in pots of soup, stews, and hot dishes.

Tapioca Pearls

Tapioca pearls are made from the underground part of the yucca plant and don’t contain gluten, unlike barley. You can whip up a sweet treat using them or dump them in your chowder for added thickness.


Cornmeal is a gluten-free flour that is commonly used in baking. It also comes in handy when you want to make your soup or stew a bit more robust.

Barley and Gluten-Free Labeling

So, in America, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is like, “Listen up, if your food is packaged and has wheat, rye, barley, or their mixed breeds in it, you gotta label that bad boy as havin’ gluten.”

So no matter how minor the gluten is, if there’s barley in your product, you gotta label that it’s got gluten.

But, there’s some wiggle room to this norm. Like, if a product has under 20 “thingies per million” of gluten, it’s allowed to be called “gluten-free” or “not that much gluten.” Scientists figured out that ingesting less than 20 thingies of gluten isn’t likely to hurt folks with celiac disease.

Recipe For Low-Gluten Barley

So, barley’s got gluten which ain’t good for peeps with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, but some folks can handle a lil’ bit of the stuff. If that’s you, check out this recipe for a barley dish with low amounts of gluten.

Low Gluten Barley Salad Recipe


  • A single cup of barley
  • Double the amount of water
  • A pinch of salt
  • A quarter cup of olive oil
  • Two spoons of lemon juice
  • A couple of spoons of freshly chopped parsley
  • A spoonful of freshly chopped mint
  • A dash of black pepper
  • Half a cup of diced tomatoes
  • Half a cup of diced cucumbers
  • A quarter cup of diced red onions

Instructions to Make

  • Give the low-gluten barley a good wash under the tap and get rid of any junk
  • Get a pot heating up and add some salt and water to bring the heat up
  • Pop the barley into the boiling water and keep it on low heat
  • Cover it up and let it simmer for about half an hour until it’s nice and soft
  • Get rid of any extra water and throw the barley in a big bowl
  • Mix some olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, mint, and black pepper in a small bowl
  • Pour the dressing over the barley and give it all a good mix-up
  • Get the tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion and chuck them in the barley. Mix everything
  • Give it some time in the fridge for at least half an hour before serving


Is there any way to make barley gluten-free?

Sorry, man, you can’t get rid of gluten from it. But, some businesses provide barley goods that have less gluten in them.

Is barley gluten-free?

Nope, sorry! It contains gluten and is a big no-no for those with celiac disease or any sort of gluten sensitivity.


So basically, if you have celiac disease or can’t stomach gluten, barley ain’t the grain for you. It’s got this gluten protein that’ll mess up your gut and give you all kinds of issues.

But no need to fret, there are other grains you can switch to like hulled barley, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and rice. And if you’re worried about your gluten intake, just holla at your healthcare provider to get some expert advice.

Here are a few more articles, that you might want to read.

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