Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lemon-Barley Squash

Barley is a cereal grain derived from annual grass. Intake of barley helps to maintain overall health in the long term. All forms of barley are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals amino acids and fibre. It is one of the richest sources of both soluble and insoluble fibre. It is also rich in antioxidants, thus lessen the risk of contracting heart disease and cholestrol problems.

Squash drink (also commonly known as cordial in Australia) is a sweetened or unsweetened fruit-based concentrate which is mixed mostly with water before drinking.
Lemon-Barley Squash is one of the earliest recipes in my files passed on to me by a childhood friend (I have tweaked it with the cardamoms). I have been preparing this squash regularly over the years when lemons are relatively cheap. It is not only refreshing, but a healthy drink for kids and adults alike.

Do you prepare squash?


4tbs heaped pearl barley
6 cups of water
5 lemons
1/4 kg sugar
1/2tsp citric acid
2 cardamoms

  • Soak pearl barley in hot water for an hour.
  • Add water and pressure cook till soft.
  • While the barley cooks, extract the juice from lemons. Peel and crush the cardamom seeds in a pestle.
  • Once the barley is cooked drain the water and reserve.
  • When the barley is cool, pulp it in a mixer.
  • Add the reserve and mix well.
  • Strain through a sieve.
  • Add the lemon juice, sugar, citric acid and cardamom powder to the barley.
  • Bring this mixture to a boil.
  • Cool and store in a sterilized bottle.
  • To serve add chilled water and dilute according to taste. No sugar is required to be added.
  • Enjoy!
You might also like-
Pineapple-Barley Squash
Homemade Jelly


  1. What a healthy recipe to start with! I love barley drinks... I normally cooked them in my slow cooker at night and enjoy one hot cup in the morning.

  2. very interesting drink and sounds extremely healthy to start our New Year off to a great start!

  3. Looks like a really refreshing drink. I've been wanting to do some barley water but never had the chance yet. How do you prepare it with squash? Do you just add a few pieces of diced squash and let it infuse?

  4. This is a nutritious drink. Do you think it can cure cough?

  5. Barley drink is a very healthy say my parents. It is reputed to detoxify the kidneys. We used to drink a lot when we were back home. Time to cook again. Thanks for reminding.

  6. Your welcome!! I really love this recipe it is soooo cool. you think its a dish but its a drink.

  7. I love lemon barley water! And without the lemon, this reminds me of breakfast in Singapore.

    Lovely recipe, and photos! Happy New Year!

  8. Divina,
    This drink has nothing to do with the veggie squash. This kind of concentrate is called squash drink.
    Am coming up with something for cough soon..

  9. Your recipe is wild -- I've never used barley to make a drink. It sounds delicious, like a fancy lemonade.

  10. Hi Shirley

    many thanks for following my wee blog so glad you are enjoying my pics etc
    i finally made it back to the highlands and will NEVER leave now ,i hope you continue to enjoy my wee blog

    peace band light

    ps i am following you here as well

    all the best from a wonderful snowy highlands

  11. Wow, I've never had a drink like this, will definitely have to try it!

  12. Cool...I had barley drink few times but didn't knew how to prepare..thanks for the recipe...looks easy.

  13. Does anyone know how long to pressure cook the barley?

  14. Hi Sarah,
    The barley can be cooked for 2-3 whistles. Test the barley by pressing it beetween your fingers, it should get smashed easily, if its not done cook again. You can also cook barley in a crockpot if you dont have a pressure cooker.

  15. Hi, I tried out this recipe and the squash is fabulous. Thank you. Do you need to refrigerate this squash to preserve it or can it be stored in a cool, dark place?

  16. Hi Anon,
    Glad to know you tried this squash, do try the pineapple barley squash too. You'll love it.
    If the climate in your place is generally cool, you can store it in a cool dark place. However if you live in a hot/humid area, its better to refrigerate.

  17. Thank you for the recipe Shirley! I love healthy drinks. I will try this out later.

  18. The trouble with this recipe, it went in one go, 8 year old grand daughter drank the lot..
    I didn't add citric acid as I didn't have it in the pantry.. so maybe that will slow her down and add water next time..

  19. Ok there was NOT a Warning on this recipe..
    no one warned me the kids really truly would love it... and they didn't add water drank it straight with a MORE PLEASE Nana.
    I didn't have citric acid so maybe that will make a difference but it sure went down well.



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