The taste is sweet and the texture is chunky. It could almost be served as a dessert but I like it in place of oatmeal for a breakfast treat. Barley is a healthful whole grain. Check out the fiber!

1/4 cup pearl barley (not quick cooking barley) 3 cups water 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 large apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped 1/4 cup Splenda or sugar 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon allspice 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins, optional

In a medium saucepan, combine barley, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, cover pan, and boil gently for 40 ? 50 minutes or until barley is tender. Check package directions for recommended cooking time. Cooking time varies depending on the type of barley. When barley is cooked, add diced apples, Splenda or sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and allspice. Partially cover pan and continue to boil gently until apples are very tender. Add dried cranberries or raisins if desired. Mixture will appear watery but it will thicken as it cools.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note: It works best to choose a cooking apple, such as a Macintosh or Golden Delicious.

Serve with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream if desired.

Serves 4

Nutritional Information per serving prepared with Splenda:

Calories: 120 Fat, gm.: 0 Protein, gm.: 1.5 Carbs, gm.: 29 Cholesterol, mg.: 0 Fiber, gm.: 4.1

Serves 4

Nutritional Information per serving prepared with sugar:

Calories: 165 Fat, gm.: 0 Protein, gm.: 1.5 Carbs, gm.: 40 Cholesterol, mg.: 0 Fiber, gm.: 4.1