Barley is among the oldest-known cereal grains, packed with fiber and nutty, sweet flavour. Cracked barley is hulled barley put through the "cracker" to break the kernels into smaller pieces. In scientific studies, the ancient grain barley has been shown to reduce the risk of many modern diseases. Barley offers many of the same vitamins and minerals as other whole grains but offers unique health benefits from its high levels of soluble beta-glucan fiber. Beta-glucans help reduce cholesterol, control blood sugar, and improve immune system function. Some research indicates beta-glucans may help our bodies stand up better to chemotherapy, radiation therapy and nuclear emergencies. Barley has more protein than corn, brown rice, millet, sorghum or rye, and is higher in fiber and lower in soluble (starch) carbohydrates than almost all other whole grains. Tasty Tips and Storage Add to bread and baked goods, soups or stews for interesting flavour and texture. Cook up like rice for pilafs and risottos, or as a hearty breakfast cereal. When stored in our resealable bag or an airtight container, cracked barley will keep for six months or more on a cool, dry pantry shelf or 12 months in the freezer.