PREP: 15 minutes | COOK: 50-60 minutes | YIELD: 8 x ¾-cup servings

At first, barley was an ingredient I used sporadically in the kitchen, but after trying this yummy recipe, I quickly changed my ways. This dish is extremely nutritious, and the sweet, tangy taste of berries is sure to balance out the crunch and brighten your day!

1/3 cup (80 ml) pure maple syrup

¼ cup (60 ml) plain or vanilla-flavored protein powder (as natural as possible, vegan if desired)

1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract (omit if using vanilla protein powder)

Pinch sea salt

2½ cups (600 ml) flaked barley

¼ cup (60 ml) oat bran

1 cup (240 ml) raw walnut halves and pieces

1 Tbsp (15 ml) chia seeds

1 Tbsp (15 ml) sesame seeds

½ cup (120 ml) unsweetened and unsulfured dried strawberries

½ cup (120 ml) unsweetened and unsulfured dried blueberries

¼ cup (60 ml) Ningxia goji berries

Preheat oven to 275°F (120°C). In a large bowl, stir together maple syrup, protein powder, vanilla extract and sea salt until thoroughly combined. Stir in flaked barley, oat bran, walnuts, chia and sesame seeds until mixed well.

Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake, stirring halfway through, until golden brown and dry, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in dried strawberries, blueberries and goji berries. Serve with low-fat milk, plain unsweetened soymilk or other milk substitute, plain low-fat kefir or soy yogurt. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

TOSCAS TIP

Can’t find Ningxia goji berries? Use regular goji berries, or if you can’t find those, add ¼ cup dried cranberries or extra dried strawberries and blueberries instead!

NUTRITIONAL VALUE PER SERVING:

Calories: 439 | Calories from Fat: 106 | Protein: 12 g | Carbs: 74 g | Total Fat: 12 g | Saturated Fat: 1.3 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Fiber: 13 g | Sodium: 28 mg | Cholesterol: 0 mg