Thursday 27 August 2020

Bright Barley 'Mylk' review

For the past few years, Sophie has been dairy intolerant. She does still eat and drink products containing milk occasionally - she has a weak spot for custard and can't say no to my mashed potato or spaghetti carbonara when I'm cooking for the family ! - but she knows that she'll have to stay close to a toilet afterwards ! She has therefore been trying various milk substitutes, with varying degrees of success. Oat milk, coconut milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, soya milk ... they've all been sampled, but I recently saw a brand new product : Bright Barley, the first 'mylk' made from the supergrain barley. Definitely worth a try !

Barley is one of the oldest cultivated grains, dating all the way back to the Iron Age, and it has a whole host of health benefit claims. It helps reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease and is an excellent source of heart-friendly beta-glucans. It can reduce the rise in blood glucose after a meal and improve digestive health. it helps lower cholesterol and provides slow-release energy, helping you feel full for longer and avoid cravings for naughty nibbles. Barley is also a source of fibre, which is great for supporting digestion, keeping colon and intestines healthy and maintaining weight.

But being great for your body isn't enough - Bright Barley also has the planet's health as one of its core values. Founder Jiali Jiang grew up in an area of China near the Tibetan plateau, where barley, with its hardy ability to grow in extreme altitudes and climates, formed an important part of the diet. Jiali came to the UK to study at Cambridge University and teamed up with an Oxford Masters student to develop a food product that involved ancient grains and organic ingredients. All of the barley flour used in Bright Barley comes from organic farms in the UK that practise sustainable farming methods. Their grain is ground in Shipton Mill in the Cotswolds, which is mentioned in the Domesday Book. The Sustainable Food Trust even suggests that barley could be a nutritious key to fighting climate change and feeding future generations.

So, it's good for your body, good for the planet ... and the packaging is eco-friendly too. It's sold in recyclable Tetra Pak cartons made from paperboard, a renewable material sourced from Forest Stewardship Council and other controlled sources. All key suppliers and producers are British small independent companies.

Well, the company ethos, health benefits and eco-friendly credentials are important, but ultimately it's all about the taste. Bright Barley is available in three flavours - Chocolate, Coffee and Salted Caramel. Firstly, the drinks need to be chilled, or if you've forgotten to put them in the fridge, add ice cubes. They have a thick consistency, similar to milkshakes, which is very pleasant. Barley has quite a nutty flavour, which blends well with the flavours. I keep wanting to say that they're creamy, but that's probably not the right word for a mik-alternative ! They're great for breakfast but also perfect as a refreshing drink mid-afternoon on a hot day. Well worth a try.

RRP : from £1.69 per 330ml carton

Available from Eat17 and selected independent health stores, delis and cafes. Also online via Bright Barley, Yumbles, The Food Market and Amazon.


 Disclosure : We received the product in order to share our honest opinion.

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