In my early years, I hated breakfast, unless it was Sunday and there were fresh bagels and smoked salmon. I also struggled with weight (while competing gymnastics and track) and a dangerous sugar addiction (if you consider crossing a major highway on foot for 3 candy bars for under a buck worrisome). Thankfully, this is not the case for me anymore and I have been eating breakfast daily for the past ten years. I started first with Fairway granola with Greek yogurt and progressed over the years to making my own barely sweet granola to grains traditionally reserved for meals later in the day.
This recipe was born out of necessity and the fact that I had half of a whole batch of cooked barley on the stove begging me to use it and not throw it in the refrigerator. It was still hot when I mixed in the frozen blackberries, so they melted into the barley and turned it a vivid Violet blue (as from Violet in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Next, came the toasted and chopped almonds and unsweetened coconut. I added a bit of cinnamon and I was done. When I heat it up in the morning I add a bit of milk, coconut milk, or almond milk and add a stream of maple syrup. I've also been know to eat it for dessert with some creme fraiche and once, vanilla ice cream —testkitchenette
In a large saucepan, bring pearled barley, water, and salt to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until water is cooked out but barley is fluffy and moist, but not super mushy. Take off heat and let cool a bit.
Stir in the blackberries until they start to melt. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Serve and then store the leftovers in the refrigerator for the rest of the week.