Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin cup with cooking spray.
- In large bowl whisk together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1½ teaspoons baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon baking soda and 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar. Stir in, using a fork, 1½ cups cooked pearl barley, ¼ cup lightly toasted sesame seeds and ¼ cup lightly toasted minced cashews.
- In another smaller bowl, ¾ cup nonfat buttermilk, ¼ cup pure maple syrup, 1 egg, 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract and 4 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon – be sure to stir from the bottom to get all the dry ingredients mixed. Do not over stir. A few lumps are okay.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, evenly dividing the batter among the 12 muffin cups. Bake in hot oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove pan from the oven, and remove muffins onto wire racks to cool.
Makes 12 muffins.