Ezekial Bread

by Mary Boland

“But as for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, put them in one vessel and make them into bread for yourself; you shall eat it according to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days.” —Ezekiel 4:9, New American Standard Bible

Ezekiel Bread is made using the recipe in Ezekiel 4:9. While the ingredients in Ezekiel Bread are not often found in the average American diet, they are the key contributors to this bread’s unique flavor, texture, and nutritional value. Just what are all these Ezekiel ingredients?

Spelt

Spelt is a cousin of wheat, but it does not provoke the same sensitivities in those who are wheat intolerant. It offers a broader spectrum of nutrients such as copper, zinc, and manganese, and can be used in many of the same ways as wheat. Spelt is an ancient grain that played an important role as a staple grain in early Greek and Roman civilizations and was spread throughout Europe and even cultivated in the US.

Lentils

Lentils are extremely good for cardiovascular health due mostly to their fiber, magnesium, and folate content. Lentils also provide a significant source of iron, an important component of hemoglobin and enzyme systems. Lentils were one of the first foods to be cultivated and spread from their origins in Central Asia, becoming a staple ingredient in many cultural cuisines, especially in Europe, Africa, and India.

Barley

Barley is a grain that is high in selenium, a major player in cancer prevention. This hearty grain was heavily influential in ancient Greek culture as a bread-making grain and was an important food for athletes, who attributed much of their strength to their barley-rich training diets. Roman gladiators were often called hordearii, which means “eaters of barley.”

Wheat

Whole wheat, which is wheat that still consists of its three parts—endosperm, bran, and germ—offers the most nutritional, healthful value. As one of the most prevalent grains, about one-third of the world’s population depends upon wheat for nourishment.

Millet

Millet, while often lumped into the grains category, is actually a seed. It is high in phosphorus and fiber, and offers a popular gluten-free alternative as its consistency ranges from creamy to fluffy, like rice. This versatile seed originated in North Africa and spread to become a popular ingredient in Asia and India, as well as Eastern Europe.

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