"Take also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils and millet, and spelt and put them in one vessel…" Ezekiel 4:9
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This biblical scripture is also the "recipe" Food for Life uses to make Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted bread. Created in 1964 in a Glendale, CA health food store, Ezekiel bread is made from organic sprouted, or “live,” grains, as opposed to milled or dry grains, making it higher in protein and lower in sugars and carbohydrates.
Ezekiel 4:9 bread is kosher, vegan, and GMO-free, as well as having many other health benefits that make it both delicious, and nutritious. Keep reading for more on the the nutritional value and health benefits of this sprouted bread.
Ezekiel Bread Nutrition Facts
Food for Life makes many different types of Ezekiel bread. Some of their varieties include 7 Sprouted Grains, Cinnamon Raisin, Flax, Low Sodium, and Sesame. The Sprouted Whole Grain Bread is a popular choice and shines in nutritional quality with no unhealthy saturated fat or trans fat.
For one slice of hearty Ezekiel bread, you will consume the following nutrients:
- Calories: 80
- Total Fat: 0.5 g
- Sodium: 75 mg
- Carbohydrates: 15 g
- Dietary Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 4.8 g
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends getting 25 grams of fiber a day for women and 38 grams for men. A high fiber bread, such as Ezekiel bread is a healthy choice for meeting daily fiber needs.
In addition, the American Heart Association suggests not eating more than 2,300 mg of sodium in a day, but ideally no more than 1,500 mg. A typical slice of whole wheat bread contains 112 mg of sodium, so one slice of Ezekiel bread provides a healthier bread with a lower amount of sodium.
Read more: 10 Ingredients to Always Avoid in Bread
What Is Sprouted Bread?
Sprouted breads are made from grains, beans and seeds that have been place in water and allowed to sprout, or germinate. The sprouted grains are then milled into flour to be used in bread products. In addition to bread, Food for Life uses sprouted grains to make buns, tortillas, cereals, pasta, pitas, english muffins, and waffles.
The American Association of Cereal Chemists defines sprouted grains as grains that contain the bran, germ, and endosperm and have a sprout growth that does not exceed the kernel length. They also stress that these can be labeled as whole grains, and as malted or sprouted whole grains. Nutritional value of the grains, seed or bean must remain intact.
Sprouted Bread Benefits
All whole grain breads offer nutrition benefits. It is the recommendation through the Dietary Guidelines for Americans that half of all grains consumed throughout the day should be whole grains. Sprouted breads — like Ezekiel bread — have health benefits that other non-sprouted grain breads may not offer.
- Due to the combination of grains and legumes, the bread is a complete protein.
- No corn sweeteners, artificial ingredients, preservatives, or added fats into their bread.
- It is also low in sodium, making it safe for a heart-healthy diet.
- A vegan source of calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus
- The sprouting process of the grains increases their digestive enzymes.
- Sprouting breaks down starches into easily digestible sugars.
- It is higher in vitamin C, B vitamins, and fiber due to the sprouting process.
Is Ezekiel Bread Gluten-Free?
While Food for Life does make gluten-free products, Ezekiel bread is not one of them. If you have celiac disease, it is recommended that you try one of their other products that are safe for those conditions.
Just because it is flourless doesn’t mean it is gluten-free. The bread contains barley, wheat, and rye, which are all whole grains that contain gluten.
Some people with mild gluten intolerance, however, may be able to digest sprouted bread, such as Ezekiel. There are enzymes present that occur during the sprouting process that may be easier on your stomach.
Read more: 10 Myths About Bread, Busted by Science
Is Ezekiel Bread Safe for Diabetics?
Ezekiel bread is low on the glycemic index, which makes it a good choice for people who have type 2 diabetes. The glycemic index, or GI, is a number assigned to foods based on how quickly it can raise your blood sugar levels.
The highest level in the GI is 100 and Ezekiel bread comes in at a low 36, which is about the same as an apple. Food for Life has been given the Diabetic Friendly Seal by the Glycemic Research Institute.
Ezekiel bread also contains more protein that most other breads. It contains 18 amino acids — nine of which are essential to the body. Because of its low-GI and high protein properties, Ezekiel bread is a healthy choice for everyone, and safe for those on a diabetic or pre-diabetic diet.
How to Make Sprouted Bread
When sprouting your own grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes, it is important to remember food safety. Sprouting requires warm and humid conditions. That kind of environment is also desirable for bacterial growth. Always wash seeds prior to sprouting and bake sprouted seeds thoroughly to remove any contamination.
If you want to try your hand at your own sprouted bread, you will have to start a few days in advance. Sprouting can take anywhere from 3 to 7 days depending on environmental conditions. The most common method for spouting wheat berries is the following:
- Place wheat berries in a jar or bowl and cover with water at least 1 inch above the berries
- Soak overnight or up to 12 hours
- Drain, rinse, and place in a jar, or container with a vented lid, so air can get in
- Rinse wheat berries twice a day, drain water, and stir
- When sprouts are equal to the size of the grain, they are ready
- Spouted grains can be eaten fresh, ground wet, or dried in the oven
- Follow your favorite recipe using sprouted grains
Ezekiel bread uses a mixture of wheat, barley, millet, spelt, lentils and soybeans. Using a mixture of different types of grains can add variety. Dried fruits and nuts can also be added prior to baking. If time is an issue, buy sprouted wheat flour and still reap the nutritional benefits of sprouted whole grains.