Benefits of Ezekiel Bread

Benefits of Ezekiel Bread

It always seems that “diet” and “bread” are two incompatible terms. But you may change your mind after reading this entry about a very special type of bread.

Bread is a product that has been consumed for generations, although it has changed a lot throughout history, nutritionally speaking. So we are going to travel back in time to learn about a very healthy type of bread called Ezekiel bread.

What is Ezekiel Bread?

Ezekiel Bread is made with germinated legumes and cereals:

  • 4 types of cereals: wheat, barley, millet, spelt
  • 2 types of legumes: lentils, soy

This product tastes a little like walnut and it has a spongy texture. It is a completely natural bread, made without preservatives, refined sugars nor trans fats. That is why Ezekiel bread has become so popular these days, specially for those who want to take care of their diet.

The consumption of this traditional bread goes back 2,000 years, when bread was cooked by the sun in big stones. Ezekiel bread is also known as “Manna Bread”, and its recipe appears in a verse in the Bible, Ezekiel 4:9:

Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; Store them in a vase and use them to make bread

It is believed that this recipe was created to help people survive famine, since the germinated grains and legumes provide plenty of nutrients: protein, low GI carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Necessary ingredients to make Ezekiel Bread: wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt

Sometimes, it also includes walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, seeds, raisins, dates and other ingredients to make it more spongy. It is perfect to make snacks and toasts as well as a better substitute for any other type of bread.

Does Ezekiel Bread have Gluten?

Ezekiel bread is not gluten-free, but the germination process makes the gluten much more easier to digest. According to Food for Life, those who suffer a serious gluten intolerance should avoid this bread. However, those with a mild gluten intolerance could probably add it to their diet, although they should consult it with their doctor first.

Is Ezekiel Bread healthy?

Ezekiel Bread is different from other breads in the sense that the way you consume is the same way that it is obtained, apart from the ingredients that are used: bread with germinated grains is a healthy alternative to white flour or whole bread with grain flour, and its value lies in its germination process.

These type of culinary resources are being increasingly used by those who choose to follow a healthier diet, specially if they are sensitive to wheat or gluten. However, it is not advised for those who suffer diseases that affect the digestive system, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerous colitis or gluten intolerance.

Another great benefit of the germination process is that it deactivates the “anti-nutrients”. These are substances from plants that work as a defense mechanisms, which can be harmful for us. Some of them are phytic acid and the inhibiting enzymes, which are substances that hinder the absorption of nutrients.

Ezekiel bread only uses the whole grain

These are seeds that have not germinated, and which are covered with a protective layer or shell. In their natural state, said grains have a series of components that inhibit its growth, which means that the seed will not sprout before it is due. In this way, when the environmental conditions are favorable, the seeds will start to germinate, breaking this layer, and “deactivating” the enzymes that inhibit its growth.

Cooking our own Ezekiel bread is one of the best choices

Germinated grains start this process partially and its main benefit will be a higher bioavailability of vitamin C, folate and other minerals like iron. It also entails a partial decrease of carbohydrates (the seeds use them to have energy during the germination), and an increase of the protein content. Moreover, when the process is over, it will have lower gluten levels and a higher amount of fiber, unlike non-germinated grain. It will also be a much more digestible nutrient which means that it will be more easily absorbed by the body and not lost during the digestive process.

Benefits of Ezekiel Bread

Ezekiel bread is made by letting its cereals and legumes germinate, which is why it does not need baking powder. Once the grains are ground, they are mixed in water and baked at 45-60ºC approximately from 10 to 12 hours. By baking it at low temperatures, the bread has a spongy texture and it does not lose its nutrients or enzymes, which is why it is called “bread of life“.

Ezekiel bread has more protein than white bread made of refined flour.

A slice of Ezekiel bread has…

4.8g of proteins. This bread is an excellent source of high quality vegetable protein with a complete amino acids balance. Vegetarians or vegans can also benefit from this product, since there are studies that have shown that the protein from this bread contain the 9 essential amino acids that our body needs.

80 calories, 0.5g of fats and 0g of saturated or trans fats. This is why this bread can be an excellent element in the diet of those who want to lose weight in a healthy way.

It has 15g of low GI complex carbohydrates and it does not have simple sugars. Complex carbohydrates are absorbed more slowly, they do trigger insulin peaks like simple carbs, and they provide energy for a longer period of time, which can be useful for those who practice demanding physical activities. Its low glycemic index is also a good choice for people who suffer type 2 diabetes.

Its high fiber content helps to produce a feeling of satiety, it cleans the colon and stimulates regular bowel movements. Diets which are rich in fiber are good to lower the blood cholesterol levels and the risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases.

Ezekiel bread is very low in sodium, which is a very important fact if we keep in mind that white bread is responsible for almost a fifth part of the salt that we consume each day, which can be harmful for our health.

Like other whole-grain breads, Ezekiel bread is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron and niacin. Moreover, it has slightly higher levels of certain minerals and nutrients than whole-grain traditional breads, like zinc for example.

Ezekiel Bread vs Other Types of Bread

This bread is one of the healthiest choices that we can find if we decide to include this type of product in our diet. The main differences that we are going to find between Ezekiel bread or germinated grain and breads that are made with other procedures are:

  • Complete Proteins: Ezekiel bread has 18 amino acids (including essential amino acids), thanks to its combination of legumes and grains. These elements are the building blocks of proteins, and they are necessary to perform essential tasks in the body. In this way, this bread is an important source of protein that will meet the daily requirements while being an excellent source of vegetable protein.
  • Digestion: this bread has a higher degree of digestibility than others thanks to the germination of the grains, a process that does not take place to make the rest of them.
  • Nutrient absorption: even though other types of bread can also have vitamins and minerals, the germinated grains of this bread significantly improve the absorption of important micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, iron, copper or zinc, which are found in said ingredients. Moreover, it also has higher concentrations of vitamins, like vitamin C, B and E.
  • Better source of fiber: we often feel disappointed when we read the ingredient list of the bread we normally buy. Supposedly, it should be whole but it has a very low concentration of these ingredients. However, Ezekiel bread will provide an important amount of fiber since it is made with grains and legumes.

How and when can we eat Ezekiel Bread?

Ezekiel bread has a short lifespan, which is why it is usually frozen or refrigerated. It has to be served at room temperature or heated in the oven or a toaster in order to increase its flavor.

In this way, it is an excellent choice for any time of the day: breakfast, snack, or to complete a lunch and/or dinner.

An excellent choice would be to eat it as a pre-workout meal, even though it could also be useful as a post-workout meal made of:
  • 1 Protein Shake 
  • 2 Slices of Ezekiel Bread
  • 1 Fruit
  • Chia Seeds
  • 1 Spoonful of Peanut Butter 

A balanced supply of Proteins, Carbs and Fats

A great way to start the day off with an important supply of fiber and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) as well as antioxidants. We can combine our Ezekiel bread with a cocktail of these nutrients.

And for chocolate lovers, what’s better than sugar-free chocolate! We can melt it in the microwave and spread it on some toasts.

How can I make Ezekiel Bread at home?

We mainly have to options: we can purchase it in a bakery or cook it ourselves. The last option can be tedious, however, we will be able to freeze it and use it whenever we want.

Ezekiel Bread Recipe

Recipe Tips: Ezekiel Bread

  • Preparation time: 12 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes
  • Portion size: 1 Slice
  • Number of servings: 12
  • Cooking style: Mediterranean

Ingredients

  • 150g buckwheat
  • 150g of barley
  • 150g of spelt
  • 150g of millet
  • 150g of lentils
  • 150g of soya.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
Nutritional Information per serving
Calories:85kcal
Fat:1g
of which saturates:0.2g
Carbohydrates:15g
of which sugars:1g
Fiber:3g
Proteins:4g
Salt:0.1g

How to make: Ezekiel Bread

  1. First of all, we have to germinate the grains and legumes:
  2. Soak: Put the grains and the legumes in a bowl with cold water, they have to be completely covered. Leave them like this between 18 to 24 hours.
  3. Strain: Use a sieve to strain the water.
  4. Germination: Store them in a pot or any kind of recipient covered with a net or similar which will not block the air flow. For 2-3 days we will add water once a day and strain once again (use the same recipient and be careful that the grains do not fall). Some of the ingredients will release mucilage, which will keep them hydrated. After a few days, we will see how they have germinated (a little stem of 2-3mm).
  5. Dry the grains: Make sure that they are completely dry before obtaining the flour. To do this, you can either put them in the oven at a low temperature or use several napkins to absorb all the water.
  6. To make the bread:
  7. Preheat the oven at 180º for 5min.
  8. On the meantime, make the flour: with the help of a blender or a kitchen robot, ground until you get a homogeneous mass. Add a bit of extra virgin olive oil and salt.
  9. Put the mass in the oven tray with baking paper and spread it. Once spread, make transversal cuts with the help of a knife, so that it will be easier to separate the bread afterwards.
  10. Put it in the oven, let it cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the oven, and let it settle for 8h without opening the door.
  11. Once it is ready, you can freeze it or eat it. You can even toast it if you want.

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About Javier Colomer
Javier Colomer
Under the motto “Knowledge Makes me Stronger”, Javier Colomer clearly expresses his intentions to share his knowledge and experience within the world of Fitness. His BPT training system is proof of this.
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8 comments
  1. The recipe says to preheat the oven at 180 degrees.. is that Celsius or Fahrenheit?

  2. Hi! can you clarify on the amount of olive oil please

    thank you!

  3. hi there
    I want to make your Ezekiel bread. I notice the last instruction, after putting it in the oven is, leave it undisturbed in the oven after turning it off for 8 hours. Just checking. Eight hours? Really?
    That’s all I need to know. Cheers.
    Thanks for your time.

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