It is amazing to see that a bread mentioned in the Bible is reaching new levels of popularity today. If you like to eat bread, Ezekiel is a great choice because of its highly nutritious ingredients of grains and beans (yes, that’s right—beans). What makes Ezekiel bread so over-the-top healthy…

It’s made from sprouted grains with the bran and germ intact, which boosts vitamin and nutrient content. The beans used may include lentils, kidney beans and pinto beans. This unusual combination of grains and beans creates a bread that contains all nine essential amino acids, which makes it a high-quality protein. The bread is high in fiber, about 3 grams per slice…low in sodium and fat…and contains no trans fats or cholesterol. Ezekiel bread also has a low number on the Glycemic Index (GI), a measure of how slowly a food increases blood sugar. (The lower the number, the more healthful.)

THE STORY BEHIND THE BREAD

In the Old Testament book of Ezekiel, God tells the prophet, who was among the captives in Babylon, “Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the 390 days you lie on your side [representing the 390 years of Israel’s rebellion]…Eat the food as you would a loaf of barley bread.”

BEST USES

Ezekiel bread has a nutty taste and a dry, crunchy texture. Because it contains no preservatives, it has a shorter shelf life (about nine months frozen, two weeks refrigerated or five days at 75°F) than typical processed breads. For this reason, it can be found in the frozen foods section of most grocery and health-food stores. It is best stored at home in the refrigerator or freezer. Brand to try: Ezekiel 4:9 made by Food for Life Baking Company (www.FoodForLife.com). Ezekiel bread does cost more than other store-bought breads, about $4 to $5 a loaf.

Because of its low GI score, Ezekiel bread is a particularly good choice for those with diabetes and those trying to lose weight. It is not gluten-free and should not be consumed by people who are sensitive to gluten.