Bread—the substance that has been at the basis of diets for thousands of years, and a symbolic part of many cultures and religious traditions. People for generations have depended on bread as a basic food source and staple in their diet. Unfortunately what has sustained us for generations is today one of the most processed foods, destructive to our health and weight. But there is good news. By going back to the way grains and breads used to be prepared for optimal nutrition and health, we can have our bread and have it benefit our health yet again. This is thanks to Ezekiel breads, and the outstanding company Food for Life that specializes in them.

Grains (and legumes) have played an important role in human civilization for, roughly, the past 10,000 years. They have served both, the rich and poor, and were even the main food staple of Gladiators. Unfortunately, their quality has been deteriorating, especially over the last 100 to 200 years. In addition, we began to heavily center our diets around these nutritionally destroyed grains, which proved to be destructive to our health and weight. Due to all of the different refined grains and processed grain products, including bread and similar foods, grains have gained a poor reputation in many nutritional circles today. However, as the saying goes, we should not throw out the baby with the bathwater. While processed and refined grain products are destructive to our health, properly prepared, wholesome grains are not. What does this mean? This means that we first and foremost keep grains in their whole form, no refining, stripping away nutrients, or even processing down into flour. Secondly, this means soaking and/or sprouting and/or fermenting our grains. This is how ancient populations worked with the intelligence of nature and ate their grain and bread products—a way that optimally uses grains to promote best health and nutrition benefits.

Ezekiel bread, therefore, is named after an ancient recipe from the Bible (Ezekiel 4:9). It is flourless, and instead uses soaked and sprouted, grains and legumes in their most wholesome forms. This bread is also not preserved with anything, nor does it have any added sugars or oils. Why is this important? We know today that flour, whether the refined white or whole brown, acts more like sugar, than starch in our body due to its ground down form and increased surface area. White flours and their bread products have additional problems, being stripped of their valuable nutrients, including fiber. Additionally modern breads are full of various unhealthy additives, like sugars, oils, and preservatives, not to mention that most contain genetically modified ingredients. These are not products that we want to consume if we want to support our health and weight in effective ways. But as I shared above, we do not need to swear off all bread. This is where Ezekiel bread, when created according to authentic methods, can provide us with a healthy, nutritious, and delicious way to enjoy some bread in our diet. Additionally, it provides us with a bread that is easy to digest, as the soaking/sprouting process neutralizes digestive inhibitors found in botanical seeds, decreases the risk of any allergies or intolerances, and unlocks a higher nutritional density.

Ezekiel Bread Products from Food for Life

While there are some isolated, usually small and local producers of true Ezekiel bread the company that has excelled in creating and making Ezekiel bread products widely available throughout North America is Food For Life.

Food For Life is a company that started over 40 years ago in California, and is today a well-known and respected name in the natural health food circles throughout North America. What differentiates Food For Life from similar bread product companies is their commitment to sprouted grains and wholesome, organic ingredients. Food for Life explains that their products are made from the finest natural ingredients—many of which are organic—offering optimum nutrition and maximum taste. They also state that no conditioners, additives, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives are ever used in any of their products.

To date, I have had a chance to try each of Food For Life’s Ezekiel breads, which include: original, original low-sodium, flax, sesame, and cinnamon-raisin, as well as some of their other bread products, as I will share with you below.

Ezekiel Breads

Ingredients (Sesame variety): Organic Sprouted 100% Whole Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Lentils, Organic Sprouted Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Spelt, Fresh Yeast, Organic Wheat Gluten, Sea Salt, Organic Sesame Seeds.

I thoroughly enjoyed each of the Ezekiel breads that I tried over the years. They have a fantastic texture, very similar to “common bread”, but with a little more richness in texture, and are not too dry or too moist. They also have beautiful flavors, that are natural, delicate, and yet slightly nutty. They go well with anything, from bean spreads like hummus, or nut and seed butters, to fresh fruits and avocado. The breads freeze really well and always come out fresh upon thawing. They are great gently warmed up or toasted, and hold well for the entire day if made into any kind of sandwich.

Nutritionally-speaking the breads offer an excellent macronutrient profile (0.5g Fat, 14g Carbohydrates, 4g Protein per slice). They have a good amount of fiber, are low to moderate in sodium, and offer a rich variety of vitamins and minerals, including lots of potassium. The breads come pre-sliced, as a 680g package, and are typically found in the frozen health food section in major grocery stores and natural health food stores. They cost around $5 to $7 per loaf.

Ezekiel Burger Buns

Ingredients (Original variety): Organic Sprouted Wheat, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Lentils, Organic Sprouted Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Spelt, Filtered Water, Fresh Yeast, Organic Wheat Gluten, Sea Salt.

I’ve never been one for any kind of burgers, even in my meat-eating days, but having experimented with so many amazing bean patty combinations over the past several years, I’ve developed an appreciation for the odd true veggie burger, fully homemade of course. I would usually eat bean patties with various veggies, but since I discovered these buns back in 2011, I enjoy getting them two or three times a year to make some of those real veggie burgers. Out of all of the Ezekiel products I tried, the buns were perhaps the biggest surprise. They really are fantastic in their texture, flavor, and rich density. They hold together really well and add a great grain touch to making an complete veggie burger. The buns come in both original and sesame variety, and for those who would like a veggie hot dog of sorts, there are also hot dog buns as well, which I have not tried.

Nutritionally-speaking, just like the bread, the buns have excellent, wholesome ingredients. They provide a great macronutrient profile (1.5g Fat, 34g Carbohydrates, 9g Protein per bun) and micronutrient profile with lots of naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals. Like the breads, these buns are typically found in the frozen sections, come as a 6 pack (454g), and cost about $5 to $6 per package.

Ezekiel Tortilla Wraps

Ingredients (Original size): Organic Sprouted Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Sprouted Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Sprouted Lentils, Organic Sprouted Spelt, Sea Salt.

Out of all of the Ezekiel bread products, the Ezekiel wraps from Food for Life are my favorite! While I use the breads and buns very sporadically, I love making fresh and wholesome wraps at least several times per month, which include any combo of veggies, mushrooms, hummus, avocado, guacamole, and/or tempeh. I also love making bean burritos with these wraps as well. They roll, fold, and hold exceptionally well, unless the contents are too wet, in which case they start breaking apart. Their texture and flavor, like with the other Ezekiel products is outstanding too. But what I love the most is that there is an option for a wrap-like bread product that is SO exceptionally wholesome and pure! These are amongst my most commonly recommended products, especially for those who require quick and easy meal preparation, especially for work or school lunches, or simply meals anytime.

Nutritionally-speaking, the ingredients of the wraps are even better than that of the breads or buns. They too have an excellent macronutrient profile (3.5g fat, 24g carbohydrates, 6g protein per wrap), and wide array of vitamin and mineral benefits that come as a result of the ingredients used. The wraps come as a 6 pack, and also come in smaller, taco-sizes. They, too, will typically be found in the frozen food section and cost around $4 to $5 per package.

Ezekiel English Muffins

Ingredients (Original variety): Organic Sprouted Wheat, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Lentils, Organic Sprouted Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Spelt, Filtered Water, Fresh Yeast, Organic Wheat Gluten, Sea Salt.

Because I depend on bread products today so minimally, even when they are optimally healthy like the Ezekiel products, I do not have a need for English muffins in my diet. However, during some particular visits from family and friends, I decided to give these a try to diversify options and present food products that others would be used to in their diets. As expected, these English muffins were a great hit! They are soft with just the right moisture and dryness levels, toast really well, and have a great flavor and texture. In fact they beat, any memory I have of conventional English muffins, which always seemed to be too densely sticky and unhealthy feeling.

Nutritionally-speaking, they, like the previous true Ezekiel products, are outstanding in terms of their ingredients. They have a great macronutrient profile (1g, 30g, 8g per full muffin), and offer lots of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and fiber (6g). They will also be found in the frozen section, come as a 6 pack (12 halves), and cost about $4 to $6 per package.

Ezekiel Whole Grain Pocket Bread

Ingredients: Organic 100% Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour, Water, Fresh Carrots, Barley Flour, Millet Flour, Lentil Flour, Spelt Flour, Soy Flour, Fresh Yeast, Sea Salt.

Although not a true Ezekiel product, as they are based on flour, I had the pleasure of trying these when I found them in a natural health food store during some of my travels. I would have typically dismissed them, as the Ezekiel wraps (above) meet my regular needs perfectly. However, on this particular trip I decided to put together some homemade veggie fajitas, instead of going out for some, as nothing beats wholesome, high-quality, homemade food. Wanting to have a pocket-like effect, I tried these and they worked out really well. They won’t hold together for a long time with wet contents, but they do the job well if filled and eaten fresh right away. I imagine they are just fine for longer periods, if they are filled with nut butters or similar, drier ingredients. However, while it is great that there is a pocket bread that is perhaps the best that it gets, I would recommend using the tortilla wraps instead, whenever possible.

Nutritionally-speaking, as I mentioned the pocket breads are based on flour, the highest quality of wheat flour, but some other non-whole and/or non-organic flours, so they are not ideal for several reasons. However, they can serve as a great stepping stone or transition item from the common, conventional and highly processed and preserved pocket breads. Each pocket bread provides 0.5g fat, 21g carbohydrates, and 7g of protein, as well as some naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. They, too, are typically found in the frozen section, come as a 5 pack and typically cost around $4 to $5 per package.

Ezekiel Bread Product Downsides

Of course being a baked product, these breads and products will not be appropriate for 100% raw food diets. Due to the fact that these breads contain grains like wheat or barley, they will also not be suitable for those who require gluten-free diets. However, it should be noted that if you have a self-diagnosed gluten intolerance or sensitivity, then these breads may actually be potential choices. Unless a person has Celiac disease, most modern intolerance to gluten or wheat is due to conventional and/or processed wheat products. When people try organic and/or sprouted wheat products, the results are usually very different, with no ill effects. Finally, some of the Ezekiel products also contain sprouted soybeans. So here again, we do not have to fear the soy, as it is coming to us in the most wholesome and healthiest forms, but it will not be appropriate for people with a true soy allergy.

Conclusion

As challenging as the landscape of food and nutrition is today, amidst all of the different hype, controversy, and processed food, it is so good to know that products like this exist and offer us so much choice when it comes to diversifying our meals in healthy and wholesome ways. I know they have come in handy for me personally on various occasions as shared above, and it is also an immense pleasure to be able to trust this brand and their products, and recommend them to others from a professional perspective as well. We simply have to be conscious to always consume products like these with other healthy, wholesome, and plant-based foods for the best and most well-rounded health and nutrition benefits.

The Ezekiel bread products can be fairly easy to find throughout North America in both natural health food and major grocery stores today. (See the store locator to see what is available in your area.) If your health food or grocery store is not carrying them, I always recommend inquiring with the department manager to perhaps start carrying them. Remember, it is we as consumers that change the landscape of choices, based on what we speak up for and choose to invest in with our resources.

Other Food for Life Ezekiel Products