WHAT THE HECK IS EZEKIEL BREAD

Maybe you've seen Ezekiel bread in the freezer at the grocery store, or overheard people at lunch talking about it, and wondered why all the fuss? Here's some quick info... Ezekiel is a brand of bread products made from sprouted grains, and they have the biggest sprouted-grain-bread offering in many grocery stores, so they've become the Kleenex: tissues. And because it doesn't have all the common preservatives, it's kept in the freezer section so it doesn't spoil.

Ezekiel BreadI had been hearing about it for years, and finally decided to try it a few months ago after learning about sprouted grains. Sprouted grains are cool because they have more absorbable nutrients and they usually digest better in the belly. Sounds good, right?

So what exactly is a "sprouted grain"?

A grain sprouts when the temperature and moisture level get to the magical place where the outer bran layer of the grain splits open. It's that in-between state – not a seed anymore + not a plant = a sprout. They give us the goodness of a whole grain (fiber, etc), but easier to digest. Sprouting reduces the phytic acid so there's more absorbable calcium, zinc, iron, vitamins B and C, and niacin, folate, and magnesium for your body. Definitely a good thing!

You may be skeptical about why we'd want to do this all of a sudden. But think back a hundred years or so, when we harvested grains... we'd tie them into batches and leave them in the field until they were ready to thresh. They were exposed to the weather – varying temperatures and humidity, so at least some of the grain would begin to sprout.

So how to use sprouted-grain-bread?! If I know I'm going to be making a few PB&J's for my wife's lunches in an upcoming week, then I put half the loaf in the fridge, and keep the other half in the freezer. That way, when it's time to make her sandwich, the bread is already defrosted, but the rest is staying safe and fresh in the freezer for the following week. If I get an impulse craving for avocado toast and there's none already defrosted, no problem! Just pop a frozen slice in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds, and then toast as usual.

In terms of what to make with it - treat just like normal bread! I also love the cinnamon/raisin flavor with almond butter for breakfast.

I'd love to know if you've tried it – what'd you make? Or do you need help brainstorming new sandwich ideas? Comment above or email me!