Almond butter toast is insanely popular nowadays. I almost missed the almond butter toast wave because I retired bread in the summer of 2015. Considering how much I loved bread as a kid, I should have had a retirement ceremony for bread—like hanging an empty bag of wonder bread from my kitchen’s ceiling like NBA teams hang jerseys of retired ballplayers. To be honest, I probably would have died from starvation in the 80s if it wasn’t for sandwiches.
However, fast forward to my adult years, studies associating white bread with weight gain made me wonder if I should eat bread at all. For a while, I only ate sourdough since it had a low glycemic index—a designation suggesting it won’t raise insulin and blood glucose levels as much as other bread.
Admittedly, there was the occasional Ciabatta or French Baguette for sandwiches that would land on lists of stuff ‘Bougie‘ people eat, but these instances were rare. And, even in these rare situations, I wouldn’t use all of the bread. It would routinely spoil or end up in a perpetual cryogenic state in the bowels of my freezer (there’s probably bread in there older than my kids #keepingitreal). At some point, my toaster eventually became an overpriced paperweight.
My toast-free life abruptly changed when my kids started kindergarten—I had to buy bread for their lunch sandwiches.
Initially was I planning on giving them fancy paninis with sourdough bread, but their taste buds weren’t that sophisticated. So I scoured the store for healthier bread options and I came across Ezekiel bread.
What is Ezekiel Bread?
The recipe for Ezekiel bread comes from a verse in the 4th chapter of the biblical book of Ezekiel—”Take also unto thee Wheat, and Barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and Spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make bread of it…” (Ezekiel 4:9). Aside from its biblical roots, Ezekiel bread is ridiculously healthy because it contains sprouted grains and legumes.
What are Sprouted grains? Do sprouted grains have any health benefits?
In general, grains are seeds that eventually can grow into a plant. A grain ‘sprouts’ when the plant first emerges from the seed. When a grain sprouts, the plant embryo grows by digesting some of the sugars/starches contained within the seed itself. The nutritional properties of the grain also change during sprouting.
According to an article in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition:
“Sprouting of grains for a limited period causes increased activities of hydrolytic enzymes, improvement in the contents of certain essential amino acids, total sugars, and B-group vitamins, and a decrease in dry matter, starch, and antinutrients. The digestibilities of storage proteins and starch are improved due to their partial hydrolysis during sprouting.”
In other words, sprouting may lead to some desirable improvements in a grain’s nutritional profile.
Other reasons you should consider Ezekiel bread?
- It tastes good
- It doesn’t have added sugar
- It’s higher in protein and fiber than most bread
- It freezes well (it’s actually kept in the freezer section at most stores).
- It’s organic
- It doesn’t contain any extra preservatives.
Can you eat as much Ezekiel bread as you want?
Why is almond butter toast a decent breakfast? My thought process behind my almond butter toast recipe.
I’m not a morning person and I will never be one. My breakfasts are usually quick, yet healthy. What’s quicker than throwing frozen Ezekiel bread in the toaster, slathering it a little almond butter, then topping it with some other healthy ingredients? Plus, the almond butter is a decent plant-based source of protein. Plus, nuts have numerous health benefits in general (check out my post on reasons why nuts are healthy).
One benefit is that nuts may improve the diversity of the gut’s bacteria. A recent study in the journal Nutrients showed that “almond consumption increased the relative abundances of [the bacteria] Lachnospira, Roseburia, and Dialister (p ≤ 0.05) (Yes, I put p-values on a recipe post).
Interestingly, the study also showed that almond butter did not produce an effect noticeably different than the control used in the study. However, it did show that chopped almonds and whole almonds had slightly different effects. Hence, I added sliced almonds to my almond butter toast.
I also added chia seeds and hemp seeds for additional protein and omega 3 fatty acids.
The dates and apples in the recipe add a little extra sweetness and fiber (check out my post on date paste).
Check out the recipe and follow The Doc’s Kitchen. Don’t forget to share the post.
1: Chavan JK, Kadam SS. Nutritional improvement of cereals by sprouting. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1989;28(5):401-37. Review. PubMed PMID: 2692609.
2: Holscher HD, Taylor AM, Swanson KS, Novotny JA, Baer DJ. Almond Consumption and Processing Affects the Composition of the Gastrointestinal Microbiota of Healthy Adult Men and Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2018 Jan26;10(2). pii: E126. doi: 10.3390/nu10020126. PubMed PMID: 29373513; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5852702.
I am a physician and trained chef. I specialize in gastroenterology and nutrition. Currently I work as the Associate Director of Adult Nutrition at the University of Chicago.