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Food in the Bible: Vegetables, Legumes, & Nuts

Once I started researching more on the foods in the Bible as I go through the food groups, I found the Daniel Diet. "Dedicated to his belief in God, Daniel rejects the rich, indulgent foods offered by the king, such as meats, dairy, wine, and other delicacies. Instead, Daniel and his friends choose to consume foods they believe God intends for consumption for 10 days. The diet includes fruits, vegetables, pulses (beans), whole grains, and water.

In particular, the diet is heavily based on pulses, which are used as a primary source of protein.

At the end of the 10 days, Daniel and his friends are stronger and healthier — both mentally and physically — than everyone around them. Thus, the diet is encouraged for the others." (Referenced article here) If you're ever even more so curious about the food in the Bible, the Mediterranean diet is pretty similar. This post will be a little longer because it encompasses vegetables, legumes, and nuts. And there's a bit more to delve into.

  • Beans (2 Samuel 17:28; Ezekiel 4:9)

  • Cucumbers (Numbers 11:5)

  • Gourds (2 Kings 4:39)

  • Lentils (Genesis 25:34; 2 Samuel 17:28; Ezekiel 4:9)

  • Onions (Numbers 11:5)

  • Almonds (Genesis 43:11; Numbers 17:8)

An article I found, is a good read for the history of some vegetables. If you want to read that you can read it HERE but I'm just pulling the ones mentioned in the list above.


Onions are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables in our history, originating in central Asia from where it spread across entire world. Modern archaeologists, botanists and historians are unable to determine exact time and place of their first cultivation (because this vegetable is perishable and its cultivation leaves little to no trace), however some written records enables us to paint a very interesting picture about its origins. Bean

Bean is one of the earliest cultivated plants. The oldest findings and proofs that we used beans for food are 9,000 years old and were found in Thailand. Wild variants of broad beans (fava beans) were gathered in Afghanistan and the Himalayan foothills. Beans were also found in the tombs of the kings of the ancient Egypt where they were left as the food for the departed and their souls in the afterlife. The first cultivated beans appeared 4,000 years ago in the Aegean, Iberia, and transalpine Europe and they were large-seeded broad beans. From the about the

same time date beans found in Guitarrero Cave, an archaeological site in Peru which proves that beans appeared practically everywhere and where one of the staple foods of the early peoples. When the first colonists arrived at the new World, Native Americans taught them to grow beans with corn so the bean plants can climb the cornstalks. Cucumbers Cucumbers, native to India, is an ancient vegetable. According to Cucumbers have been grown for food for over three thousand years. Back then, they were probably a lot more bitter than they are now, due to natural defenses against pests and insects. The Greeks and Romans also cultivated cucumbers. 8th and 9th centuries, Charlemagne grew cucumbers in his Italian Gardens. Fast forward to 1806, American colonial gardens had eight varieties of cucumbers growing. Gourds Gourds, which as I've researched have multiple names and also different types that look incredibly different. Ornamentally, gourds were used in Solomon's temple. In 2nd Kings where gourds are mentioned, the story brings about someone gathered herbs and found a wild vine that had gourds on it. Before eating, these people didn't know these gourds were actually very poisonous. As they were eating, it was cried out "man of God, there Is death in the pot" meaning the stew was killing them. Elisha, put some flour into the pot of stew and then said it could be served. It was his faith that purified the stew so that it could be eaten. (Little bit off topic, but i thought it was cool. ) Lentils John Cooper from Eat and be Satisfied; A social history of Jewish food, writes: Bread was in the biblical phrase the staff of life, but next in importance in the diet of the biblical age was pulse, such as lentils, beans, and peas, which could be made into a pottage or used to supplement bread in a variety of ways… Lentils, which are mentioned four times in the Bible, appear to have been domesticated in the Near East, where carbonized seeds have been discovered dating from 7000 or 6000 B.C.E…. During the Israelite period, cooking pots were made of earthenware and were placed on clay stands built in a horseshoe shape, the opening being used to light the fire under the pot, or food was cooked in pots and suspended from tripods. Both stews (nezid) and soups (marak) of pulse and other vegetables were prepared in these vessels, while garlic and onions were probably used in a similar way by the Babylonians to add flavor to the resulting dish." The Mayo Clinic states, "Lentils are high in protein and fiber and low in fat, which makes them a healthy substitute for meat. They're also packed with folate, iron, phosphorus, potassium and fiber." This also means they're an excellent source for non meat eaters, aka your vegans, vegetarians .. etc.. because of the folate and phosphorus provided in lentils. While leeks are also mentioned in the bible, they weren't really a staple or commonly used in the biblical diet, vegetable food group wise. Even now, while there are traces of them from archaeological finds in Egypt, it isn't the same leek they had in biblical past. Almonds had an interesting blog that contained a history of almonds that was a pretty cool read (Find that here) But I'll give you a quick synopsis. Almonds have a more than 5,000 year long history. Almonds were one of the first fruit trees to be domesticated. Yes, I said fruit. Because Almonds are actually the seed of a drupe fruit, but we'll go over that more at a later time. Anyways, so almond trees aren't fully mature until they're 5 or 6 years old, including they dont produce fruit/almonds until year three. Historically, all almonds were actually highly poisonous to humans. Somewhere along the way, there was a mutation, causing them to be safe, sweet, and

attainable for humans to use as a food source. But not all almonds have this mutation. Eating WILD almonds can still kill you. Eating fifty of them can kill an adult. While today, we love almonds aside from their taste, but they're healthy. They have protein, fat, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These things that are essential nutrients to our bodies. In the Old Testament of the Bible, Almonds are referred to as "The best fruit in the land." Mummies (Egyptian Pharaohs) were buried with almonds, which suggests their high status in food culture, as well as almond milk was an extremely well sought after item to the upper class in the middle ages. I hope you guys enjoyed this post of the vegetables, legumes, and nuts in the Bible! Keep in mind, this isn't an all encompassing list, but rather just ones that I picked out to research on! Now that I'm catching up with the rest of my life (We're getting there!!! :P ) I"ll be able to have these blog posts going up more regularly on Sundays like I intended!! See you all in the kitchen :)

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