«

»

Print this Post

7 Food Groups of Bible Days & A Yummy Granola

104_2271 Each week I chat with my buddy, Matt Swaim on the Sonrise Morning Show on Sacred Heart Radio. Today we talked about the 7 species in Bible days – Matt calls them the 7 food groups in Bible Days!  Check out the yummy granola using some of these foods, too.

SYMBOLISM OF THE 7 SPECIES OF FOOD

Deuteronomy 8:7-9. “For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and grapes and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and dates…” 

You just mentioned the seven species of food which have special status and symbolize the close relationship between the Jewish People and Israel.

What we know is the 7 species of foods are mentioned individually in numerous places in the Bible, but all are mentioned together in Deuteronomy.

What are all of the seven species?

Wheat

Barley

Grapes which include Wine

Figs

Olives

Dates which include Honey

Pomegranates

Let’s talk about wheat first.

Wheat is associated with the Eucharist. Israel’s climate is ideal for wheat growing. In biblical times as today, bread was the staple of the local diet. Local breads like challa and pita are popular just about everywhere today. Whole wheat products are absorbed more slowly by the body so you feel fuller longer.

Barley is becoming more popular with our focus on health.

Barley was the poor man’s staple in Bible days. It was eaten as barley cakes and in a kind of porridge. They even fed livestock barley. Now it’s one of the darlings of the culinary world. We use it in soups, stews and salads. In Israel it is still a basic ingredient for beer.

Barley is good for our hearts, and a good source of vitamin E, a good antioxidant. It also helps reduce formation of blood clots.

Grapes and wine, part of the seven species, were part of meal times during Bible days.

Yes they were, and the wine is part of our Eucharistic celebration. In ancient times, grapes were also used for seasoning and in vinegars. Grapes, particularly dark colored ones, are rich in iron.  And don’t forget stuffed grape vine leaves – we make dolmas and use wild grape vine leaves that grow along the river where I live.

In Genesis we learn the significance of the fig leaves covering Adam and Eve. Figs were a common fruit during Bible times.

The fig was eaten fresh and dried, in addition to being used to make a kind of honey. I have a fig tree which bears abundantly each year.

Aren’t figs good for us?

Figs contain lots of fiber and potassium and are good for your heart, blood pressure and muscles and have other bone building nutrients.

 Why were olives included in the 7 species?

Olives were a valuable commodity. The olive tree was the most prolific tree in Palestine and olives and their oil were necessary for everyday life, whether it was lighting lamps, anointing sick and dead, in offerings, skin care, medicines and in food.

Olive oil was used in making cakes, unleavened bread and for spreading on bread.

Another of the seven species, dates are mentioned in Samuel and Chronicles, as well.

Both references talk about David giving presents of food, including cake made with dates. Much of the Bible area was known in antiquity for their date palm tree groves

Dates were used for barter.  Dates signified food for eternal life.

What are the health aspects of dates?

They’re a good source of fiber and have all of the B complex vitamins except B-12 and a lot of minerals plus iron and potassium.

The last of the seven species is pomegranates.

Pomegranate trees are prevalent in Israeli gardens even today. Along with eaten raw, in Bible times the pomegranate was used for making wine and also as a dye. With its many seeds, it’s a symbol of fertility.

How healthy are pomegranates?

They’re called the good seeds, packed with cholesterol fighting antioxidants. Pomegranates are a great source of potassium. Pomegranate juice may also help to prevent prostate cancer and helps to prevent plaque build up in your arteries.

MY FAVORITE GRANOLA

This recipe uses 3 of the 7 species: olive oil, grapes (grapeseed oil) and dates.  And as an option, toss in another Bible seed: flax seeds!

1/3 cup real maple syrup

1/3 cup packed brown sugar (I used light brown)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup grapeseed, canola or coconut oil

1/4 cup olive oil

5 cups old fashioned rolled oats

2 cups chopped or sliced nuts – your choice – I like walnuts and almonds

3 tablespoons flax seeds (opt)

Dried fruit: 1-1/2  cups chopped dried dates or favorite fruit (buy dates already chopped) – I like a combo of dates and dried cherries or apricots

 

Preheat oven to 325. Spray cookie sheets.Whisk syrup, sugar, extracts and oils together.  Fold in oats, nuts, and seeds until coated.Pour onto cookie sheets in even layers.  Bake 30-35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through or until mixture looks golden.  Remove and cool to room temperature. As it cools, granola crisps up nicely.  Stir in fruit. Store in airtight container up to 3 weeks.

 

 

 

.

 

 

MY FAVORITE GRANOLA

This recipe uses 3 of the 7 species: olive oil, grapes (grapeseed oil) and dates.  And as an option, toss in another Bible seed: flax seeds!

1/3 cup real maple syrup

1/3 cup packed brown sugar (I used light brown)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup grapeseed, canola or coconut oil

1/4 cup olive oil

5 cups old fashioned rolled oats

2 cups chopped or sliced nuts – your choice – I like walnuts and almonds

3 tablespoons flax seeds (opt)

Dried fruit: 1-1/2  cups chopped dried dates or favorite fruit (buy dates already chopped) – I like a combo of dates and dried cherries or apricots

 

Preheat oven to 325. Spray cookie sheets.Whisk syrup, sugar, extracts and oils together.  Fold in oats, nuts, and seeds until coated.Pour onto cookie sheets in even layers.  Bake 30-35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through or until mixture looks golden.  Remove and cool to room temperature. As it cools, granola crisps up nicely.  Stir in fruit. Store in airtight container up to 3 weeks. 

 

 

.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://abouteating.com/symbolism-of-the-seven-species-of-food-mentioned-in-the-bible/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>