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Posted on Jan 7, 2016 |

Rita’s Recipe: 10 Foods Jesus Ate that are Trends for 2016, and Two Quickbreads

Rita’s Recipe: 10 Foods Jesus Ate that are Trends for 2016, and Two Quickbreads

Cheesy and crusty, this quickbread takes less than five minutes to mix!

Cheesy and crusty, this quickbread takes less than five minutes to mix!


Honey is mentioned over 50 times in the Bible – remember ” a land flowing with milk and honey …” in Exodus. (Exodus 3:8). Christ’s first cousin, John the Baptist, consumed honey, so Christ and others also likely enjoyed honey with oven-baked bread.

Adding raw honey to one’s diet can support normal blood sugar and cholesterol health. The carbohydrates in honey have been shown to enhance digestive tract health by promoting beneficial bacteria, and would have been a good energy source for the long walking journeys during the time.



Christ was cooking fish when first seen by some of His disciples after His Resurrection. John 21: 4-14 talks about Jesus appearing again to the disciples as they were fishing and were unable to catch any fish. “Cast the net on the right side,”, Jesus told them. They caught a net full of fish!

Many kinds of fish were4 eaten during Bible days. Fish is an excellent source of lean protein, an essential part of our regular diet. The omega-3 fatty acids have been reported to have anti-inflammatory actions and smoked fish is a big trend for 2016.


Whole Grain Bread

Jesus called himself “The Bread of Life” in John 6:35.The trend continues for whole grains and breads which are a rich source of vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber. Whole grain breads help with weight management, digestive tract health, blood sugar health. And it’s interesting to note that another trend surfacing is for even more flat bread choices, some of which contain seeds like sesame, another ancient Bible food.



When Jesus did eat meat, lamb was a good choice. Often roasted over an open spit, it was an excellent source of dietary protein, which was needed for the kind of active life Jesus led. Additionally, lamb provides zinc has been reported to be important for healthy immune function and blood sugar health.


Lamb contains  less saturated fat than most other meat products.



Figs are the most-mentioned fruit in the Bible – mentioned more than 50 times , starting with the creation in Genesis 3:7. There was a fig tree in the Garden of Eden. Jesus attempted to eat figs from a fruitless fig tree on the road to Jerusalem, so we can assume He enjoyed figs.  Figs are excellent sources of potassium and dietary fiber. Potassium is important for the support of normal blood pressure and healthy muscles.



According to the Gospels, a sponge soaked in wine vinegar was offered to Jesus twice while on the cross. Vinegar, including wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar, has been reported to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive system, helping to support normal blood sugar health. Vinegar has also been shown to increase the absorption of calcium from vegetables, making vinegar a good ingredient for your salad dressing. Organic raw vinegar much like Jesus consumed is in the health news for this year.



Jesus called Himself “The True Vine” in John 15:1-6. Many vineyards are still in the Jerusalem area and surrounding hillsides. Dark grapes are such a good fruit for the heart and even your skin. Raisins are the dried fruit of grapes and a good energy booster.


Olive Oil and Olives

 The  sauce used to dip bread in during the Last Supper may have been or contained olive oil. Olive oil and olives have long been a staple of the Mediterranean diet, a dietary pattern thought to be much healthier than typical Western diets. Olive oil is rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant compounds.


Extra virgin olive oil is the best, but read labels. Know the source and date bottled if possible. Don’t just go with a name. Some are mixed with other oils without you knowing it.  Olive oil also nourishes skin health for a glow.



 An early mosaic of Christ from the 4th century features pomegranates flanking Him. The remarkable number of juicy seeds in a pomegranate symbolizes the many believers who make up the church in religious history.


The pomegranate is considered a “super fruit” because it is tremendously rich in antioxidants. The pomegranate’s antioxidants are thought to be responsible for the potential health benefits. Research studies suggest that regular consumption of pomegranates or pomegranate juice can support heart health, breast health, prostate health, and skin health. Nutritionally, a single pomegranate provides nearly 50% of our daily fiber and Vitamin C needs.



In 2 Samuel 17:29, David was offered cheese, among other things, after many days in the wilderness.

It was very important as a source of protein and fuel for the body. Goat’s milk and sheep’s milk cheeses were the most common and I can just see Jesus taking a piece of flatbread and smearing soft goat cheese onto it.  Goat cheese continues to be a popular cheese for 2016.  


Rita’s 5-Minute Cheesy Buttermilk Quick Bread

It doesn’t take even 5 minutes to mix up. Don’t overmix the batter and you’ll have a crusty, delicious loaf of bread.


  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (4 oz)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter for pouring on top


Preheat oven to 375. Spray or butter (I like butter) a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Mix together flour and cheese. Make a well in center. Pour in buttermilk. Mix. Pour into prepared pan. Pour melted butter over all. Bake 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Tip from Rita’s Kitchen: Make your own homemade self-rising flour by mixing 1 cup all purpose flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.


Mark’s Quick Whole Wheat and Molasses Bread

(Recipe from “How to Cook Everything”)

A super all-purpose bread that’s heartier and more flavorful than most, and relatively light for a 100 percent whole grain bread. It also makes excellent sandwiches, especially when toasted.


  • Oil or butter for the pan
  • 1 2/3 cups buttermilk or yogurt or 1 1/2 cups milk and 2 tablespoons white vinegar (see Step 2)
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup molasses 
    1. Heat the oven to 325°F. Grease an 8- × 4-inch or 9- × 5-inch loaf pan.

    1. If you’re using buttermilk or yogurt, ignore this step. Otherwise, make soured milk: Warm the milk gently to take the chill off—1 minute in the microwave is sufficient—and add the vinegar. Let it rest while you prepare the other ingredients.

    1. Mix together the dry ingredients. Stir the molasses into the buttermilk. Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients (just enough to combine), then pour into the loaf pan. Bake until firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.

Rita Heikenfeld.

Rita Heikenfeld.

Rita Nader Heikenfeld writes a weekly syndicated column and blog for the Community Press, appears every Thursday on the Son Rise Morning Show, and is the author of several cookbooks. An adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, she is Certified Culinary Professional and Certified Modern Herbalist,  the Culinary Professional for Jungle Jim’s Eastgate, and a media personality with a cable show and YouTube videos. In 2014 she was inducted into the Escoffier Hall of Fame. She lives “in the sticks” outside Batavia, Ohio with her family, where they heat with wood, raise chickens for eggs, and grow their own produce and herbs. You’ll find all her previous recipes featured on The Catholic Beat here.

Rita’s Bible Foods segment airs on the Son Rise Morning Show every Thursday morning at 7:22 am (rebroadcast Friday at 6:02 am). Tune in to hear her discuss the history behind each recipe and the scripture verses that inspired it. And of course, for cooking tips!

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