“I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine into my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”Daniel 10:3
The Unleavened Truth
People are curious: can you eat pita on the Daniel Fast? Here’s the flat-out truth! While a whole grain pita bread may pair well with a side of hummus, it will have to bow out gracefully from the Daniel Fast. The main reason is that in the Bible Daniel mentioned that he fasted from all leavened bread. Wait—what is leavened bread, you may ask? Leavened bread is made with any rising agent, like yeast, baking powder, or baking soda.
But Why Not?
Abstaining from leavened bread can be seen throughout the Bible as a symbolic sacrifice, so it makes sense that Daniel would incorporate that restriction into his fast. The Jews ate unleavened bread in observation of the Passover and went so far as to remove all rising agents from their homes during those fasts. (Exodus 12:1-15)
Jesus and the apostles discussed the symbolism behind abstaining from leavened bread and they likened it to our negative behaviors. This rings true: just a little bad habit in one part our lives can figuratively rise…it can spread and grow to overtake other areas of our lives. We see this with our health—unhealthy physical habits can spill over to our social, emotional, and spiritual lives. (Mark 8:15, 1 Corinthians 5: 6-8)
Pita bread is omitted for a second reason: it usually contains not just yeast but also sugar and olive oil, which are not allowed on the Daniel Fast. So if you are itching for something to dip into your hummus, try substituting fresh cut vegetables.
Well, What Can I Wrap Things In?
Flat breads in the style of corn tortillas are also an easy replacement for pita bread. Most store-bought corn tortillas have just two ingredients, both fast-compliant: water and corn. But if you are up to it, you can also make your own at home. Kids love to help: they can use the tortilla press or pat out the dough, and the results are often tastier than store-bought! Either way, corn tortilla-style flat breads are the only ones that are Daniel Fast-compliant, since injera and matzoh contain oil. You can use corn tortillas to eat your usual suspects wrapped in pitas, like hummus, baked falafel, a Greek salad, or your favorite veggies.
A Few Recipe Ideas. . .
Here are a few Daniel Fast compliant recipe ideas. For more, check out Daniel’s Plate recipe website.