One of the most frequently asked questions I receive about the Daniel Fast concerns herbal tea. People have a hard time understanding why they can’t have it on the fast, especially if it’s caffeine-free and organic. The same question is asked about fruit and vegetable juice.
The answer is really quite simple and it’s found in Daniel 1:12 where the Prophet’s words are recorded:
“Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.”
This is the anchor text that says we drink only water on the Daniel Fast. Tea and juice aren’t off the list because they are bad for you. They are off the list because there is no room for juice or tea in “drink only water.”
I hope this helps solve some of the confusion as to why no other beverages are allowed on the Daniel Fast. When you think “beverage” during the Daniel Fast, you think “water.”
Now, let’s move to a little bit of a complicated matter, and that has to do with “juiced fruit and vegetables” that are allowed on the Daniel Fast. The reason they are listed is because many people have meals of juiced produce. It’s not a beverage . . . it’s a meal. One woman wrote to me today and told me she uses juiced meals when she’s traveling and at work. But she also accompanies the juiced meal with a beverage . . . which is filtered water. So if you are making meal replacements by juicing fruits and vegetables, then they would be acceptable. It’s a fine line. Juice as a beverage is not allowed . . . liquid meals like smoothies and other plant-based protein drinks are okay.
Water has many benefits . . . including thwarting hunger, helping with detox headaches and cleansing the body. The average adult should drink at least 1/2 gallon of filtered water every day. If this is a new practice for you, you will be very surprised by the benefits you experience.
I am concerned about a trend that seems to be happening in the Daniel Fast genre. And it has to do with so much attention being put on recipes and cookbooks and what we can eat and what we can’t! The Daniel Fast is so much more than food! And when we keep our focus on the food, it seems it’s just another way to feed the flesh rather than denying it!
Don’t get me wrong, I know we need to have good recipes for the Daniel Fast. After all, this is a partial fast where some foods are restricted and other foods are allowed. But the Daniel Fast is not a plan to merely replace all the foods we enjoy eating all the time with a vegan variety!
With that said, I do believe God is using the Daniel Fast to bring more of His people into a healthy way of feeding the Temple of the Holy Spirit – a temple He has entrusted to our care. And with the health crisis in the United States and other countries in the world, it’s critical that we start eating good foods designed by the Creator for the bodies He created!
But I encourage all those who use the Daniel Fast as their method of fasting to examine your heart as you try to figure out ways to satisfy the flesh by going to great lengths to serve up some alternative.
Again, please don’t misunderstand me. I know we need good recipes. I know it’s okay for us to enjoy the food the Lord created for us. But I also know that we need to keep things in balance and not get our eyes so much on the food that we miss the purpose of fasting. It’s a spiritual experience where we put our whole beings under the submission of the Lord. And I do believe there is a danger in going too far in satisfying the flesh by focusing too much on food and missing out on the vital element of submission that a period of prayer and fasting employs.
I had guests the other day and made this Mango and Black Bean Salad. Even though I am not fasting right now, I realized this would be a great recipe while on the Daniel Fast. The recipe was on a can of Bush’s Best Black Beans.
Mango and Black Bean Salad
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh mango, diced
1 cup sweet red bell pepper, diced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 seeded Jalapeno pepper, minced (or hot sauce to taste)
Salt to taste
Combine ingredients in a bowl. Toss and serve.
Originally developed in the late 1800’s by Swiss nutritionists, museli is a delightful cereal made of whole grains, dried fruits, nuts and seeds. It’s easy to make (1/2 cup museli with 1/2 cup water, bring to a boil and then simmer for 2-5 minutes).
I use Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Museli which is an Oregon company, so I am not sure if it available all over the country (I live in Washington State). But there are other companies that make museli if you can’t find Bob’s.
Museli is also great as a cold cereal with soy milk or applesaucse. I like mine cooked and plain, somtimes with a little soy milk.
Zoom, zoom, zoom! It’s a great hot cereal that’s been around for decades! Made by Krusteaz (the pancake folks), the cereal is 100% whole wheat. It’s the only ingredient and cooks in less than 2 minutes after the water boils!
I actually like this very inexpensive cereal. The box I just opened cost me $1.68 and contains 14 servings! That’s a pretty good deal in my book. After the cereal is cooked, I just scoop it into a bowl, add some raisins and sometimes a little soy milk. That’s it!
You could also sweeten the Zoom with chopped up sweet apple or apple juice, apple sauce or some other fruit. You might also want to add some cinnamon.
I know many of you are in the process of collecting recipes and making decisions about how you will prepare meals during the Daniel Fast. Actually, that’s why I wrote The Daniel Fast Cookbook.
But even with the cookbook, there will be times when you prepare other recipes. You will need to decide what it “okay” on the Daniel Fast and what isn’t. So I wanted to write a few keys to help you as you make your decisions.
You will probably need to cook a vast majority of your meals “from scratch.” That’s because so many of the prepared foods include sugar and chemicals, which are both no-no’s on the Daniel Fast.
READ THE LABELS. You will likely be amazed, and maybe even a bit discouraged, as you try to find prepared foods that are sugar-free and chemical-free. And this is why in point #1 I said you will likely prepare most of your meals from scratch. But make sure you read the labels.
Use frozen vegetables. Obviously, you will increase your use of vegetables on the Daniel Fast. The good news is that the vegetables found in the frozen food cases are usually totally free from any chemicals and they are more nutritious than most vegetables found in the produce section (that’s because fruits and vegetables lose their vitamins and minerals the longer they are separated from their vine or branch – wow, there’s a spiritual truth in that statement – and when the foods are flash frozen within only a few hours from harvesting, they retain more of their food value). Frozen fruits and vegetables are also “ready to go.” They are washed, trimmed, sliced and diced and ready for you to do your creative work on them to make them even better!
Generally, if a food is a fruit or vegetable and free from sugar or chemicals, it is okay for the Daniel Fast. Make sure you review the Daniel Fast Food List and then make a call.
Beans, rice and tofu are great sources of protein. The Daniel Fast is a great time to find new recipes that may become family favorites. There are millions of people in the world who eat foods consistent with the Daniel Fast as their core diet. Look for Asian, Latin, and East Indian recipes and you will find many are appropriate for the Daniel Fast with just a few variations.
You can buy 100% whole wheat tortillas, but these are so easy and fun to make. Use these tortillas for a veggie wrap or for chips with salsa.
2 cups whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup warm water
Mix flour and salt in bowl.
Add olive oil and stir until well combined.
Add warm water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Knead dough on floured board for about 3 minutes (20 folds).
Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes (this is called resting)
Roll dough into sausage-shape and then cut into 12 equal parts (cut in half, then in half again, then each part into thirds) and shape into little ball
With a rolling pin, roll each little ball into a tortilla (for best results, roll out from the center and outward).
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Fry the tortillas in a dry stick-free pan for about 30 seconds on each side for soft tortillas or longer for crisp tortillas.
Keep tortillas warm by placing in a tortilla holder or wrap in a kitchen towel
Yield: Makes 12 tortillas
You will find that if you make your recipes more flavorful the servings will be more filling! This is not only a great strategy for the Daniel Fast, but also for anytime as it helps with portion control (a big issue in Super Size It America). I like this recipe for that very reason. A simple green bean and lots of flavor! Yumm!
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 – 1/2 teaspooon red pepper flakes
Heat oil in frying pan or wok over medium high heat. Add trimmed green beans and salt. Cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking for 1 more minute.
Daniel Fast Blog Friend Kimberly adds: “I make this recipe all year and my ten year old eats them as fast as I can make them. I have found though, that the secret ingredient that can make all the diference, is sesame oil! Just a couple of shakes about a minute before they come out of the pan. It’s wonderful!”
Serve as side dish.
This peanut sauce is so delicious that you will want to keep it as part of your non-fasting meals! You can serve the vegetables hot or room temperature. The dish can be served as a side dish, with stir fried vegetables and rice for a main course, or for a snack.
First, steam whatever vegetables you want to serve including broccoli, green beans, carrots, cauliflower or potatoes.
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons soy or tamari sauce
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch cayenne pepper
Salt for taste
Whisk peanut butter and hot water in bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Season with salt. Serve in bowl for dipping or use as sauce with vegetables and rice.
This recipe is actually also good with a little sweetener like sugar or honey. However, after the fast, add about 2-3 tablespoons of honey when you whisk the peanut butter with the water.