Israel said to them, "If it must be done, take the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down a present to the man, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, pistachios, and almonds." - Beresheet 43:11
I have always wondered about this verse from this week's Torah portion, Miketz. Jacob is sending his eleven sons to buy Egyptian grain from the twelfth because the land is in starvation. It seems odd that they still have these luxuries after two years of famine. How much was left? How much did he send to Joseph?
It's interesting to me that in the oldest book in the world, a book whose name literally means, "Beginning," the foods mentioned are in my kitchen today. On one hand this seems obvious and predicted but on the other it seems miraculous. Have you ever eaten an almond and thought that the Patriarchs ate the same thing?
I decided to combine the ingredients mentioned in this Scripture because I think there is great wealth in eating the foods from the beginning. Yahweh created nothing synthetic, hydrogenated, gun puffed, etc. Only wholesome, healing foods. Since they were being sent as a gift to the second in command of the world's great power, we can assume that these nuts and spices were well loved and surely during famine a rare delicacy. Besides being delicious, these foods were highly sought after because of their health benefits.
Almonds - Their nutrients promote healthy brain and heart function, as well as strong teeth and bones. Almonds are also the only nuts that are alkaline forming.
Pistachios - Rich in antioxidants they lower levels of inflammation in the body. Studies show that pistachios help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (good cholesterol). They may be especially beneficial for individuals with diabetes.
Honey - Historically, honey is perhaps the world's most revered food. Along with Scripture, Greek, Roman, and Persian texts all document honey's use as medicine, helping with everything from allergies to treating scars. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties and is an excellent source of antioxidants and Vitamin C. Believe it or not honey even helps regulate insulin and blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon - Cinnamon has antibacterial, antifungal, and even antiviral properties. It is an anti-inflammatory that can help regulate blood sugar. Many experts suspect cinnamon can improve the motor skills of those with diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Myrrh - This powerful essential oil was brought to Yeshua by men described as wise. It is a powerful antioxidant, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, and expectorant. Myrrh is beneficial to your immune system's health, oral health, respiratory problems, and digestion.
We can see why Jacob considered these such precious gifts! He may not have known the science behind why but he did think of these as medicinal. The "balm" he mentions was intended for healing, and so is the rest. Who doesn't want the benefits of these nuts and spices?
Honeyed Pistachios and Almonds
2 cups almonds
1 cup pistachios
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (Scripture just says "spices" so feel free to use a little cardamom, clove, nutmeg or whatever else.)
2-3 drops essential myrrh oil (please be sure to use food grade)
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
If your honey is not easily pourable, put it in a saucepan and gently warm it over very low heat until it is.
Mix together the almonds and honey.
Spread the honeyed almonds in an even layer on the baking sheet.
Roast for 15 minutes.
Once the almonds are roasted, stir in the pistachios.
Return to the oven for 3 minutes, just to warm the pistachios.
Remove the nut mixture from the oven and sprinkle with the cinnamon, salt, and any other spices immediately.
Let the mixture cool for a few minutes and then sprinkle on a few drops of myrrh oil (a little goes a long way) and stir to combine.
When cool enjoy and think of those in the Beginning eating the same thing! :)
Joseph himself enjoyed these healing foods as a gift from his father. I'm sure for some time when Joseph, his wife, or his sons weren't feeling well, the myrrh came out of the cupboard or honey was given. In a remarkable prophetic act a father sent his far-away child healing.
Give this recipe a try and experience this piece of Scripture in a new way!