The Daniel Fast is a particular type of fast–the practice of intentionally not consuming certain types of foods, beverages or, sometimes, both–for a set period of time. It is described in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament of the Bible. After being taken captive by the Babylonians in the late 6th century, Daniel asked his guards to allow him, as a Jew, to eat only vegetables, legumes and fruit, since the Babylonian diet did not conform to Mosaic Law. Modern Christians and Jews follow the Daniel Fast by abstaining from all animal products, sweeteners and beverages other than water. For these individuals, the protein provided by nuts is an important aspect of staying healthy while on the Fast. Fortunately, a wide variety of nuts are appropriate to eat while conforming to the rules of the Fast.
Technically a legume or member of the bean family, peanuts can be a prominent part of your diet if you are following the Daniel Fast. Peanuts are an outstanding source of plant-based protein. One ounce of raw or roasted, unsalted peanuts eaten as a snack or sprinkled on top of a salad can provide significant amounts of vitamins, such as riboflavin, niacin and Vitamin E. Peanuts may also be consumed in the form of peanut butter when on the Daniel Fast.
Like peanuts, almonds are not a true nut; rather, they are the seeds of the Prunus dulcis tree. For individuals following the Daniel Fast who suffer from peanut allergies, almonds are an excellent substitute. Almond butter, similar to peanut butter, is also admissible. Lightly toasted almonds are a nutritious and healthful addition to the large number of whole grains, such as brown rice, wild rice or bulgur, consumed in the Daniel Fast.
Because of their naturally high oil content, cashews are delicious eaten lightly roasted. Like peanuts and almonds, they provide large amounts of protein and significant amounts of vitamins, such as Vitamin K and thiamin. Cashews are good choices to add to vegetable stir-fries while following the Daniel Fast.
Although pecans contain one of the highest fat contents of all nuts, the majority of the fat is of the omega-3 fatty acid type, a natural fat known to decrease cholesterol levels. Pecans have a naturally buttery flavor. Daniel Fast followers can take advantage of their health benefits and superior taste by sprinkling them on sliced, tossed fruit salads.
Walnuts are rich in both Vitamin B6 and folate. Like almonds and pecans, they are excellent when combined with grains, dried fruits and herbs to make sophisticated, tasty pilafs that conform to all the rules of the Daniel Fast.