Each spring, prior to Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we are commanded to rid our homes, and our lives, of all leavened products. This scripturally mandated activity has ever since been known as “spring cleaning”. At this important time of year, leavening represents “sin”, the puffed up and vain self-centeredness of which we are all guilty. We thoroughly clean our dwellings of all products that contain leavening to demonstrate our desire to rid ourselves of this evil. When the ancient Israelites left Egypt in haste, having no time to make leavened bread, they demonstrated this form of obedience for us. Just as we strive to be perfect, we all fall short.
No matter how diligent my efforts, I always seem to miss something. Last year, after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, I found a small box of baking soda in the back of my upright freezer in the basement. This year, instead of just checking the freezer contents, I will actually empty and clean the freezer. Our food, also, must not contain any leavening during the Feast days. This may seem like a daunting task to new believers, but, with a few adjustments, they will find that it is not hard to do.
We are fortunate to live in a society in which there is a variety of foods available and preparing meals that contain no leavening is relatively simple. The nutrients found in leavened bread are also found in other grain products.
In place of sugary cereals, try oatmeal, eggs, cheese and fruit for breakfast. Rice, pasta, barley, and millet are just a few of the grains that round out a meal, but beware of crackers and tortillas as most contain leavening. Instead of cake, pies make a good leaven-free dessert. Crunchy carrots or crisp apples are delicious snacks, but if you must have cookies, there are homemade recipes that contain no leavening too.
This may also be an opportune time to rely less on pre-packaged processed foods and to add more fresh vegetables and fruits to your family’s diet. You may be surprised at just how creative your cooking and how satisfying your meals will be.