If you happen to follow me on Instagram (@bytesizednutrition), then it should come as no surprise that I like toast… a lot.
Yup, toast. As in golden brown, crunchy sliced bread. I know what you’re probably thinking (“And you call yourself a food blogger?!”), but let’s get something straight here. I’m not talking about plain ol’ toast that has been haphazardly schmeared with butter… although there is a time and place for for that (most notably, local diners circa 2am). Nope, I’m talking about toast piled so high with toppings that you need a fork to clean the mess you’ve made once you’ve demolished that sucker.
Oh, and if you happen to be one of those crazy people who believes that toast consumption should only be restricted to the morning hours, be prepared to question everything you’ve ever known about this so-called “breakfast” food. In fact, some of my best toast creations have come about as impromptu lunches, dinners, or snacks. SO. MANY. POSSIBILITIES.
So what is it about toast that gets me all giddy inside? Welllll aside from the fact that toast is basically the ultimate comfort food, there are plenty of other reasons fueling my infatuation with this simple treat. Topping the list are that toast is…
- Cheap – You can get a loaf of bread for less than a gallon of gas. And since you control the toppings, you control the rest of the costs.. so make it as extravagant or as simple as you’d like.
- Easy – It’s a slice of bread with toppings on it… need I say more?
- Non-commital – There’s nothing worst than putting your heart, soul, and wallet into a recipe, only for it to come out tasting like a 4th grader’s (failed) home-ec project. But with toast, you can get creative without having to commit to days of questionable leftovers. Now that’s something I can get behind.
* Side note: After re-reading the above list, I realize that I may or may not have just described a stereotypical frat boy’s dream girl… #toastisbae
When I toast, I like to class it up or trash it down as much as possible, depending on how I’m feeling that day. Now, I wish I could say that I’m here to share my secret, award-winning toast formula, but unfortunately there really is no rhyme or reason to my madness. BUT I do have a few tips to share with you to help you to start to recognize your full toast potential.
So without further ado… let’s get toasted, shall we??
When it comes to toast, you might think the whole process is pretty self-explanatory. And, for the most part, it is. But if you want to get the most out of your toast experience, keep reading. Because I’m about to share my step-by-step guide for taking your toast game to the next level…
Step 1: Choose your bread.
Alright, it’s time to lay the foundation for your masterpiece. In selecting your bread, be sure to consider the types and amounts of toppings you’ll be adding. If you’re like me and tend to get a little heavy-handed with the toppings, you’re going to want to be sure your bread is up for the challenge. The more toppings you add, the thicker/sturdier you’re going to want your bread to be (basic physics here, people).
Some of my favorite bread choices include: whole-wheat (for a powerful punch of whole grains and fiber); sourdough (for easy digestibility); and whole grain English muffins (for those days when you can’t bring yourself to settle on just one topping combination).
Step 2: Choose your spread.
Your spread is essentially the “glue” that holds the whole thing together (it’s also what sets the mood for the rest of your choices to come, so choose wisely!) Are you feeling savory or perhaps craving something sweet? Maybe a little of both? Time to get those creative juices flowing!
A few of my go-to spreads include: nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew, etc); yogurt; mashed avocado; hummus.
Step 3: Choose your toppings.
This is where things really get fun. Keep things simple with fresh fruit (bananas, berries, etc.) or think outside the box and let your creativity shine! Sometimes I like to pretend I’m on “Chopped” and throw whatever random ingredients I have on hand onto a piece of toast and call it a day. Other days I top a toasty slice of bread with last night’s leftovers for the ultimate lazy girl lunch. No matter what you choose, you really can’t go wrong.
Step 4: Choose your garnishes.
Add a nutritional boost with a sprinkling of chia or hemp seeds or give your toast some extra crunch with chopped nuts. Add a pinch of spice (ground cinnamon, smoked paprika, cumin, etc.) or a drizzle of maple syrup or balsamic glaze before digging in for the ultimate grand finale.
Here are a few of my favorite toast creations to help you get started…
The Breakfast Classic: Almond Butter + Sliced Peaches + Chia Seeds + Ground Cinnamon (this is also fabulous with apples… or any other type of fruit for that matter)
Savory and Sweet: Mashed Avocado + Sliced Strawberries + Crumbled Goat Cheese + Hemp Seeds (I have also added edamame for an extra boost of protein!)
Leftover Mash-Up: Mashed Avocado + (Leftover) Greek Chickpea Salad
The Double Date: Vanilla Greek Yogurt + Fresh Raspberries + Chia Seeds + Chopped Medjool Dates + Pumpkin Seeds
Grown-Up PB&J: Plain Greek Yogurt + Crunchy Peanut Butter + Lazy Girl Blackberry Chia “Jam”
Eat Yo’ Veggies: Mashed Avocado + Grilled Zucchini + Tomato + Goat Cheese + Basil + Balsamic Reduction
Green Eggs (Hold the Ham): Mashed Avocado + Fried Egg + Smoked Paprika
What are your favorite toast toppings? Share your go-to combos in the comments below!