How many times do you go into the kitchen and are ready for breakfast and can’t come up with anything you want? Or maybe it’s lunch or snack time, and you’re staring at the loaf of bread, wishing for something more exciting than vegan butter or peanut butter to spread on it. You’ve experimented with avocado toast, and you are ready to move beyond smearing avocado on your bread. Yet you blindly look into your refrigerator or pantry, and you cannot come up with anything that seems appealing.
Whether you’re looking to make toast more exciting for yourself, your kids, or your entire family, here are some suggestions on how to get nutrients into your toast snack.
Creative Uses of Cashews
The cashew is an extremely versatile and nutritious nut. Cashews can be blended to create a “cheese” that contains more vitamins and minerals than the non-vegan variety. While cashews are high in calories, they are also high in monounsaturated fats and vitamins E, K and B6. You can use cashews to make a smoked cheese spread, or a vegan take on cream cheese with coconut.
For something a little more savory but still using cashews, try a creamy garlic spread. This spread would be great on crackers, but for someone looking for a mid-day snack or lunch, this would also be a change from the usual peanut butter on toast.
Variations of Hummus
When you think of toppings for bread, hummus should come to mind. However, there are more varieties than just the typical chickpea/tahini/olive oil blend. Look to blend black beans or edamame instead of chickpeas. Regardless of the bean, you can add lemon, garlic, or any other spice to give your hummus some additional flavor.
If you want a hummus that is outside of the box, mix sweet potatoes in for a boost of vitamin A. Sweet potatoes mixed with paprika and other spices, create a smooth treat that will be perfect as the weather starts to get colder. For another hummus variation, try roasted red pepper hummus. This is reminiscent of the typical hummus that is sold in stores or easily made at home, but with a twist where lemon juice and soy sauce are added for additional flavor.
Sometimes when you are using toast as a meal, you just want a savory spread. Think beans, peppers, and a little citrus, perhaps. One interesting topping that is often used as a spread is Muhammara spread. This consists of a base of peppers, walnuts, and hemp seeds.
If you want a creamy but tangy spread, try a Thai Bean Spread, which consists of garbanzo beans, soy sauce, lime, and almond butter (plus spices). For something even more savory, mix eggplant with cannellini beans for a Moroccan Grilled Eggplant, Onion, and White Bean Spread.
If you want to go the Mediterranean route, mix sundried tomatoes with kalamata olives for a ricotta type spread that will lend itself to topping toast quite well.
Sometimes you want a creamy spread, but you want something a little better than a jar that has been sitting in your refrigerator for months. Instead of a regular vegan cheese spread, try a Pimento Cheese Spread, using carrots, onions, and vegan mayonnaise.
Fall is the perfect time to involve pumpkin in your recipes. High in vitamin A, pumpkin provides a rich, creamy texture to a blended spread without adding a lot of calories or fat. Mix up some pumpkin butter for something different to spread on your toast.
For Your Sweet Tooth
Sometimes, you just want something sweet. You don’t want cake or cupcakes, but you want something that will satisfy that sweet craving. For those that love nutella, but don’t want all of the fat and unnatural (non-vegan) ingredients, make your own vegan nutella spread for that same chocolate-hazelnut taste, but without all of the additives.
Or, use four simple ingredients: cashews, vanilla extract, maple syrup and coconut oil to make a vanilla maple cashew butter that can be spread on toast or just eaten straight from the bowl.
Toast is a great snack, breakfast, or lunch. By getting creative with the spreads to put on your toast, you can continue to enjoy it without getting bored. Remember, the toast itself is simply a vehicle of getting to enjoy a savory spread, a sweet spread, or whatever spread you crave!
Lead image source: Hazelnut Butter