The beauty of toast is that it is uncomplicated, fast, and endlessly adaptable. Only have eggs and fresh tomatoes on hand? Scramble those babies up with some milk, add a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper, and there’s your lunch. Tada!
If you’re looking to up your toast game, there are a few basic principles that you will want to adhere to:
First, you need good bread. It doesn’t matter how adventurous you get with the toppings, if you’re making this on heavily processed, pre-sliced white bread, it’ll never taste good or fill you up (also it’s realllllly unhealthy). So go for the high-quality stuff—thick, dense, chunky bread with seeds or nuts and packed with whole grains.
Then you need some spreadables: avocado, hummus, or goat cheese, if you’re going savory; nut butters (almond, macadamia, cashew), honey, or jam if you’re going sweet. Keep some fun garnishes on hand: dill, fresh basil or mint, sunflower seeds, feta, chopped almonds, coconut flakes, blueberries…
A little dusting of spice can go a long way, so don’t be afraid to reach for the cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, or sesame seeds. It’s a pretty low-risk proposition, so experiment away!
If You’ve Got a Sweet Tooth…
1. Blueberries on Toast? Hell yeah.
A perfect combo of sweet and savory, this one starts with a light layer of ricotta cheese. Then add blueberries, a little drizzle of honey, hazelnuts or almonds, and a dash of cinnamon, which is very high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Bonus: You can also add a few sprigs of mint or thyme for a fresh pop of flavor.
2. Tahini & Honey: A Perfect Pairing of Sweet and Savory
This is a tried-and-true breakfast in Israel. Add a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of salt. (Be sure to stir the tahini before spreading, since it tends to separate in the jar.)
Bonus: Tahini is packed with protein, so it’s a great breakfast or pre- or post-workout snack.
3. Elvis’ favorite: A Twist on an Old Classic
Access your inner kindergartener, but ditch the Jif in favor of organic almond butter, macadamia butter, or cashew butter—these are higher in protein than peanut butter. (Even better if you can grind it at your local co-op.) Slice the bananas very thin so you don’t overdo it on the sugar content.
This is an ideal post-workout snack or on-the-go breakfast. Feeling adventurous? Add bacon. The combo of sweet and salty makes for a perfectly indulgent Sunday brunch.
4. La Parisienne: Breakfast the French Way
If You’re More of a Savory Gal…
5. Go German: Lunch for Breakfast
A typical German breakfast involves several kinds of good bread and rolls and assorted toppings—almost always eaten open faced. Start with a thin layer of mustard and try a slice or two of high-quality deli meat (turkey or chicken), a slice of cheese (Brie, Emmenthal, or goat), and top it with tomato or cucumber.
You can also slice a hard-boiled egg and add it to the mix. Sounds like a perfect lunch, nein?
6. Cream Cheese, Lox, and Dill: Brunch Sans Bagel
Or for a fun twist, try crème fraîche instead of cream cheese. Swap out dill for cucumbers, radishes, red onion, or capers. Sunday brunch: done.
7. Egg Sandwich: Not Any Old Deli Find
This is for a morning when you have slightly more time on your hands: Toast with goat cheese, a fried egg, radishes, and arugula. Or try the egg any way you like it.
Another fun egg concoction: a breakfast salad with whole grain toast as its base: Butter the bread, cut it up, and toss it in the bottom of a big bowl. Add copious amounts of arugula and a soft-boiled egg. Finish with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of olive oil. Mix, et voilà! Monday morning breakfast.
8. Avocado Toast…With Some Friends
Add a whole lotta yummy goods on top: sunflower seeds, feta, red pepper flakes, salt, and lemon juice. This is packed with good, healthy fats to keep you going all afternoon.