6 Breakfast Toasts to Kickstart Your Day

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Sweet, savory, and full of nutrients, these hearty toasts make for a perfect crowd-pleasing brunch or a regular weekday breakfast on-the-go.

Avocado toast has been one of the biggest food trends of the last decade – it is simple, delicious, healthy, and satisfying. But just because adding mashed avocado to your bread is the most popular variation of traditional toast, don’t overlook the many other (maybe even better) ways to elevate your breakfast.

This weekend I cooked up 6 of my favorite breakfast toasts, all featuring a hearty dose of cancer-protective ingredients and bold flavor combinations. All of these toasts pack a hearty dose of fiber and protein, and many also include heart-healthy fats. This combination of nutrients makes these toasts satisfying and balanced, as opposed to traditional white bread with butter that leaves you hungry soon after.

I bought whole wheat sourdough from a local bakery, but any whole grain bread would work. Selecting a whole grain bread increases the fiber and nutrients in your breakfast. I prefer thicker sliced, artisan loaves of bread for a heartier brunch (these recipes use a slice of about 1.25 ounces), but thinly-sliced bread works well for a lighter weekday breakfast.

Make all of these for a group or choose one for a quick breakfast based on what you have on hand.

1. Ricotta, Basil, and Strawberry

Ingredients:
• 1 slice whole grain bread, toasted
• 1 Tbsp ricotta cheese
• 3 fresh basil leaves, sliced into strips
• 2-4 strawberries, sliced into thin strips

This toast is the perfect combination of savory and sweet flavors. It’s light and refreshing and works well with any type of berry in season. Berries are one of AICR’s Foods that Fight Cancer – and are particularly high in ellagic acid, a phytochemical that has been shown to have strong cancer-protective properties.

Makes 1 serving. Per serving: 140 calories, 4 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 23 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 135 mg sodium.

2. Refried Beans, Pico, and a Sunny Side up Egg

Ingredients:
• 1 slice whole grain bread, toasted
• 2 Tbsp refried beans (e.g. Amy’s light in sodium refried black beans)
• 1 Tbsp pico de gallo (or any salsa)
• 1 sunny side up egg

You can also make this one with fresh black (or pinto beans), however using already-made canned refried beans makes it easy to whip up quickly. Warm the beans on the stovetop or in a microwave while you are cooking the egg. I like this Mexican-style toast best with fresh pico de gallo, but you can use any type of salsa. The combination of beans and egg boost the protein in this toast, making it extremely satisfying.

Makes 1 servings. Per serving: 200 calories, 6 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 22 g carbohydrate, 13 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 340 mg sodium.

3. Mashed Avocado with Feta and Pepitas

Ingredients:
• 1 slice whole grain bread, toasted
• 1/3 avocado, mashed
• 1 lemon wedge
• 1 tsp feta cheese
• 1 tsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Mash up your avocado and mix it well with the lemon juice. The lemon adds a nice flavor and the vitamin C and acid help prevent the avocado from browning. Pumpkin seeds add a nice extra crunch and texture to this toast. Avocados are rich in vitamins and minerals and in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Because fat slows digestion, this is the perfect way to add the right kind of fat to your breakfast so you can stay satisfied for several hours. Pumpkin seeds are also nutrient dense – they are packed with magnesium, zinc, and iron, and rich in a variety of antioxidants.

Note: I’ve also tried this toast with pomegranate seeds in place of pumpkin seeds, which also adds crunch and a nice pop of color to your avocado toast.

Makes 1 servings. Per serving: 210 calories, 12 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 22 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 9 g dietary fiber, 190 mg sodium.

4. Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chia Seed 

Ingredients:
• 1 slice whole grain bread, toasted
• 1 Tbsp peanut butter
• ½ banana, sliced
• 1 tsp chia seed (or flaxseed)

This is my favorite version of the staple peanut butter and banana sandwich. You can use almond butter or peanut butter, and either chia seeds or flaxseed. The chia seed is optional, but it adds nice texture while packing in some additional nutrients. Bananas are a good source of potassium and fiber, and its flavor pairs well with peanut butter. Chia seeds are a whole grain with high levels of antioxidants and adding them to your food will boost the protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.  They have a mild, nutty flavor, and taste great added to toast, sprinkled over oatmeal or yogurt, or mixed into beverages/smoothies.

Makes 1 servings. Per serving: 250 calories, 10 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 34 g carbohydrate, 10 g protein, 8 g dietary fiber, 220 mg sodium.

5. Cottage Cheese, Cucumber, Tomato, and Cracked Black Pepper

Ingredients:
• 1 slice whole grain bread, toasted
• ¼ cup low fat cottage cheese
• 4-5 thin cucumber slices
• 2-3 thin tomato slices, cut into quarters
• Cracked black pepper (to taste)

This is one of my favorite variations of a breakfast toast. It may seem a bit unusual, but the combination of crisp fresh vegetables and creamy cottage cheese provides great texture and  refreshing flavors. This toast is best in the summer months when tomatoes are in season, but it can be eaten year-round with even just the cucumber if you can’t find good tomatoes. Cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein with ½ cup providing 14 grams, and a good source of calcium.

Makes 1 servings. Per serving: 150 calories, 3 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 20 g carbohydrate, 12 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 320 mg sodium.

6. Sautéed Chard with Feta and Egg

Ingredients:
• 1 slice whole grain bread, toasted
• 2 large chard leaves, chopped
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 1 tsp feta
• 1 hard boiled egg, thinly sliced

This toast variation is the perfect way to sneak vegetables into your breakfast. You can use any kind of chard, but I prefer Swiss chard to add a bit more color. Sauté the chard in olive oil (optional to add a squeeze of lemon, chopped garlic, or crushed red pepper flakes) until it is soft and reduced by about ¾ in size. Spread it atop your toast, sprinkle with feta, and top with a thinly sliced hardboiled egg. Dark leafy greens, including Swiss chard, are one of AICR’s Foods that Fight Cancer due their content of carotenoids. In lab studies, carotenoids found in dark green leafy vegetables can inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells, including  skin cancer, lung and stomach.

Note: change up your greens with this toast depending on what’s available – it is also great with sautéed spinach or kale.

Makes 1 servings. Per serving: 220 calories, 12 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 16 g carbohydrate, 12 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 260 mg sodium.

There are numerous variations of these recipes you can make, so don’t be afraid to get creative and mix things up.

What’s your favorite variation on breakfast toast?

Sonja Goedkoop, MSPH, RD, is Head of Food and Nutrition at Zesty, Inc. She is passionate about helping others improve their health through diet and physical activity and believes eating nutritious food should be easy and taste great. You can follow her on Twitter @SonjaGoedkoopRD.

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