From coast to coast, toast is a staple in many breakfast programs. Whole grain toast contains fibre, vitamins and minerals needed in a healthy diet. However, toast can quickly become an unhealthy choice in the morning once we start topping it with sugar-laden and processed spreads. For example, Nutella spread on white bread has less fibre and more fat and sugar than a cupcake with chocolate frosting. Unfortunately most jams, Nutella, cinnamon spread, and even some peanut butters contain a lot of added sugar. These toppings unfortunately provide calories without any beneficial nutrients.
On average, Canadians consume 3 times the amount of sugar per day than what is recommended, and that doesn’t include sugars from fruit juice. We know that eating too much sugar is linked to weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease. These are all great reasons why we should try to limit our consumption of added sugar as much as possible.
Cheez Whiz is another spread that is not a healthy choice. While this spread doesn’t contain sugar, it contains a lot of added salt and a long list of unnecessary ingredients. Cheez Whiz is not considered a serving from the milk food group as it contains very little calcium, vitamin D or protein for healthy bones and optimal health. Processed cheese slices like Kraft Singles fall under the same category.
Here are some recipes and tips for choosing healthy spreads for toast:
Choose nut butters without added sugar
Avoid nut butters with hydrogenated fats or any added fat. Real nut butter is just nuts. Nothing else added.
Spread avocado on toast with a little salt and pepper. *This will be hard to do ahead of time as the avocados go brown.
Make your own jam – it’s really easy and very low in added sugar. Try this Easy Chia Jam.
Instead of using store-bought cinnamon spread that lists sugar as the first ingredient and contains modified fats, make your own and control the amount of sugar – or do not use sugar at all! Cinnamon adds sweetness without needing sugar. Try the Cinnamon Spread recipe.
Ever try apple butter on toast? It’s delicious! Try the Apple Butter recipe. It’s pretty quick to make, and has very little added sugar. Yum!
Spice up plain cream cheese by adding chopped veggies and herbs. Try this delicious recipe for Veggie Cream Cheese, or keep it sweet, and mix in cinnamon or fruit.
Baked beans on toast is a common breakfast food in Quebec. Beans are an amazing source of protein and fibre and is an awesome thing to top on toast. Warm up canned beans, or try making your own.
Instead of Cheez Whiz, melt shredded cheese on toast, or serve real cheese slices.
What healthy toast toppings and spreads do you use at home?