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Exploring Avocado Toast: Why It's Great and How to Make It Better

Updated on August 22, 2017
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Exploring food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes... one ingredient at a time.

Should We Stop the Madness?

When and where did the fascination with avocado toast begin? I’ve seen countless posts on social media of $20 plates that could just have easily been prepared at home at a fraction of the cost. Perhaps it was Gwyneth Paltrow’s amazing recipe (right next to the page on which she exquisitely describes how to boil water).

OK, I’m letting the snarky side of my personality slip out, but seriously, avocado toast is no big deal.

Or Is It?

Did you know that one cup of pureed avocado contains:

  • 368 calories
  • 4.6 grams of Protein
  • 19.62 grams of Carbohydrate
  • 1166 milligrams of Potassium
  • 23.0 milligrams of Vitamin C
  • 175 milligrams Beta-sitosterol
  • AND 0 milligrams Cholesterol

That little alligator pear is a powerhouse of nutrition, and that's just half of the story. If you build your toast with a whole-grain bread you are well on the way to a big, healthy nutritional boost to your daily diet.

Who Made the First Avocado Toast?

In places where avocados are in great abundance, we can be certain that the marriage of avocado and bread has been in place for decades if not centuries. Here's a rough timeline:

  • 1915 - The California Avocado Association promotes avocado on small squares of bread as an appetizer.
  • 1962 - A New York Times article presented avocado as a filling for a toasted sandwich.
  • 1993 - Chef Bill Granger, Sydney, Australia, put avocado toast on his cafe menu.
  • 1999 - Nigel Slater created bruschetta with avocado for The Guardian.
  • 2013 - And then, there's Gwyneth's cookbook "It's All Good."

How to Tell When an Avocado is Ripe

Did you know that avocados do not begin to ripen until they are removed from the tree? That’s good news for those of us who love fresh avocado but do not have an avocado tree in our back yard.

But how do you know if the little green fruit in your store is ready? Yes, they should “give” slightly when squeezed, but how many times have you cut open an avocado to find that it is way too ripe—that instead of a soft pale yellow green the flesh is brown and discolored?

I have an app for that! The next time you select an avocado find the stem end—the place where it attaches to the tree. You should be able to pop off that little belly button with your fingernail. If it doesn’t budge, the avocado is under ripe. If it comes off and the flesh underneath is brown, it is over ripe. But, if you find that the color underneath is green, that avocado is, in the words of Goldilocks “just right!”

Why All The Fuss?

You might be wondering why I am devoting an entire article to something that isn't really a recipe at all. Simply put, it is easy, delicious, and nutritious. It's imaginative additions and garnishes that elevate it from simple to super.

Recipes

Caprese Avocado Toast

The caprese toast created by the author of TwoPeasandTheirPod contains all of the flavors you associate with a traditional caprese salad, all lovingly presented on top of the star of this article. Here is the nutritional breakdown for 1 serving (note that this analysis does NOT include the balsamic glaze):

 
 
Calories
293.8
Total Fat
19.1 g
Saturated Fat
4.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat
2.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat
9.9 g
Cholesterol
16.4 mg
Sodium
241.4 mg
Potassium
617.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate
21.4 g
Dietary Fiber
8.3 g
Sugars
2.2 g
Protein
12.4 g

Bacon Bruschetta Avocado Toast

Source

Bacon and healthy in the same sentence? Everything in moderation; a little bit of bacon goes a long way in providing that savory, salty pop of flavor on these bacon and fresh tomato-topped toasts. Thanks to HummingHomebody for this great recipe.

Nutritional information is below.

 
 
Calories
570.4
Total Fat
35.9 g
Saturated Fat
6.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat
4.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat
19.5 g
Cholesterol
30.0 mg
Sodium
739.0 mg
Potassium
1,030.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate
50.6 g
Dietary Fiber
17.1 g
Sugars
6.0 g
Protein
14.8 g

Avocado Florentine Toast

Source

Eggs Florentine (florentine = spinach) is a recipe that dates back to the Renaissance. Catherine de Medici (you've heard of the Medici's in Florence, Italy?) introduced spinach to French cuisine when she married Prince Henry of France. It doesn't take a great leap of faith to see how Eggs Benedict could take on a new persona as Eggs Florentine, which a absolute perfection (in my humble opinion).

But, how can you improve on perfection? What about putting that same beautiful egg and spinach dish on top of a whole-grain toast smeared with creamy, buttery avocado. The blogger on dineanddish.net did just that.

And here is a nutritional breakdown of that wonderful dish.

 
 
Calories
363.8
Total Fat
26.0 g
Saturated Fat
5.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat
3.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat
14.5 g
Cholesterol
194.3 mg
Sodium
311.0 mg
Potassium
425.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate
22.5 g
Dietary Fiber
5.0 g
Sugars
2.2 g
Protein
12.1 g

Cucumber-Hummus-Avocado Toast

As Kare of TheKitchenTreaty says, sometimes the simplest things are the best. Take, for example, this toast with avocado and hummus. You have carbs from the bread, fat (the good kind) from the avocado, your protein from hummus, and those crisp cool cucumbers. What could taste better on a hot summer day?

 
 
Calories
416.7
Total Fat
24.2 g
Saturated Fat
3.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat
3.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat
12.8 g
Cholesterol
0.0 mg
Sodium
482.4 mg
Potassium
559.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate
41.6 g
Dietary Fiber
14.0 g
Sugars
4.4 g
Protein
12.1 g

Breakfast Avocado Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 slice multi-grain bread, toasted
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, scrambled
  • radish slices for garnish, optional

Directions

  1. In small bowl mix together avocado, cilantro, lime juice, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Mash with a fork.
  2. Spread the mixture on your toast.
  3. Top with scrambled egg and garnish with radish slices.

 
 
Calories
290.3
Total Fat
19.8 g
Saturated Fat
4.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat
3.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat
9.9 g
Cholesterol
169.0mg
Sodium
193.2mg
Potassium
527.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate
18.4 g
Dietary Fiber
7.0 g
Sugars
2.6 g
Protein
10.6 g

© 2017 Linda Lum

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    • Carb Diva profile image
      Author

      Linda Lum 3 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Flourish, I'm not sure I want to be the Gwyneth of anything (...overated), but I am glad that you approve of these recipes. Please try one if you get a chance. Summer is soon slipping away.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA

      Linda, you're the Gweneth of Delishably. I hadn't heard about avocado toast, but the way you've described it here is wonderful.

    • Carb Diva profile image
      Author

      Linda Lum 4 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, thank you! I thought of you as I wrote this, knowing that you love healthy, easy, local, and avocado! Hot sauce sounds great. Have a wonderful Tuesday. My older daughter and I will be working at the school today (campus cleanup in preparation for the new school year. Where did the summer go?)

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Having one for breakfast. But I think I will just go with hot sauce.

      The one I will eat cost 69 cents and is local.

      You might find me running to the store just for one. But whoa! I have everything in the kitchen for the Breakfast one. Oh boy, thank you.

    • Carb Diva profile image
      Author

      Linda Lum 4 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Thank you Angel. I wish I lived in California--I think they are less expensive there. Imagine being able to grow avocados in your backyard!

    • Angel Guzman profile image

      Angel Guzman 4 weeks ago from Joliet, Illinois

      They all look good! I'm a have to make this!! Got to love avocado!!! :)

    • Carb Diva profile image
      Author

      Linda Lum 4 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Hahaha Bill. I knew this wouldn't be in your wheelhouse, and that's OK. Let me know what your chickens do during the eclipse.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      The less I say the better at this point....how about this....HEY, EVERYONE, GIVE THIS A TRY! LINDA KNOWS A THING OR TWO ABOUT COOKING AND I GIVE MY FULL ENDORSEMENT!

      That's the best I can do....Happy Eclipse Day!

    • Deborah Minter profile image

      Deborah Minter 4 weeks ago from U.S, California

      Yummy!