by Courtney Staudt, Dietetic Intern
This is a simple and easy nutrient dense dish that is packed with fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. It is perfect for a quick breakfast, lunch, or snack that can be made with a variety of different ingredients. This recipe can help combat fatigue due to its combination of complex carbohydrates, protein, and fat. This recipe is appropriate for those who are vegetarian, vegan, or dairy free, and can easily be made gluten free.
Avocados: Classified as a fruit although they are not sweet, avocados have a smooth creamy flesh with a slightly earthy neutral flavor. Avocados are packed with fiber, carotenoids, and potassium. Importantly, they contain monounsaturated fats, a healthy fat that can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This nutritious fruit can also help reduce risk of type 2 diabetes [i].
Chickpeas: Chickpeas are a plant-based complete protein, meaning that they contain all the 9 essential amino acids that the body needs to build muscle, transport nutrients, and prevent illness, among other functions. They contain protein, fiber, and many vitamins and minerals. The fiber in chickpeas may help to control blood sugar and promote cardiovascular health [ii].
Whole Wheat Bread: This type of bread is filled with nutritious whole grains that provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Whole grains may help to lower one’s insulin levels, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure, in turn decreasing risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many other conditions [iii]. When shopping for whole wheat bread, look for whole wheat flour as the first ingredient. On the nutrition facts label, look for 3 grams or more of fiber and less than 2 grams of sugar per slice.
Tomatoes: Although tomatoes are genetically classified as a fruit, we mostly use them as a vegetable in everyday life. Their taste depends on the ripeness of the tomato; they can either be sweet, tart, tangy or sometimes flavorless. They contain vitamin C, fiber, vitamin K, and Vitamin A. They contain lycopene, an antioxidant associated with reducing risk of certain cancers and supporting heart health. Lycopene may also help reduce the risk of diabetes complications [iv].
Simple Avocado Toast
- ½ Avocado
- ¼ cup Chickpeas (canned)
- 1 slice Whole Wheat Bread
- ⅛ tsp Black Pepper (ground)
- Dash Sea Salt
- 1 wedge squeezed lime juice (or ½ teaspoon juice)
- ⅓ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ tsp balsamic glaze
- Put 1 slice of whole wheat bread in toaster and toast for desired time.
- Cut avocado in half and remove pit and skin. Drain and rinse chickpeas.
- In a small bowl, add ¼ cup chickpeas and mash with a fork. Next, take ½ of the avocado and mash into chickpeas with a fork until fully mixed.
- In the same small bowl, add lime juice from ¼ -½ a lime wedge depending on taste preference and juice content of that lime. Mix in fully.
- Next, add a dash of salt and the black pepper to bowl and mix in.
- Rinse and halve cherry tomatoes until you have 1/3 of a cup.
- Once toast is ready, spread on avocado mixture, top with diced cherry tomatoes, and drizzle on ½-1 tsp of balsamic glaze or to your liking.
- Use gluten free bread to make it gluten free as needed.
- Mix in different seasonings such as lemon juice, crushed red pepper, herbs, and spices.
- Topping alternatives: egg, crumbled feta, mozzarella, nuts, or tofu can add extra protein to this dish. You can also add mushrooms, bell peppers, red onions, radishes, or corn for different flavors.
- Can sprinkle with hemp seeds, chia seeds, everything but the bagel seasoning, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, or chives.
[i] Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Avocados. The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/avocados/#:~:text=Avocados%20contain%20several%20nutrients%20including,of%20a%20balanced%20nutritious%20diet.
[ii] Cleveland Clinic (2022). What Are Chickpeas and Are They Healthy? This Legume is a nutritional Powerhouse. Health Essentials. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/health-benefits-of-chickpeas/
[iii] Mayo Clinic (2022). Whole Grains: Hearty Options for a Healthy Diet. Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition and Healthy Eating. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/whole-grains/art-20047826
[iv] Cervoni B, (2022). Tomato Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Very Well Fit. https://www.verywellfit.com/tomatoes-nutrition-facts-calories-and-health-benefits-4119981