A world-wide gourmet trend has hit our shores and may be the answer to shedding lockdown kilos.
Many people joked last lockdown that they exercised twice as much, but still put on weight. With spring here, swapping your usual bread for kūmara or potato slices when making toast for breakfast is a great place to start.
An easy treat to replicate at home, this ‘healthy toast’ can be topped with delicious spring produce such as avocado, mushrooms and fresh herbs for a nutritious start to your day.
“Breakfast is one of the most important meals because it sets up your metabolism and good eating habits for the rest of the day,” explains 5+ A Day Charitable Trust General Manager Paula Dudley.
“Eating lots of bread or toasting English muffins and crumpets for breakfast, won’t give you the sustained energy your body needs. You’ll soon be hungry again and are more likely to load up on sugar-filled toppings such as jam or honey.”
Using kūmara or potato slices as a base for your toast instead of bread is a satisfying option and will encourage you to eat other healthy fresh produce as toppings. The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation recommend people eat three or more servings of vegetables and at least two servings of fruit every day – several of which can be ticked off first thing in the morning with this ingenious idea.
Kūmara or potato toast is also a great way to reduce gluten in your diet which can cause bloating and digestive issues for some people.
Simply cut your kūmara or potato lengthwise into slices (slim enough to fit inside your toaster) and cook them for 4 – 10 minutes depending on your toaster’s heat settings and the thickness of your vegetable toast.
Once slices are golden and cooked through, you can get creative and have fun experimenting with different combinations of fresh seasonal spring produce.
Avocado is always a winner and tastes fabulous alongside kūmara. This powerhouse ‘super fruit’ contains more than 25 essential vitamins and minerals and are rich in fibre and healthy monounsaturated fats, while naturally low in sugar and sodium. They will help you maintain a healthy heart, proper bowel function, good eyesight, boost your memory and help control appetite during the rest of the day.
Lightly sautéed mushrooms are another ideal topping for healthy toast. These gems are a good source of biotin and pantothentic acid – two important B complex vitamins which help our bodies convert food into energy. They also contain dietary fibre and other essential nutrients such as niacin, potassium and selenium.
Kūmara itself will provide a big boost to your immune system, although nutrient content varies slightly depending on which variety you eat. One orange kūmara contains 118% of your RDI (recommended daily intake) of vitamin A, while red kūmara is packed with vitamin C (121% RDI). If you prefer potato, you’ll still get a decent dose of vitamin C (47% RDI) along with folate, niacin, thiamine and magnesium.
“It’s very tempting to comfort eat in these uncertain times but if you concentrate on eating a healthy breakfast you’ll be surprised by the flow-on benefits you’ll experience,” Dudley says.
“And of course, eating in season is always best from both an economic and nutritional point of view. So, try swapping your toast bread for this healthier option and enjoy something new!”