Classic Avocado Toast

Lemon. Sea Salt. Crusty Bread. 

Avocado toast has become a staple on brunch menus around Brooklyn. Although it's painful to spend $8.00 + tax + tip for something so simple, I never manage to resist this healthy, antioxidant rich, vegan option. Never say no to a beautiful avocado. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small avocado
  • 4 slices of crusty bread
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • Pinch of sea salt

PREPARATION

  • Pit and peel: Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Cut the halves in half again, and peel back the avocado skins. Transfer avocado pulp to a mixing bowl. *The dark  pulp closest to the skin is the most phytonutrient rich. Peeling the avocado in this way, rather than cutting the pulp out with a knife, allows you to retain the maximum amount of this nutrient dense pulp!*
  • Smash
  • Keep it green: Add lemon juice to prevent browning.
  • Toast:  Place crusty bread slices in toaster, and toast accordingly.
  • Slather: Spread the avocado smash + lemon juice on freshly toasted bread.
  • Salt: Sprinkle finishing salt atop.

REASONS TO LOVE

In addition to being a stellar source of fiber, avocados contain a magical combination of carotenoids and unsaturated fat. Humans and animals can’t produce carotenoids endogenously, so we have to get them from vegetables and fruits (like avocado)! Carrots, kale, and summer squash are all great sources of carotenoids, but the fat content in avocados facilitates better carotenoid absorption! Why is this great news? 

  • Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants with cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Carotenoids support eye health and a strong immune system.
  • Avocados taste delicious.

Vegan Walnut Pesto

EVOO. Garlic. Lemon. Sea Salt. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups basil, tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts (with skins!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt to taste
  • lemon juice to taste (about ½ - 1 lemon)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast

PREPARATION

  • Blenderize: Combine basil, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor until coarsely ground. Use the S blade and pulse setting for best results.
  • Mix: With the food processor's motor turning, slowly add the olive oil, followed by sea salt, juice from 1/2 or 1 whole lemon, and nutritional yeast.
  • Adore: Check the quality via spoon. Add more salt, perhaps.  

REASONS TO LOVE

While classic pesto stars pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and pecorino sardo, we swap in walnuts, nutritional yeast, and lemon for a heart healthy, planet friendly spin on the traditional Genoese spread. The subtle sweetness of the basil balances the tannins of the walnut skin and punch of the lemon, while enhancing the umami tones from the nooch. This vegan variation packs a nutritional punch as well. Research indicates that eating 1-3 oz of walnuts regularly...

  • Provides hard to find omega-3 fatty acids, many anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, and minerals important for blood pressure regulation (e.g. potassium, calcium, and magnesium).
  • Has been shown to support heart health by lowering cholesterol (both LDL and total), helping to regulate blood pressure, and improving blood vessel functioning.
  • Can reduce the risk of chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.

For further literature on the almighty wonders of walnuts, take a look at what the George Mateljan Foundation has to say about them! Though the perfect base for pizza or sweet potato pesto toast, in my opinion, this plant-based pesto requires only a spoon.