It seems that the student classic of a humble toasted sandwich has got a bit of a bad rep in recent years as a particularly unhealthy meal or snack, smothered in cheese and full of fats. Yet, thinking about it, why should this be so? Good quality (or the best you can afford) brown bread can provide slow releasing carbohydrates whilst the filling could be a mixture of healthy fats (which we do all need, contrary to many popular diets at the moment), protein and a bit of fruit or veg. thrown in for good measure – not so bad, surely? I’m a great believer that a little bit of what you like will do you no harm, it’s all about moderation – and means you are far less likely to go overboard later on. Toastie ‘bags’ are cheap to buy and mean that you can easily make a toastie in the toaster, and eliminate the need to use butter as an anti-stick for the toastie maker/frying pan.
The other week, a good friend of mine, who is still studying at Durham and works on the student newspaper (The Palatinate) there, asked me if I could contribute a couple of alternative toastie recipes to this issue’s food section. Now, this was a bit of a challenge for me since I don’t eat a great deal of bread and, being lactose intolerant, the only cheese I really eat is goats cheese – and even then not very often! Nonetheless, I sent her over a few recipes and here is what they picked:
The full article can be found here if you fancy a read.
Avocado, honey and sea salt toastie
2 slices bread of choice
1 small ripe avocado
A pinch of sea salt
Spread the honey over one of the pieces of bread (how much depends on how much of a sweet tooth you have, I don’t think this needs much to be honest). Hollow out the avocado, thinly slice and layer over the honey, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and toast.
Apple, cinnamon and peanut butter toastie
2 slices bread of choice (brioche could work well here)
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. soft brown sugar
1 tbsp. peanut butter
Slice up the apple and place in a microwaveable bowl. Mix in ½ tbsp. water, along with the sugar and cinnamon. Microwave for 60 seconds on high, or until the apple is nice and soft. Spread the peanut butter evenly across the bread, top with the apple and toast!
If trying to be healthier, look at the ingredients on your peanut butter. So many don’t have a very high percentage of peanuts actually in them (you want it as near to 100% as possible) and have lots of oils added instead. Meriden, who do a range of different nut butters, and Peanut Butter & Co. tend to be the best.
A note on sugar – all of the sugar in these recipes could be subbed for healthier alternatives such as honey, a little maple syrup, agave nectar, etc. (this would be my personal preference).
Do you ever eat toasties? What’s your favourite filling?