Toast might be one of the most underrated foods. It's comforting. It's cheap. It's convenient. And, if done right, it can be good for you. Starting with a base of whole-grain or sprouted bread, toast can act as a vehicle for some seriously healthy foods. Here are 19 sweet, savory and scrumptious toast recipes that you can enjoy at breakfast, lunch and dinner (or even at snack time) — all for 250 calories or less!
1. The L.A.
Instead of opting for the quintessential avocado toast, top it with some Sriracha and a boiled egg for a more scrumptious and savory bite. This quick recipe is sure to make you feel full and healthy Hard-boiled eggs are a high-quality source of protein that contain healthy fats and vitamins. Eggs are one of the few foods that contain vitamin D. Plus, they are packed with vitamin B-12, which helps to rev up your metabolism. Studies show that spicy foods can give your metabolism a slight boost and increase feelings of satiety, so finish this dish with a drizzle of Sriracha.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The L.A.
2. The Earth Mother
Your sweet tooth will thank you for this fruit-filled toast, which is topped with a sprinkle of walnuts for some extra crunch. While banana toast is a popular go-to breakfast item, switch up your morning with sliced strawberries, which are high in vitamins, fiber and antioxidants to efficiently nourish your body. A serving of strawberries will fuel you with vitamin C, which contributes to the growth and repair of body tissue, especially after a hard workout. Finally, the walnuts add not only crunch, but also fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which help to lower your risk of heart disease.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The Earth Mother
3. The Honey Berry
This low-calorie toast is a sweet treat topped with two simple ingredients. Greek yogurt on its own is a perfect breakfast item: It's creamy, low in sugar and high levels in protein to benefit your bones, muscle, skin and hair. It is also full of probiotics, so it boosts your immune system while keeping digestive issues at bay. Add a handful of antioxidant-rich blueberries to bring some sweetness and flavor.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The Honey Berry
4. The Philly
Trade your bagel for this Philadelphia-style recipe that includes all the classics: cream cheese, smoked salmon and chives. Opt for a light or even dairy-free cream cheese to reduce your calorie and fat intake. Light or low-fat cream cheese has half the calories of regular spread and contains healthy fats and protein to fuel your day. Smoked salmon is a savory topping that not only complements crunchy toast, but is full of B and D vitamins, which are essential for maintaining your body's energy levels. It also provides magnesium and selenium, minerals that boost your immune system and are vital in energy production.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The Philly
5. The BNC
The BNC is a nutty delight to be enjoyed as an afternoon snack or breakfast item. Instead of peanut butter, opt for a reduced-fat yet equally creamy dollop of almond butter. Finish it off with a sprinkle of organic, unsweetened coconut shavings on top of bananas — everybody's go-to fruit. Bananas are a rich source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B-6 and vitamin C. This easy snack's high potassium levels can help lower high blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health while the vitamins energize your body.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The BNC
6. The Morning Date
High in calcium and deliciously creamy, ricotta is the best topping for this sweet delight. If you would like to lower your fat intake, opt for a low-fat or fat-free ricotta spread that is equally dense in protein and carbs — macronutrients that contribute to your body's energy needs. Date spread is the ultimate natural sweetener and a tasty gluten-free alternative to sugary jelly. Lightly spread balsamic vinegar on top of the ricotta and date "jelly" to add a hint of dark, sweet vinegar on your toast. Balsamic vinegar has zero grams of protein and fat to balance out the ricotta cheese and date spread.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The Morning Date
7. The Berry Sesame
This scrumptious treat is full of antioxidants and flavor that comes from strawberries, a spoonful of peanut butter and crunchy sesame seeds. One serving of strawberries provides more vitamin C than an orange. This fruit is packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants, which reduce inflammation and help to reduce your risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses. But the heart-healthy benefits of this toast don't stop there: Sesame seeds help to lower bad cholesterol and contain a host of hard-to-get minerals like copper, manganese, magnesium, iron and selenium.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The Berry Sesame
8. The Bee’s Knees
This toast is the bee's knees with its nutritious, flavorful toppings. The base spread — ricotta cheese — is high in protein and calcium, which energize our bodies and improve bone health. The mix of honey, flaxseed and cinnamon creates a subtly sweet and nutritious topping. Flaxseed is rich in lignans and omega-3 fatty acids. Lignans are antioxidants that boost your immune system and balance your hormones, while omega-3 fatty acids have heart-healthy effects. Finish this toast with cinnamon to add an earthy flavor and antioxidant boost.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The Bee's Knees
9. The Buenos Dias
Start your morning with this Mexico-inspired recipe featuring refried beans, boiled eggs and some refreshing salsa. The salsa base will add the perfect bit of spice and flavor that's an immediate wake-up call. Tomato salsa is also rich in vitamin C, which strengthens your body tissue and fuels your energy levels. Boiled eggs are low in calories but packed with healthy fats and quality protein. Refried beans are the best part of this recipe: They're low in fat and contain plant fiber, oxygen-carrying iron and protein.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The Buenos Dias
10. The Free Bird
This toast has it all: healthy fats, lean protein and carbohydrates that will immediately fuel you up, making this a perfect meal for any time of day. At just 215 calories, you can double up with two slices or pair this toast with a side salad and a piece of fruit for lunch or a light dinner. Alfalfa sprouts aren't typically touted as a superfood, but their antioxidant content keeps them in the company of Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Plus, they have plant nutrients that have been shown to help reduce the risk of some cancers and even heart disease — so sprout on!
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The Free Bird
11. The Sweet Thai
Sweet, ripe mango paired with tart Greek yogurt and crisp basil gives this toast a mouthful of wonderful flavors. A perfect breakfast or snack, this combination is fresh and filling. As one of the most highly consumed fruits in the world, mangoes contain a plethora of health benefits, such as improved digestion and increased bone health. They're also rich in vitamin A, which helps your vision, bone strength and immune system. The sprinkle of basil adds a fresh, earthy scent to the toast, while the Greek yogurt creates a rich creaminess when eaten with the mangoes. The Greek yogurt in this healthy, on-the-go snack is also high in protein and packed with probiotic nutrients.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The Sweet Thai
12. The Harvest
Despite its name, this toast can be enjoyed any time of year. But there's even more reason to indulge with this recipe, especially if you're trying to lose weight. It's already common knowledge that apples are good for your body, but research from Washington State University found that green Granny Smith apples may help prevent disorders associated with obesity. Green apples' nutritious powers help grow the amount of friendly bacteria in your gut, more so than other typical apple varieties — including Fuji, Gala and Red Delicious.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The Harvest
13. The Hulk
This toast flexes some serious green muscle with the combination of peas and avocados topped with a spicy kick from a pinch of chili flakes. Perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can add an optional fried egg for added protein and nutrition. And at just 197 calories per slice, this toast will make you strong like the Incredible Hulk, but without the indelible bulk. Avocados provide the healthy fats needed in your diet, while green peas are low in fat, rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory benefits.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The Hulk
14. The Greco-Breko
The Mediterranean diet has been proven time and time again to be one of the healthiest out there, so you can feel especially good about munching on this Greek-inspired toast option. Creamy hummus and olives make this dish taste like a guilty pleasure, but they are packed with fiber and healthy fats, respectively. Plus, the potassium-loaded arugula gives this a fresh, peppery taste. Take a break from the day and snack on this Greco-Breko toast treat.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The Greco-Breko
15. The South Beach
This SoFlo-inspired toast will transport your taste buds to the beaches of Miami. Creamy avocado and fresh, juicy shrimp will make any day a beach day and fuel your body with potassium, vitamin K, protein and more. Avocados refresh your body's vital functions because they contain vitamin K, a nutrient that supports bone health and blood clotting. The shrimp is protein-rich and low in calories, and it delivers much-needed antioxidants like selenium. Top it off with a hint of cilantro for a strong, earthy taste before you hit the beach.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The South Beach
16. The Goob
A "mature" take on everyone's favorite childhood sandwich: Swap out the sugary grape jelly for all-natural grapes, and add tangy Greek yogurt to the peanut butter base for additional creaminess and protein. A perfect breakfast or snack, this toast will leave you feeling like a kid again — or, at the very least, a grown-up goober. Grapes are fiber-rich fruits that add a refreshing crunch to your meal, helping you feel full and satisfied throughout the day. They also contain antioxidants called polyphenols, which help to lower your risk of cancer and boost heart health.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The Goob
17. The Caprese
The Caprese is a beautiful and simple Italian salad that's easily bumped up to meal status with the addition of a slice of whole-grain toast. Top it with the freshest ingredients possible — mozzarella, tomato, basil and some quality balsamic vinegar for added tang. Tomatoes are a good source of potassium, and mozzarella cheese is a creamy, protein-rich addition to energize your body.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The Caprese
18. The Lean and Mean
High-protein turkey paired with crunchy cucumber and rich cream cheese is a perfect combination of flavors that'll absolve any mean, hangry feelings you might have. This whole-grain, high-protein mix will help keep you full and build lean muscle. Select a low-fat or dairy-free cream cheese to lower your fat intake while maintaining its rich texture as a spread. But have no fear if you decide to go full-fat on the cream cheese (in moderation, of course); turkey's low fat and high protein will offset it. Add in a few slices of cucumber for a refreshing, mineral-rich topping!
Recipe and Nutritional Info: The Lean and Mean
19. Le Jambon
This is one toast combo that'll definitely have you saying "oui." Sliced deli ham with whole-grain mustard and cornichons (made from small gherkin cucumbers) make this savory toast option perfect for a lunch or dinner meal. Deli ham is full of protein, providing your body with the necessary amino acids. Cornichons are a French-style pickled cucumber that will add a slightly sweet and tangy taste to the toast. Go light on the whole-grain mustard because it can have a strong vinegar taste.
Recipe and Nutritional Info: Le Jambon
What Do YOU Think?
Do you enjoy toasts or think they're overly trendy? Which of these recipe ideas do you want to try first? What do you enjoy topping your toast with? Share your combos with us in the comments below and follow LIVESTRONG.COM on Facebook to receive more food and fitness tips 24/7.