by Kelsey King
Photography by Deni Yacoobian
A new year brings new resolutions, new changes, new ideas, new dreams and new trends. Meet 2017’s avocado toast: sweet potato toast.
Instead of replacing avocado with mashed sweet potato—as the name suggests—the sweet potato replaces the bread. This new trend could be gaining popularity due to the sweet potato’s omnipresence across special diets. It is a part of diets ranging from vegan to FODMAP, paleo to Volumetrics and gluten-free to Whole30.
To make the toast, slice a sweet potato (preferably large and round) into ¼-inch thick vertical slices. Pop the slices into the toaster and toast on high until tender when pierced with a fork. Depending on toaster strength, it may take only one or multiple toast cycles. Alternatively, the slices may be baked for 15-20 minutes at 450˚F in the oven and flipped every 5 minutes until tender and starting to color.
According to McKel Hill, author of the Nutrition Stripped cookbook and blog, the “toast” can be stored in an airtight glass container for up to one week.
To get the creative juices flowing, she suggests some of her favorite combinations such as: tahini + sesame seeds + goji berries, fried egg + sea salt + black pepper, mashed avocado + sea salt + red pepper flakes, crunchy almond butter + cacao nibs and Dijon mustard + smoked salmon + black pepper + parsley.
One of the first to publish this trend was Lisa Bryan, a health coach, wellness blogger and recipe developer. Her “Sweet Potato Toast with Avocado, Spinach, Prosciutto and Poached Egg” recipe was posted in 2015. However, Little Bits Of blogger Kelsey Preciado seemingly first had the idea to conveniently toast the potato slices—no oven or cleanup required. Thanks to her, the idea is gaining traction.
While sweet potato toast is understandably “trendy”, its novelty is no match for the laundry list of nutritious perks. The vegetable is rich in Vitamins A, B5, B6, C and E, as well as potassium, manganese and fiber.
Collectively, these nutrients contribute to lower blood pressure and stress levels, blood sugar control, a stronger immune system, vision protection, healthier skin and hair, regulated digestion and cancer prevention.
However, not everyone is a fan of the new trend; not due to dislike of sweet potatoes themselves, or a dislike of open-faced sandwiches in general, but because a food other than bread is being referred to as “toast.”
“I really resent the fact that I now have to refer to ‘toast’ […] as ‘bread toast,’” writes Carrie Daniels in an article for Thrillist titled “Sweet Potato Toast” is Bullshit. “If you wanna eat sweet potatoes with almond butter, fine. Just don’t call it toast.”
Jack Phillips, a senior at University of Connecticut and fan of both avocado toast and sweet potatoes, felt similarly.
“It seems like you’re taking a good idea—something like avocado toast where you put really good things on a preexisting thing—and are trying to make something revolutionary out of it,” said Phillips. “Instead of it being bread with various things on it, or even a bread substitute, it’s taking a vegetable and calling it toast just because it’s the same shape. So, I think it’s misleading.”
While some may be opposed to the name, none seem to be opposed to the taste. Food bloggers and Instagramers are busy curating, photographing and sharing sweet ideas like Nutella + banana, to savory options like hummus + tomato. Classic ideas include PB&J, while more original suggestions include avocado pea mash + feta + poached egg.
The New Year is around the corner, but if you’re not ready to swap out your avocado toast quite yet, try spreading the topping on a slice of sweet potato—you don’t even have to call it “toast.”