Food

Breakfast Idea: Toast Spread

Breakfast Idea: Toast Spread

For the past year, breakfast felt like a snooze in our household. We’d sleepily pour our kids cereal, and after a while Toby stopped asking for milk, and there you have it: dry Cheerios in a bowl. Have a great day! But recently I half-jokingly told the boys that we were going to have a ‘Toast Party,’ and it has become a great new breakfast ritual. We spread on Nutella and strawberries; peanut butter and banana; avocado; sharp cheddar, egg and cucumber. You could also do cream cheese and lox, scrambled eggs and mushrooms, cinnamon sugar, ricotta and jam, etc… Everyone’s into it, and it takes less than five minutes. That’s all. :)

P.S. Two-ingredient pancakes, and how to get kids to talk at meals.

(Photos by Stella Blackmon for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Michelle says...

    My favorite thing my mom used to make me for breakfast is cheese toast, which is just bread popped under the broiler with a slice or two of cheddar, and maybe a little butter underneath :) I still make it!

  2. Laura C. says...

    Ours are so typically from our area. Toasted bread + extra virgin olive oil + little of sugar. That’s all.

  3. Mary says...

    Why have I never thought of this? Everyone loves toast. But the idea of a toast spread where they can pick their own toppings?! Genius.

  4. Libbynan says...

    My family has always loved toast for breakfast and I am continually on the lookout for new ideas. We like open-face grilled cheese with bacon/avocado slices, tomato-cucumber-mozzarella salsa, or cream cheese and pepper jelly.

  5. Greta says...

    Try jam and slices of cheese. Sounds a bit odd but it’s amazing and a staple in our house.

    • Kim says...

      *Slaps forehead* Why didn’t I think of that? Sounds so good.

  6. Rebecca says...

    Honestly just plain old butter is the best in my mind! These look delicious too though :)

  7. Have you tried the “Everything but the Bagel” seasoning from Trader Joe’s? It’s amazing on avocado toast!

  8. Maija says...

    The dry cheerios part made me giggle. Have a great day!

  9. I am so thrilled you wrote a toast post. ;-) The Nutella and strawberries toast looks DIVINE. I eat toast for breakfast every morning. Well, every weekday morning. I do an avocado spread with a slice of tomato layered with baby swiss and a side of scrambled eggs. On weekends I just fry an egg, flop it on, and add another piece of bread to make a sandwich, then slice an apple as a little side. Breakfast. Served.

  10. Sarah says...

    I love very darkly toasted sourdough with cottage cheese, chili garlic sauce, thinly sliced cucumbers, and coarsely ground black pepper. Also copied Sqirl and use ricotta and raspberry jam, neither homemade (maybe someday), on toast and it’s so so good.
    (scrambled eggs on toast is delicious but definitely takes more than 2 minutes in my house)

    • Laura says...

      Sqirl toast lived up to the hype.

  11. S says...

    I’m a fan of thick Greek yogurt and sliced peaches or other fruit on toast, or even better, French toast or a waffle!

    • If you can handle the sweetness overload: a waffle with peanutbutter spread topped with crushed walnuts/pecans, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, all the berries, and then drizzled with maple syrup. Talk about a sugar high, but it so worth it.

    • cgw says...

      Oh yeah! Greek vanilla yogurt with sliced strawberries over a toasted waffle is tasty!!

  12. Cazmina says...

    Representing for the Aussies here – Vegemite! I suppose it’s not easily found in the US, but if you can get your hands on it, give it a try. Spread sparingly with butter. It’s salty and yeasty and full of vitamin B. Almost every Aussie kid grows up eating this on toast. A few slices of cheddar cheese on top are also delicious.

    I’m also partial to philadelphia with raspberry jam.

    • Laura says...

      I read this entire comment in my head with an Australian accent.

    • Rebecca says...

      Lol me too.

  13. yesssss I eat some variation of toast almost every day!! The easiest quick breakfast but easy enough to switch up so you don’t get sick of any one flavor. And so excited to try some of the ideas I’m seeing in these comments!! Lately I’ve been loving a lil goat cheese with a drizzle of agave and topped with fresh blueberries. Also love a good old fashioned fried egg on top with some chipotle mayo if I’m looking for something heartier. xx

  14. Stefanie Farquharson says...

    We have hit the dry cereal in a bowl phase as well. Thanks for the tips!

  15. Sandra says...

    Have you ever done a post on picky eaters? I was so excited by this new breakfast idea, but then realized that my 6 yo son won’t eat:

    1. Chocolate in any melted-ish form, so no Nutella
    2. Peanut butter
    3. Avocado that is mashed or too mushy (firm slices are OK)
    4. Eggs
    5. Cheese
    6. Cucumber slices

    Argh! My husband and I both have our own sensory issues with certain foods so we are sympathetic, but it sure makes mealtime difficult.

    • Claudia says...

      Sounds like any meal at my house with my three-year old! I have found he only likes toast with plain honey (spread veeeery thinly).

  16. i love protein pancakes for breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 overripe banana (mushed up), a little almond milk, a little vanilla and a sprinkle of flax seeds! Mix it all together, put a little coconut oil in a frying pan and cook up like a pancake. DELISH!

    http://cuckoolemon.com

  17. Lynda says...

    do you have any suggestions for a 2 year old who deconstructs everything even toast and peanut butter…? -_-

  18. cgw says...

    When I was young, toast w loads of butter and a sprinkle of sugar was my dad’s special breakfast for me. Aside from smashed and seasoned avo, pb&b, and nutella & b, I also love butter and Sticky Fingers’ lemon curd. YUM!

    My daughter has a toast party w her G’ma every morning when we go over to visit for a weekend. It’s a very special thing for her. No one else is allowed to join, and they wake precisely at 7 am to begin. Poor G’ma isn’t allowed to sleep in on a Saturday, but I suspect it’s well worth it for the memories she’s creating.

  19. Penelope says...

    Feta + marmalade!

  20. Look up “Abby’s Better Butter” (and no it’s not mine, I wish I could take credit!) She’s a teenage entrepreneur and sells it online! The “Date Pecan” flavor is out of this world. I eat it on Ezekiel bread every morning with a dollop of lavender honey spread on top. As someone who has never been into breakfast, I look forward to this toast. Delicious!

  21. Cynthia says...

    I like a toasted bagel with butter. I really like Nutella, but it is loaded with sugar!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, for sure. alex jokes that i spread on the tiniest amount possible that you honestly can’t even taste it, but the boys are so thrilled by the IDEA of chocolate for breakfast that they are okay with anything! :)

    • cgw says...

      I tell myself that Nutella is full of protein and anti-oxidants. ;)

    • Starlene says...

      you can also “make” your own version. Just use any nut butter with no added sugar and mix in some cacao powder and maybe a little honey. It’s obviously not as good as the real deal but for kids, diabetics and anyone else who needs to watch their sugar intake, it’s a decent substitute!

  22. Paula says...

    That’s what we eat in Eastern Europe for breakfast! But add smoked cheeses and sausages! You make 8-10 pieces and everyone sits and has their tea. I was always horrified when my American husband would eat cereal and called it breakfast! Thankfully, the entire family is hooked on toast now and that’s all we eat; I will make a sweet and savory variety and then everyone picks what they feel like each morning. My favorites are avocado with loads of pepper and salt, Twarog (type of cottage cheese) with hard boiled eggs and radishes, or if I crave sugar, sunflower butter with honey and bananas. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I felt very validated when Dr. Oz (I know, I know…) suggested you eat most of your carbs at this meal, rather then say, dinner.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that sounds wonderful!

  23. Jessica says...

    Ok try tahini, honey and sea salt (in one of Ottolenghi’s cookbooks although he serves it on banana bread toast, but it’s also lovely on normal toast), or my mums fave- ricotta, chopped dates and walnuts, honey. Mashed banana on this one optional :)

  24. I love this idea! I eat wheat toast topped with butter, agave nectar, ricotta cheese and toasted almonds for breakfast almost every single day. The kids love “lady bug waffles” – waffle, jelly and strategically placed sprinkles for eyes and spots.

    These two are a big hit in our house as well (with both adults and kids):

    http://www.irishboutique.com/blog/2017/1/31/dutch-baby
    http://www.irishboutique.com/blog/2016/5/14/advice-from-someone-you-trust-golden-syrup-and-sea-salt-granola

  25. I did this with with Finn Crisp flat breads a couple of weekends ago when I realized too late that we were out of bread and had to make the crisp bread look exciting for my three littles for breakfast. I lined up a ton of them on a cutting board and put different toppings on all of them and the kids thought it was such a treat. ;-)

  26. Anna says...

    Love peanut butter and banana 🍌 have that topping every day!!!

  27. Lanie says...

    My kids call challah bread “Holliday bread” and they love it when I butter it and grill in then too it with almond butter, down avocado and a smoky, salty, slice of bacon. The best!

    • Paula says...

      omg yes! I do that too with Challah-and I change up the toppings: fig jam and brie, or eggs and chives with spicy cheese… mmm… .I’m so hungry right now!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, you guys are killing me right now!

  28. Liza says...

    When my mom was alive she would make huge, elaborate birthday breakfasts for me, but she died shortly before my 8th birthday. My father is no cook, but he wanted to keep the tradition alive so he toasted some bread, spread it with icing he made with powdered sugar, milk and vanilla and then decorated it with lots of rainbow sprinkles. It became a tradition and I do it with my kids now. I associate it with memories of feeling very loved and taken care of.

    • Angela says...

      That is very sweet. :)

    • That is so sweet! How moving that your dad found a way to keep up the tradition and make you feel special. <3

    • Rach in Oz says...

      What a sweet thing to do and a beautiful memory :)

    • Colleen says...

      Oh so lovely. Your dad sounds as great as your mom.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a beautiful story, liza.

  29. Claire says...

    2 more to consider: almond butter + fresh berries, cream cheese + fresh fruit or preserves. My old favorite standby: toast w/ salted butter and a mug of hot tea w/ milk and sugar.

    • Claire says...

      also cheese toast

  30. Taylor says...

    My son love cinnamon sugar toast, which my husband calls “ghost toast”. No clue where the name came from but it has made it into a huge treat!

    • Lana says...

      Did he maybe used to read the book “The Ghost who Loved Toast”?
      There once was a ghost who ate nothing but toast…. :)

  31. Stella’s photo game is strong! Hope to see more of her pics on CoJ posts.

    Also I just had toast for dinner :)

  32. When my husband and I have a large-ish lunch out, I always say “Peanut butter toast for dinner!” And that’s usually what we do. Toast is my life raft.

  33. I, too, love toast. I recently discovered this product: OSTARA Stone Ground COCOTELLA. It is raw chocolate coconut butter and let’s just say a loaf of freshly baked bread doesn’t stand a chance around here. It is just my hubby and myself and we whip through a loaf in 1-2 days. Yikes!

    • That sounds amazing!! Thank you for the tip. I avoid Nutella because of the palm oil industry destroying forests, plus can’t do dairy.

  34. Meg says...

    I’m 32-almost-33 and have eaten cereal without milk my whole life! Never change, Toby!!

  35. Maggie says...

    “Toast party” is what my dad calls any occasion where toast is consumed. When my sister and I were little we went nuts for toast party. Cinnamon toast party, “jelly jam” toast party. When we were a little older, my dad told me he got the idea from his step mom and his younger step siblings. Every night before bed her kids would get to have “toast party.” But if any of the little ones were naughty, no toast party! So sacred was the ritual, that just the threat of no toast party was enough to curb bad behavior. Now that I’m an adult living on my own, I still indulge in a solo toast party from time to time and it makes me smile.

    • Your story made me smile!! I love it.

  36. Sam H says...

    highly recommend goat cheese, honey and pomegranate arils :)

    • definitely trying this.

  37. Laura says...

    I laaaaav toast.

    Currently, my favorite combo is ricotta + agave.

    Also, adding hummus to avocado toast can give it a flavorful kick.

  38. Emma says...

    Cheese and beans (i.e. Heinz baked beans) on toast… yum! Fry up some mushrooms on the side… double yum!

    • B Cres says...

      Yes!! I put a fried egg on top – delish!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      YES! adding this to our repertoire right now.

    • Kaycee says...

      Yes! My British cousins taught me how to make this. We also put a fried egg on top!

  39. Such a good idea! We’ve been in a breakfast lull lately. I think it’s high time that we have our own toast party. Thanks Joanna! Or maybe some overnight oats? Yum!

  40. Lindsay says...

    I never get sick of this. I have it for lunch a lot too. Usually peanut butter with ripe berries on top, avocado with pepper flakes or a thing I learned in Amsterdam of chocolate sprinkles that melt a bit on the hot toast and topped with Gouda cheese! Also hummus and veggies or cream cheese and salmon…. so many possibilities!

  41. Charlotte K says...

    My fave combo like this is a slice of really good wholegrain bread with scrambled eggs on top and a smushed up avocado half. We’re having a snow day tomorrow and I would make it but I don’t have a ripe avocado :-(

    • Brianna says...

      I *think* you can ripen an avocado in a brown paper bag, but don’t take me to court on that.

  42. Sophie says...

    forgot all about peanut butter and banana on toast!

  43. Sarah says...

    My mom would make “toast plate” for me and my sisters when we were kids. She would put a variety toppings on – nothing as fancy as Nutella back then – cut them in half and set out a big plate for us. Now I make “toast plate” for my kids every once in a while and they get a kick out of it.

  44. I’m obsessed with avocado toast + sea salt + drizzled with really really really good balsamic vinegar (I’m partial to the 18-yr-aged from Fustini’s, which you can buy online). It’s basically like balsamic syrup and it is SO good–just elevates avocado toast–which is already amazing–to something totally mind-blowing. At least mind-blowing for toast. ;-) But I felt completely justified in my obsession with this particular vinegar when my 11-yr-old was showing me her Lego town and she’d built a vinegar shop as part of it…hah!

  45. Eve says...

    salted cultured butter and honey never fails

  46. Kate says...

    Growing up, one of our most special after-school treats were “triangle toast tasties” which were just ordinary (non-magical, as it turns out) toast, cut into 4 on the diagonal and spread with an assortment of cool stuff. My perennial favorite was just butter and cinnamon sugar, but sky’s the limit! They also make a stellar accompaniment to a tea party, just sayin’.

  47. jillygirl says...

    I only have time for green smoothies as I can drink it in the car as I go – so that’s what we all get!
    Simple:
    2 Ripe bananas (just beginning to freckle, otherwise they are not sweet)
    1/2 bag frozen strawberries/pineapple/mango or otherwise
    1/2 a head of de-stemmed kale or equivalent spinach
    a squirt of agave
    and water to cover 2/3 of the fruit. Blend and into sippie cups for the car. I never use dairy and do not miss the extra calories.

    • Elizabeth says...

      One-half bag of strawberries or other fruit? How large is the bag?

    • jillygirl says...

      @elizabeth Half of one of the Cascadian Farms bags, they’re like 2 cups. But I try to get from Costco as often as possible as they have big bags of organic frozen for FAR less overall!

    • jillygirl says...

      Also! Use hot water in the blender to neutralize the cold so it’s drinkable in winter or heat it up gently to take off the fridge chill – it’s fine and far more palatable in winter!

  48. Christine says...

    My husband makes sourdough bread at home, we it’s always a breakfast option around here. The other day I made eggs in a hole for myself, and my daughter said , “I think I want that for breakfast tomorrow.” PB, almond butter, butter and salt, avocado, eggs..We love it all.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “My husband makes sourdough bread at home” = a keeper.

  49. I feel like I’ve moved on from the “cereal for breakfast” habit recently. Perhaps a few decades of eating it regularly made me go off, or the fact that toast was everywhere when we lived in SF, but I LOVE toast for breakfast. Avocado toast, PB&J toast, and you gotta add some cinnamon and sugar options in there too!

    @alphafood on instagram does some incredible toasts (though I can’t figure out where she gets such exotic ingredients in the middle of London!). https://www.instagram.com/alphafoodie/?hl=en

    http://www.shessobright.com

  50. Rebecca says...

    Cute shot! Now I know tomorrow’s breakfast;)

  51. Laura says...

    My breakfast every day for the last few weeks has been two slices of toast. One with creamy peanut butter and raspberry ham and the other with butter, honey, and cinnamon. I then have some cold chocolate milk with it (cola cao). I’m obsessed. Although I should probably start adding some fruit to the mix… :)

    • Laura says...

      Raspberry jam, not ham. Ha.

  52. Erin says...

    We do this with frozen waffles (Waffle Wednesdays). Add peanut butter, a drizzle of honey, and a few chocolate chips. Or cream cheese, honey again, and strawberries.

  53. t says...

    toast party! brilliant. My kids will love this and I might be able to get them to eat things they dont usually eat (as in anything combined like fruit ON toast heaven forbid)

  54. Remember when you blogged about grilled cheese with apple and mustard? That makes a great open-faced sandwich broiled in the toaster oven. Delicious. Well, I must say, my husband and I are bigger fans than the kids.

  55. isavoyage says...

    Maybe you’ve become French? :))
    Because that’s what we do every morning. Plus we have crêpes every now and then (super easy and so tasty!).

  56. Shar says...

    Have you heard of “ableist language”? It is any word or phrase that devalues people who have physical or mental disabilities. In this case, your article, the use of “lame” to describe a situation or thing that is inherently not handicapped or even remotely related can be seen as highly offensive. As a seemingly inclusive blog, it is unlikely that offending others was not your intent. Just thought I’d point this out as I see ableist language being used often and perhaps you can spread awareness of this issue to your readers.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much, shar. that’s a great point.

    • Mikaela says...

      I see your point, but it comes from a somewhat limited command of our language…lame is merely a synonym for weak or poor, “uninspired” breakfast options. In so many cases ableist language feels legitimate…for example the inappropriate use of retarded or gay. Those are offensive, and should be utilized thoughtfully, but lame? That’s really pushing the boundaries of political correctness in terms of policing language.

    • Karen says...

      lame
      lām/
      adjective
      1.
      (of a person or animal) unable to walk normally because of an injury or illness affecting the leg or foot.
      “his horse went lame”
      synonyms: limping, hobbling; More
      2.
      (of an explanation or excuse) unconvincingly feeble.
      “it was a lame statement and there was no excusing his behavior”
      synonyms: feeble, weak, thin, flimsy, poor, sorry; unconvincing, implausible, unlikely
      “a lame excuse”

      Lame has two meanings. Therefore, the way it was probably used was the second meaning.

    • Mandy says...

      Thank you Shar. This word hadn’t occurred to me as problematic before, but I totally see it now. I’m going to do more learning.

    • Sandra says...

      What Mikaela said.

  57. Christine says...

    This is going to sound super weird, but my favorite way to have egg toast is:
    a smear of dijon mustard, topped off with scrambled egg whites (plus a smattering of salt & pepper, to taste)

  58. Jessica says...

    my fav toast is almond butter with blackberries and some honey on top! also doubles as a quick and healthful snack if i’m craving something sweet

  59. I actually love simple breakfasts! I love whole wheat toast (Dave’s Killer Bread is amazing!) with avocado and scrambled or HB egg. Or a whole wheat english muffin with almond or peanut butter + banana slices (the perfect on-the-go filling breakfast!)

    http://hyggewellness.com/blog

  60. Laura says...

    I had a late work day today so I used the extra morning time to make some avocado toast a la Smitten Kitchen and some runny-yolked eggs. Yum. It really set the tone for a good day!

  61. rach says...

    Yum! All sounds great! Ill keep this in mind with my toddler.

  62. Sasha says...

    Is there anything better than toast? I just don’t think so.

    My favorite, mix peanut butter and melted chocolate chips (homemade nutella), top with banana slices. Yummy.

    • Brianna says...

      I’ll have to try this – I don’t like Nutella.

  63. Madeleine says...

    Love this, was just needing some new breakfast inspiration. Perfecto.

  64. Blair says...

    Yes! We toast party all the time. One of my favorite toppings is thick fage yogurt with jam and maybe even chopped walnuts. Also I usually “toast” my bread on a pan with butter. The bread is warm and a little caramelized, and not at all dry like sometimes happens in the toaster. (Try it with a thick slice of challah!)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      this sounds so good!!

    • emily says...

      another vote here for skillet toast (or, as my niece calls it, “skittle toast”) here- we don’t even own a toaster!

    • Sasha says...

      Yum!!! I’m definitely trying this.

    • Patricia says...

      Totally off-subject, but whenever I read the word “challah” I say “HOL-LA!” in my head. And I love toast.

    • Lana says...

      Yes! My kids call it holiday bread. :) challah an you hear me!!