The avocado originated as a wild plant in Mexico about 10,000 years ago before humans domesticated it and cultivated individual trees for eating. The Aztecs had considered the creamy fruit both a delicacy and an aphrodisiac — a symbol of fertility. These days, avocados are grown commercially around the world, prized for their nutritional benefits and versatility in cooking.
Nicknamed “alligator pear” and “apple of winter,” avocados are wonderful for your health. They’re a rich and delectable source of fiber, and they’re packed with nutrients including potassium, carotenoids, and monosaturated fats — all associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases. One 2022 study found that replacing margarine, butter, egg, yogurt, cheese, or processed meats with the equivalent amount of avocado could lead to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Worried about weight gain? Participants in another 2022 study ate an avocado a day for six months and showed no changes in belly fat, liver fat, or waist circumference. The same study found that participants experienced a decrease in unhealthy cholesterol levels.
There are many ways to enjoy avocados. You can cut it in half and eat it straight from the peel, with a sprinkle of salt and a spoon. You can also add avocado to smoothies or chop them into a salad. But one of the most popular ways to eat the luscious fruit is mashed and spread on a crispy piece of toast. Long maligned as an overpriced restaurant trend, avocado toast created at home makes for a robust and satisfying meal. Below, we give you tips for choosing the perfect avocado at the market, along with healthy and delicious recipes.
Best Fruit Forward
The ultimate avocado toast starts with excellent produce and high-quality bread. When choosing avocados, look for those that give slightly when you press the skin around the stem. Squishy avocados are past their prime, and those that are too firm will disappoint with both taste and consistency. High-quality whole grain bread cut in thick slices makes an excellent base for creamy avocados; make your own, or purchase a loaf from the store.
The basic recipe for avocado toast is simple. Cut an avocado in half, remove the pit, and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Mash with a generous pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon or lime, then mound on a piece of toasted bread. Voila!
From there, you can personalize your creation in a variety of ways. Shower your avocado toast with finely chopped basil, oregano, or “everything bagel” seasoning. Add pico de gallo or finely chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, or a drizzle of olive oil. Top your toast with a fried or scrambled egg, or try this recipe which combines avocado toast with poached eggs, shaved Parmesan, and heirloom tomatoes.
Any way you garnish it, your toast will be sensational. Want further inspiration? Check out these creative recipes that make the most of international flavors.
Avocado Toast Around the World
- Mediterranean avocado toast: Transform your meal with a jar of olive tapenade, sliced cherry tomatoes, and crumbled feta cheese. This recipe comes together in five minutes. Have a bit more time? Top your creation with fresh or fried basil leaves and dukkah, an Egyptian blend of nuts, seeds, and spices.
- Mexican-style avocado toast: This recipe pairs scrambled eggs with prepared or homemade taco seasoning and red pepper flakes. Mash avocados on thickly sliced bread, mound eggs on top, and then add salsa. To finish, sprinkle with sliced jalapenos and chopped cilantro.
- Vietnamese-inspired avocado toast: This dish includes quick-pickled carrot and cucumber ribbons, plus a smear of fish sauce and mayonnaise. Add a poached egg, as well as slices of daikon radish and chopped cilantro or parsley. Finish with ground pink peppercorn.
- Indian avocado toast: For this recipe, mash the avocado with diced red onions and tomatoes, plus cream cheese. Top with store-bought or homemade coriander chutney, then add salt to taste along with a sprinkling of tasty purchased or homemade chaat masala.
- Avocado toast with smoked salmon: In this recipe, rub garlic onto toasted bread. Spread mashed avocado across the toast, drape thin slices of purchased or homemade smoked salmon over the layer, and top with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add a few grinds of flaky sea salt and sprigs of dill. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for an elegant treat.
- Avocado tartine with banana and lime: If you’re in the mood for a pleasantly surprising combo, mound a mashed avocado on sourdough bread and add sliced bananas. Top with lime zest and fresh lime juice, then add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Drizzle a generous stream of honey for some satisfying sweetness.
Feeling experimental? Check out the spice blends in the international aisle of your local supermarket, or create one of these 25 spice mixes from around the world.
Mashed avocado spread over your favorite bread is a tried-and-true meal. And with countless toppings within reach down your grocery store aisles, tried and true can become dynamically delicious! Prepare to be fulfilled!