The best spreads for health

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What do you like on your toast? Most Australians I know go for butter and Vegemite, or perhaps jam or peanut butter. Did you know however that there are much healthier (and tastier) options available? Below are a few of my favourite spreads. I often devour these either directly out of the jar or smothered on sprouted spelt bread toasted in the morning for breakfast.

Almond butter

Leave the peanut butter to one side. Peanuts for a start are a common allergen. Not only that, technically they are not a nut at all, rather they are a legume. Due to this reason, peanuts don’t carry with them the nutritional benefits that other nuts do. Most commercial peanut butters also are packed full of salt sugar (!) and other added nasties.

Instead of the tried and true, look out for pure nut butter versions. I personally love almond butter, which is just ground almonds (no added oil) but you can also find ABC spread (almond, brazil nut and cashew nuts) and plain cashew nut spread. They are delicious and immensely filling and keep me going for hours.

Tahini

Tahini is made from hulled (or unhulled) sesame seeds. It has a slight nutty flavour to it and its texture is similar to a dense peanut butter. Lovers of halva (a middle eastern dessert) will recognise its flavour, as halva is also made from ground sesame seeds as a base ingredient.

Tahini is chock full of good fats and like nut butter will also leave you full for hours. Try it also as a base spread in wraps with veggies.

Avocado

Avocado is a tried and true spread for toast. Eating it in the morning is a great way to up your intake of green vegetables and also gives you the good fats and nutrients to keep you full until lunch time. Perhaps the most natural ‘spread’ you can buy, avocado ticks all the health boxes. Try to restrict yourself to ½ an avocado per day to avoid consuming too much of its good fats.

Before you reach for the butter, jam or Vegemite next time, try one of the above spreads for taste and health benefits. You might be pleasantly surprised.