In the old days, fruit on toast would mean a slice of bread, toasted, with butter and fruit jam or jelly spread on top. I remember my favorite spreads were salted herbed butter; strawberry jam and peanut butter; or guava jelly and butter.
First, let’s talk about the bread.
Although traditionally, bread is made from wheat flour with water and yeast, my sense is that bread is what is made from any kind of flour mixed with water and/or other liquids, with or without yeast or some other leavening agent. There are very many variations of flour today. Of course there’s wheat flour – all-purpose, whole wheat, bread flour and white whole wheat flour. Then there are also flours from other grains – corn, rice, rye, barley, oat, sorghum, and many others. And there are flours made from root crops – cassava, sweet potato, taro, beetroot, etc.; and nuts like coconut, almond, chickpea, cashew, etc.
Also read: Tutti Frutti Coconut Yogurt Popsicles
Imagine your freshly baked or toasted bread of any kind, topped with butter and fruit. Wouldn’t that be scrumptious?
Now let’s talk about artisan bread, a term which has entered the food world and has become very popular quickly.
An artisan is somebody who’s highly skilled in making something, using natural ingredients, by hand. So, artisan bread is a well-bred, hand-made bread, made with natural ingredients and prepared by hand without the the use of high-speed mixers or chemicals that speed up the fermentation process. The result is artisan bread that is actually easier to digest because the enzymes had time to break down the gluten in the flour while fermenting. Moreover, the baker’s rule of thumb is, the longer the production process, the longer shelf life will be.
Second item, let’s talk about the butter we put on toast. Butter doesn’t have to be the dairy product from cow’s milk. A lot of very delicious butters are made from fat and protein-rich foods like nuts. Some are flavored with sugar, others are savory with the unique flavors of different herbs. Whatever you spread on your bread slice, toasted or baked like a chapati or pita bread, taste is enhanced and healthy eating becomes really enjoyable. My personal choices included peanut butter, cashew butter and almond butter. There are others like hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pistachio and walnut. If you want to make butter the artisan way, just grind the nuts until they are warm and start to release fat. When you’re done grinding, add salt or sweetener as you prefer.
Incidentally, when I got to visit an outback macadamia farm, guests were served corn bread spread with mashed avocado butter. That was very good, too.
And finally, the fruit on the toast.
As widely known, fruits are a rich source of minerals, vitamins and other healthy nutrients. Aside from that, the colorful and attractive appearance of fruits invitingly demand immediate partaking. Bite into the juicy flesh of fresh fruit and you experience an explosion of a medley of sweet, tart and ambrosial tastes.
Try it out, freshly baked or toasted bread, spread with your favorite butter, topped with colorful fruits. Have a happy meal!