Bread spreads: easy, vegan and life changing

vegan bread spreads

Sometimes you need a break from avocado toast. Shake up your toast game with these toppings ranging from sweet to savoury to spicy.

Sweet: espresso chocolate hazelnut butter (a.k.a. coffee Nutella)

espresso chocolate hazelnut butter

Dates provide natural sweetness, which means you don’t have to add extra sugar. Soaking them overnight will keep the butter moist and rich.

2 cups of hazelnuts, roasted
1 cup of dates, pitted and soaked overnight
1 to 2 tsp of espresso
1 to 2 tsp of cocoa powder
1 to 2 tsp of maca powder (optional)
dairy-free milk
vanilla extract

prep time: 25 minutes
blending time: 10 minutes
yields: 1.5 to 2 cups

  1. Roast the hazelnuts at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. Gently rub the skin off with a paper towel.
  2. In a high-powered blender, grind the hazelnuts until they form a thick paste. Set aside.
  3. Blend the dates until they form a thick paste.
  4. Place the hazelnut butter back into the blender. Combine the espresso, cocoa powder, maca powder and vanilla extract.
  5. Blend until smooth. If the butter is too thick, add some almond or cashew milk.

Savoury: artichoke olive dip with basil and pine nuts

olive artichoke dip

1 jar (250 mL) of sliced green olives
2 bulbs of artichoke hearts
1/4 cup of pine nuts, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp of nutritional yeast
juice of half a lemon
2 handfuls of fresh basil leaves, chopped
olive oil

prep time: 15 minutes
blending time: 10 minutes
yields: about 1.5 cups

  1. In a blender, blitz the olives and artichoke hearts until they start to become creamy.
  2. Mix in the garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and basil.
  3. If the paste is too thick, add a bit of olive oil.
  4. Blend to your desired thickness. (I prefer mine chunky.)

Spicy: Indian chickpea curry (a.k.a. chana masala)

Indian chickpea curry

Thick curry sauces are wonderfully versatile with rice, flat bread, pizza crust, crackers and toast.

1 can (796 mL) of crushed tomatoes
1 cup of cooked chickpeas
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tsp of chana masala spice blend*
1 tsp of garam masala
1 to 2 tsp of chili powder
2 tsp of turmeric
2 handfuls of fresh cilantro, chopped

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
serves: 4

  1. In a large soup pot, cook the onion and garlic in coconut oil until golden.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas and spices. Bring to a simmer then cook on medium-low for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the cilantro to the pot and serve with more cilantro if desired.

*Look for chana masala spice blend from an Indian grocery store or make your own. The mixture typically includes coriander, dehydrated unripe mango, red chilies, cumin, pomegranate seeds, dried ginger, fenugreek leaves, cinnamon, mint leaves, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, caraway, mace, salt and pepper.

Easy: basil pesto with sprouts and grape tomatoes

basil pesto

When you don’t have time to make your own pesto, grab a store-bought sauce like this one by Sunflower Kitchen. Top with sprouts, tomatoes, seeds and herbs.

See also: tahini with figs, berries, olive oil and rosemary.

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