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So you know how sweet potato “toast” is a thing? (Was a thing? Is it over yet? Someone more food-cool than me needs to tell me these things!) Well, I’m just gonna go ahead and say it. While piling almost anything with delicious toppings is a Good Thing – fries, nachos, flipflops… probably – there is no way that a soft and sugary sweet potato is a real substitute for a crispy-crunchy, crackery-carby toast-type toppings delivery vehicle. Can I get an amen?
When you’re sticking to an AIP dietary framework, though, any kind of bread, cracker or otherwise crispy thing is pretty much off the menu, along with grains, nuts, seeds and eggs in general. Which is why I’m so excited that Mission Heirloom has started to make their Yucan Crunch available through Amazon Prime! Because they’re made with 100% yuca root, they’re perfect as a base for totally AIP & allergy friendly toasts with all the tasty toppings you can dream up. While plenty of people call these crackers, they remind me more of a crispbread in texture. A little more crisp and airy than your standard issue dense-ish cracker, with plenty of satisfying crunch. (The clue is in the name!).
They’re totally neutral in taste, which makes them the perfect flavor vehicle for whatever you want to pop on top. As someone who buys convenience foods or SAD equivalent products almost entirely never, I have to say that these may well be my new favorite treat. There’s something so decadent about being able to eat something truly crisp and crunchy, especially when you top your Yucan Crunch with something rich and creamy as a contrast.
They’re best when they’ve been lightly toasted to really amp up the crunch, but you’ll really want to pay attention to them under your broiler, in your toaster oven or when you pan toast them. (Please don’t put them in the toaster! They can get stuck, burn and maybe set your toaster on fire. Not good.) So let me run you through a few of the ways I’ve been getting my crunch on with these AIP & allergy friendly toasts!
THE BAD HABIT
I was still a vegetarian during my first year of college and when I was stuck on campus all day at my faculty library, there was one place to eat nearby. And the only sandwich they ever had which was both vegetarian and mayo-free (because I was bordering on mayo-phobic) inspired this toast. It was made on nutty, toasty tasting bread filled with hummus, grated carrots and olives and I ate one of those things almost daily more times than I care to remember. I think I probably hated them by the end of that first year. But it’s actually a great combination: creamy hummus, crunchy carrots, briny olives. Here I used my Garlic & Artichoke Hummus, grated heirloom carrots, black olives and a little cilantro to finish.
THE TOP GUN
Do you feel the need… the need for cheese? You don’t need no dairy to make this twist on the classic lox and a schmear combo. I slathered this sucker with my Green Onion Pesto (my Four Greens Pesto would work well, too!), then added ribbons of smoked salmon, slivers of red onion and sprinkled a few rinsed and drained salted capers over the top. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the top before you crunch… schmancy basil leaf optional!
Orange and olive might sound like an odd partnership at first. The first olive trees to reach California came to these shores via Spanish Franciscan monks and that olive oil paired exceptionally well with the abundance of citrus there. So take that a step further and imagine the zesty fruit getting together with olive-y umami goodness. It’s seriously one of my favorite, if slightly unexpected flavor duos. (I have an orange salad with a rosemary olive tapenade in my cookbook, Nourish, that is just killer.) So for this toast, I spread a generous smear of black olive tapenade and topped that with refreshing sliced cucumber and zingy blood orange supremes. Sprinkle with a little dried oregano if you like.
Only a few years ago really, I was staunchly anti-avocado. They weren’t exactly common where I grew up, only available shrink-wrapped on plastic trays to protect their multi-thousand-mile journeys to fancier stores. The first time I came across avocado hiding in a salad, it was (now what I now recognize to be) so overripe as to be mush. It took a long time for me to even try avocado again after that and even then I grit my teeth and willed my stomach into submission. Mostly because it was one of the first and only meals my not-yet-husband ever made me!
Can’t say I loved it (I made a feeble excuse and palmed the rest of my plate off on him), but in the years since then, guacamole proved to be the gateway to my current love of almost all things avocado. This toast has thinly sliced (NON MUSHY!) avocado fanned out on top of paper thin peppery radish slices, drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with my favorite garlic salt.
THE ELVIS FRIDAY
So The King’s late night eating habits are the stuff of legend, but did you know that his famous peanut butter & banana sammies often included bacon and were practically deep fried, to boot? That dude sure knew how to go all out! This toast was actually inspired by the similar breakfast my old boss made before work whenever a hangover struck. Which was a lot of Friday mornings. That inebriation-buster called for topping whole wheat or granary toast with peanut butter, slices of banana and a drizzle of honey. And, truth be told, it was delicious, even with a side of hold-the-hangover. For this toast version, I topped Yucan Crunch with my Toasted Coconut Butter, sliced banana, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of salt. No bacon needed!
THE GREEN MEANIE
Spring has sprung, lovers of all things green and fresh! No complicated story here, just all the verdant deliciousness of the season in a toasty bite, titled after a guilty TV habit. (Guess the show in the comments!). This toast is alive and kicking, topped with smashed avocado, prosciutto, shaved asparagus, a squeeze of lime and mint leaves. Creamy, salty and brazenly refreshing all in one bitch-slap of a bite, it’s the Chanel of snacking.
How do you crunch?
There are almost endless ways to top and enjoy these AIP & allergy friendly toasts using Yucan Crunch. Whatever fresh toppings I choose, I like to start off with a spread of some kind to help hold all the other toppings in place. Here are some of my favorites: