If you’ve ever had brunch, or if you’ve ever been on Instagram, you will most likely be familiar with the millennials’ sweetheart, the avocado. Avocadoes look good on toast, they taste great, and they contain high levels of vitamin B and diverse fats, making them not only delicious, but actually good for you. However, these creamy greens are not as innocent as they look in their emoji form (yes there is an avocado emoji in the works).
High demand has made it more profitable for farmers in Chile and Mexico to grow avocadoes over other crops. In Chile, an average of 320 litres of water is needed to produce just one avocado. That’s almost a bathtub worth of water. In Mexico, growers are illegally thinning out pine forests to make room for avocado trees. You may ask if these farmers are reaping the benefits of their hard work – the answer is no. The market is increasingly controlled by a drug cartel in Mexico. Farmers are threatened, extorted, and occasionally kidnapped by these cartels, who have now found the trade to be almost as lucrative as cocaine.
This news may be as bitter to some as the lemon you squeeze over a slice of creamy green toast. But fear not! Here are five delicious alternatives that you can enjoy just as much as avocadoes, but without the guilt.
Like avocadoes, hummus contains healthy fats, and is a great source of protein and fibre. Hummus works as a dip for vegetables and crackers, but it also goes well on toast. I’d recommend spreading it on brown bread and topping it off with slices of tomatoes or peppers.
Sweet potatoes contain complex carbohydrates and high levels antioxidants, making them nutritious and filling. A new trick you may have heard of is slicing a sweet potato very thinly and toasting it for five to ten minutes. I will say, I have tried this and it doesn’t always work well. My alternative would be to make a sweet potato mash and spread that on toast, seasoned with salt and cinnamon.
If you want to fill the avocado shaped hole in your breakfast life, nut butters are a great way to go. They spread easily on toast, no mashing involved. Sprinkle some berries on the top and your meal is Instagram ready. There are many of different kinds to try and most of them are very high in protein and essential fatty acids.
If you still crave a lovely green slice of toast, peas are your best bet. Peas have a high protein and vitamin content, and they’re also much cheaper than avocados as they’re grown in the UK, which also significantly reduces their environmental impact. Add two tablespoons of water to a bowl full of peas and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Mash them until they’re creamy and then spread on toast. You can even use the same seasoning you would on avocadoes, and you’ll never know the difference.