Jars of goodness: which spread is best?
When you’ve toasted your slice of bread to golden brown, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, and you’re just about to reach for the cupboard to top it off, make sure you choose the best possible toast topping. We’ve weighed up all the favourite store-cupboard and fridge toppings, and we’re going deep into the jar to explore their nutritional value. Peanut butter There’s been a lot of debate around this favourite – mostly in the high-fat, low-fat debate – and the benefit of tree nuts versus ground nuts. Most nutritionists agree that peanut butter is good for you in moderation – two tablespoons per day is the recommended amount. Peanut butter is high in protein, which makes it a favourable spread, with around 7g of protein per serving. This, paired with the fibre found in bread, makes for a filling and nutritious slice of toast. Opt for reduced sugar or no-sugar peanut butter, with low GI and low GL bread like Blue Ribbon Low GI Brown Bread or Blue Ribbon Low GI Crushed Wheat Brown Bread. Jam The most common misconception about jam is that because it’s made with fruit, it must be good for you. In reality, store-bought jams are around 60% sugar, with little nutritional value – they contain almost no fibre or protein whatsoever. One serving of jam contains around half the recommended daily allowance of sugar. On the other hand, jam adds a sweet and sticky dimension to toast that little else can – hot toast with lashings of butter and jam is a nostalgic favourite for most. The solution? Limit the amount of jam for every slice of toast and pair it with a slow energy-release bread that’s Low GI and Low GL, and a protein, like low-fat cottage cheese or reduced fat cheddar cheese. Marmite This spread isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but those who love it, adore it. The strong-tasting spread is made from yeast extract, salt, vegetable extract and spices and is very low in calories and sugar. Increasing research suggests Marmite has some serious health benefits, and it makes sense why: it has almost 40g of protein per 100g, with loads of niacin (a B vitamin that’s hugely beneficial for cardiovascular health and improving cholesterol) and folic acid. Along with its incredible nutritional benefits, Marmite is also affordable and, with such an intense flavour, lasts for ages because you spread such small amounts. It can also be used in soups, broths and baking. Nothing beats a slice of Blue Ribbon Toaster White with a thin layer of butter and Marmite. Nutella Nutella has less fat, calories and salt than peanut butter but it does have loads more sugar and comes with a hefty price tag. The hazelnuts in Nutella give it a high fibre content and it’s calcium dense, but the seriously high sugar content (around 21g of sugar in a two tablespoon serving) means it’s not the best choice for a daily sarmie. Rather keep a jar in your pantry for special occasions or decadent weekend breakfast toast – it’s great paired with thinly sliced strawberries on Blue Ribbon Low GI White Bread. Cheese spread For a breakfast or snack on the go, cheese spread is quick, convenient and delicious, especially if you’re a lover of all things savoury. Though it does contain more preservatives than fresh cheese – it has to be able to last on the shelf and in your fridge – it contains far less fat than regular cheddar or gouda cheese, and goes a lot further (and there’s no need for slicing or grating). Good-quality cheese spread has lots of calcium and protein, with little to no sugar. Pair cheese spread with thinly sliced tomato and lots of black pepper on a hot, toasted slice of Blue Ribbon Classic Brown – you can’t go wrong.