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March, 06, 2023. Dear Kids– One of you kids made a joke the other day after a coworker remarked that he was “impressed” by an avocado in your lunch. You responded by saying, “Yeah, that’s why I can’t afford a house!” I had a vague recollection of why that was funny, which was solidified after a Google search brought me to this news article. The article quotes an Australian millionaire who provocatively claims that millennials can’t afford to buy houses because they are frittering away their money on avocado toast at up to $20 a pop or $40 a day! Other than it seeming to be a bit high on the cost and frequency end (I mean, who’s eating any kind of toast more than once a day?) and an oversimplification of an issue at the expense of a particular generation, the underlying lesson is a good one- it’s never too soon or too late to save money for the future.
Of course, making your own food- even avocado toast- instead of going out will always save you money, but being The Dad I wanted to save you even more money by swapping out the hipster and mercurial avocado for the much less expensive, more reliable and protein packed humble bean.
This is also one of my fastest, easiest and healthiest breakfast recipe and my personal favorite, too. As you kids probably know, I was never a big breakfast person- GM has roasted me for years over this- but this has been (I so want to type “bean” instead of “been”) a game changer for me. I’ve been eating it 2-3 times a week since I thought about bean toast as a breakfast option.
I hope you’ll give this recipe, which really should have been all the rage- much more so than avocado toast- a try and start saving for your future today.
Diet: Ominvore, Vegetarian Option, Vegan Option
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
GET YOUR STUFF OUT
- 4 slices sourdough or other bread
- 15.5 ounce+/- can of cannelini or other bean
- 1-2 tablespoon(s) extra virgin olive oil or, if you have a whimsical sense of irony, avocado oil!
- 1/2 small lemon or more if you like it tart
- 1 teaspoons hot sauce or heat of choice, optional
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
COOK AND PLAY
Play “Toast” by Koffee, whose 2019 “Rapture” won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album-making her the youngest person and only woman to win that award- while you make your own best toast.
1. Your Toast. Toast bread in toaster/toaster oven- make the bean spread while bread toasts. Fancy people out there- you know who you are- can certainly make their toast in the oven with a layer of butter or oil spread on the bread, seasoned with salt and pepper, if they like. I like to get fancy sometimes myself.
2. Rustic & Easy. Get a medium shallow bowl, add beans, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Mash with a big fork for rustic appeal. Taste and adjust taste and texture with oil, lemon, heat, salt, pepper as you wish. For a looser/smoother texture, you could also add water, which we know “ez ze ennemi of flavóur!”, but sometimes you don’t want to overwhelm the subtle flavors, like the beans, with more fat and acid, so in this case, “water ez ze frennemi of flavóur!”.
3. Time For A Toast! Layer a nice amount of bean spread on your toast. Eat au naturel or top with something you enjoy, like any one or more of the following: salsa, dressed greens, egg, roasted veggies, crumbled/shredded cheese, cured/ cooked meat mince, pumpkin/other seeds, crushed wasabi peas, sliced/minced nuts, sliced radishes/fresh veggies, kimchi/other pickles. Make it look good. Leftover bean spread keeps covered in fridge for several days.
4. Epilogue. Enjoy while you think about all the suckers paying $13, or more in Australia apparently, for avocado toast.
Avocados Ugly Little Secret. Not only are beans much cheaper than avocados- they’re also much less stressful. It’s stressful enough trying to be hip, shopping and eating avocados only makes it more so.
You know what I mean- heading to the store with hopes and plans for avocados that night and wondering if you’ll be lucky enough to find any that are ripe. Frantically looking through the piles of individual avocados, hoping to find one that yields gently to the touch, but instead finding piles of rocks. Then moving on to the bags of avocados and, finally the organic avocados- rocks and more rocks! Even if you find a ripe avocado or two, you then worry you might have squeezed too hard and bruised your avocado or perhaps you missed a soft spot in your excitement to find a ripe avocado, which will certainly rear its ugly head when you get home to make your toast or guac or whatever. Not to mention the race against the clock to eat it or store it before it turns brown and mushy- oh my!
On the other hand, your friend the canned bean, will always be in perfect condition when you arrive at the store and on your plate and never change colors as long as food safety permits they be eaten.
Protein Packed, High Fiber, Low Fat For A Better Breakfast. Not to keep beating up on avocados, but beans are also much better for breakfast than avocados due to the much higher levels of protein found in beans. In fact, they say- “they” being The American Society for Nutrition– a high protein breakfast is often recommended due to the benefits it offers for muscle health and weight loss. Specifically, beans in general have about 200% more protein than avocados (for example, black beans- 6 grams/100 grams vs. 2 grams/100 grams). Also, not to brag, but beans in general also have about 27% less fat than avocados (for example, black beans-0.08 grams/100 grams vs. 2.1 grams/100 grams)- yes, I realize the bean spread recipe calls for fat, but it can easily be omitted- you can’t do that with an avocado. Sure, avocados have some nutritional perks that beans lack, but all in all, I give the win to beans over avocados for a better start to your day.
So Could Beans Even Be Better For The Planet? “I can’t necessarily prove this, but it makes sense to me”, which is a technique I used when you kids were young and in that stage where you ask endless questions- and mind you this was before parents could Google or tell you to Google everything. During those times, I would- not necessarily make up answers- but provide answers that made sense to me without any fact checking on my end- why I never went into politics, I’ll never know. So that’s what I’m doing here- thinking there are probably significantly less environmental costs from growing and shipping beans than avocados. If you agree, than that’s just another feather in the cap for our friends the bean. Update- I actually did a bit of fact checking so click here for information about the carbon footprint of shipping avocados– and here to get the skinny on beans place along the path.
Homemade Beans of Choice. I do have one regret and slight stress over beans- I feel like I should make my own more often- canned beans are great, but I know the few times I’ve made my own beans they’ve been even better. Be better than The Dad and make your own beans if you can- not only better, but even cheaper than the $0.79 I paid for the 15.5 ounce, private label canned beans I bought for this recipe. BTW- the weight of the canned beans includes the bean liquid, which I never knew. Still, the amount of beans in the can were still about 2.5 times the yield of a medium avocado.
So Many Combos, So Little Time. Pinto beans, cannellini beans, black beans, kidney beans, Great Northern beans and the list goes on- especially, if you make your own beans. So many different colors, flavors and textures- with the avocado it seems just to be the Haas- over and over again! The options for other flavors and textures in the recipe from the fat, acid and toppings are practically endless as well so let your imagination run wild as you figure out bean and flavor combinations to bring your toast to the next level.
Think of the bean spread as your blank canvas to create any palette of flavors that appeal to you- here’s a kimchi and toasted sesame seed topped bean toast, with a little miso mixed in the bean spread, that tasted great to me.
When pairing flavors and toppings with your beans it may also help to think of the types of cuisine in which a particular bean is prominent and use familiar flavor combos found in those cuisines- cannellini with Mediterranean flavors, Pinto and black with Latin flavors, chickpeas with Middle Eastern flavors and so on.
Make It Creamy. Who’s doing extra dishes in the morning or coming home to more dishes at night, but if smooth is worth it to you, by all means use a stick or other electric blender or food processor to purée your bean mix in to something worthy of company.
Make Yet Another Quick Pickle. I’m not sure why- given how much a Dad Joke it is- but I just have never been into calling these “Quickles” for some reason- go figure. In any event, if you want to make the pickled carrots seen in this recipe- add a cup of thinly sliced carrots to a mix of 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, a few pinches of salt and water to cover carrots and stir from time to time until they taste pleasantly tart.
I Can’t Keep Track of All The Gens. So some rich guy made fun of the millennials for not saving money in favor of avocado toast- certainly an overgeneralization about a particular group of fine individuals and something all generations may be guilty of- not saving for the future- I know I wasn’t until I met The Mom.
For the record, and to help me keep it straight, here are the birth spans for the generations, just in case you want to make overly simplified generalizations about them (you shouldn’t though): Alpha: early 2010 to mid 2020s; Gen Z: mid-to-late 1990s to early 2010s: Millennial: 1981 and 1996: Gen X: 1965 and 1980 and Baby Boomer: 1946 and 1964. It appears that anyone born before 1946 (like your grandparents) are free from such classifications, which is a much better way to look at people of any generation if you ask me.
How To Save For A Down Payment 101. I checked out a menu at a popular eatery near one of you kids for a quick price check on avocado toast and was surprised to see, with an egg, it’s $16 before tax and tip, so it looks like $20 is not out of line.
So, in that case, if every time you make your own Millennial Down Payment Bean Toast, or avocado toast, if you must, instead of eating it out, you could easily save at least $10- even with the ever increasing cost of eggs (cage free are still just about $.50 each at my market). Let’s just say you do this every day and put the $10 you save into a high yield savings account- you’ll have yourself a down payment on a starter home in less than two years!* Now wasn’t that easy!
* Based on national average for down payments ($6,900) and purchase price ($230,000) for a starter home.
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