Making toast out of sweet potatoes went viral on Pinterest. Here's what it looks like IRL.
Avocado toast has some competition. It comes in the form of sweet potato toast, the latest and greatest toast to sweep the internet.
Seriously, peruse Pinterest or food blogs for 10 minutes and you'll be inundated with orange-colored "toast" accessorized with trendy toppings like pomegranate arils, nut butters, gloriously runny egg yolks and the like.
The gist of this kitchen hack: Slice a sweet potato into long and thin slices, pop those suckers in the toaster, and top the "toast" with various tasty trappings. Blogger Kelsey Preciado of Little Bits Of put sweet potatoes on the map in May, and the idea morphed from health blogger hack to full-on capital-T Trend promoted by many websites, including Mic.
God only knows why the internet is going ga-ga for faux toast. It probably has something to do with sweet potato slices being a seemingly virtuous vehicle for pretty (read: Instagram-worthy) and "healthy" toppings like avocado roses. Ahem.
Does sweet potato toast truly deserve to be the Next Big Thing? I put the fad food to the test.
Step one: Get yourself a sweet potato and slice, slice baby.
The key here is to slice the potato into quarter-inch slices. Way more time-intensive than throwing a piece of bread in a toaster, FYI. I had to pay close attention that I didn't slice my finger instead of the tater — it rolled around on the cutting board, thwarting my best efforts to cut even slices.
Step two: Toast it up.
I put three slices into my toaster oven, cranked the dial to the darkest setting and waited for the magic to happen.
Step three: Toast it up again.
The toaster oven announced the sweet potato toast's readiness with a pleasant ding — but my slices were looking a little lackluster — by which I mean they looked completely raw. I put them back in the toaster oven for a quick second round, again at the darkest setting.
Step four: Top 'til you drop.
After two rounds of toasting, my belly was rumbling and my patience was running low. My slices had a nice brownish color on the outer edges. I grabbed them out of the toaster (very hot to the touch!) and tried out three different sweet potato toast iterations:
1. Sweet potato toast topped with sautéed kale and an egg.
2. Sweet potato toast topped with hummus and a slice of cucumber
3. Sweet potato toast topped with Wild Friends Sesame and Cranberry peanut butter. (Yes, I have bougie peanut butter and I'm not ashamed.)
And yes, I ate all three toasts with my hands. In one sitting. Here's what my sweet potato toast looked like:
I expected my sweet potato toast would be reminiscent of thick-cut sweet potato fries. Oh, how wrong I was. Even after toasting them twice, my slices felt firm and raw in the center — nothing like the comfortingly mushy, sweet centers of sweet potato fries.
At first bite of the peanut butter sweet potato toast, my taste buds protested. The outer edges of each slice were pleasantly mushy in the right away (a la sweet potato fries) but the middle was tough. I missed regular toast and the lovely chewy texture of a gluten-filled piece of bread.
But once I dug into my toast with kale and fried egg, I got into it. (A drizzle of hot sauce helped too.) The faux toast has certain merits. It may taste a bit like healthy self-righteousness, but it's good in its own right.
While potato and PB fell a little flat, the tender sweet potato held its own when topped with hummus and topped with fried egg. After eating all three toasts, I felt surprisingly satiated.
Would I make sweet potato toast again? Probably not. Slicing up the taters was time-intensive — if I'm going to that much trouble for breakfast, it's probably the weekend and I'd rather fry up my slices with a touch of oil on the stove.
Sweet potato toast is kind of like the zucchini noodles of breakfast food. At first, your taste buds might be confused and alarmed that you're scarfing down vegetables when you could be savoring something carbalicious. But once you stop comparing your veggies to the real thing (toast and regular pasta), you might just be pleasantly surprised.
While I don't foresee sweet potato toast becoming a trend that spreads to restaurants, it's a smart idea for the health set. And hey, everyone runs out of bread sometimes.
Whatever you do, you can't out-trend one intrepid blogger who already topped her potato toast with zucchini noodles. Peak health hack has been reached.