Do you love avocado on toast as much as I do? If so I think you’re going to absolutely adore this recipe. I’ve been devouring little squares of avo on toast for a number of years now, after having avoided them most of my teen years for fear of the fat monster (yes, remember the low-fat 90’s?). But now avo toast is a regular lunch staple, and if you’re a health food fan yourself, there’s a high chance it’s a regular feature on your lunch/brunch/brekky menu too.
On a lazy day, I’ll often enjoy my avo toast simply with a spread of Marmite underneath (a salty kiwi spread we have here in New Zealand). Or more recently, with a slither of this delicious NZ-made miso based spread here. Both options give your creamy avo a delicious saltiness that’s the perfect partner. If tomatoes are in season then a few of those go on top too, along with lashings of black pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt.
But right now toms are out (we’re only just in spring), so in the meantime I wanted to add some out-of-summer sparkle to your avocado toast routine. This Avocado and Pea Smash is the business, and I guarantee will take your next avocado topping experience to wonderful new heights. It only takes 10 minutes to make (not much longer than you’re already spending scooping a few slices out of your avo anyway), and the flavour combination is divine. I’ve tried a few iterations of this recipe now, and the lemon + garlic + parsley version is my favourite. Although lime + coriander is pretty special too.
The Perfect Power Pod that are Peas
I’ve spoken a bit about the nutritional benefits of avocados before in this luscious Key Lime Tart recipe here, so today we’re going to give a quick hats off to good old green peas.
Peas don’t often get the limelight these days, and have unfortunately been relegated in many people's’ minds to something frozen that only ever makes an appearance with frozen corn and carrot cubes.
Peas on their own though are genuinely one of my favourite ingredients. I don’t buy too many frozen vegetables, as we are lucky enough to have regular access to lovely fresh organic ones, but peas are guaranteed always in my freezer. Their delicate sweetness is the perfect element to add to so many meals. I’ll almost always toss a handful in with pesto pasta dishes and homemade fried rice. In fact, fried rice without peas is honestly, well you may as well not start!
Peas are little nutritional powerhouses too, and are the quintessential essence of spring. They’re actually a legume, and thus belong to the same family as soy beans (tofu, tempeh etc), kidney beans, lentils and chickpeas. Despite recent dietary trends such as the Paleo diet advocating a no-bean approach, legumes have been healthily consumed for centuries by traditional communities, who incidentally have very low levels of chronic disease (and particularly so as compared to Western society).
Peas are also a very eco-friendly food, being one of a group of legumes (including soy beans) that help to deposit nitrogen back into our soils. This is the essence of traditional crop rotation and organic farming, which I had the joy of seeing first hand last year in Bali - crops such as peas (and mostly soy beans there) are planted in between other crops such as rice, to naturally fertilise the rice without the need for artificial fertilisers. Unfortunately in our mono-agricultural Western world we don’t see this much anymore, with big farma preferring to plant single crops for miles and miles, year after year, which eventually strips the soil of nutrients unless artificial fertiliser is added to try and recover it (which eventually proves futile and the big farming corps move on).
Back to peas, they themselves are very high in beta-carotene, a plant nutrient (or phytonutrient, essentially something outside the ‘vitamin’ and ‘mineral’ categories) that are often found in carrots, orange capsicums/bell peppers and other orange vegetables. The green pigment from chlorella however masks this colour, so we get green looking peas, despite their ‘orange’-type vegetable benefits. Beta-carotene is wonderful for our vision and helps to prevent long term eye degeneration. It gets converted to vitamin A in the body, and is a much safer and healthier source of this vitamin than animal liver (another oft-quoted source), particularly for children and pregnant ladies.
Peas are also low GI at 54, with an even lower glycemic load of 4 (which takes into account the fact that they are in fact mostly water, with a very small percentage carbohydrate). This makes them a good food for diabetics or those with insulin sensitivity (gestational diabetes, metabolic syndrome, overweight), as well as of course the rest of us too. They’re also pretty high in protein, something that might come at a bit of a surprise, with 5.5g per 100g (compared to around 20 grams in a steak). Speaking of steaks, peas contain half the iron that they do to. So all in all a pretty mighty little food!
Back to our recipe, we smash up our lovely sweet peas with olive oil, lemon juice and salt, giving the perfect sour and salty edge to our otherwise simple avocado. The herbs and garlic then add an extra level of flavour intensity and freshness that’s just heavenly.
Not much more I can say, other than try this recipe! With such an easy list of ingredients, only one bowl needed (no blenders or processors this time), and everything being done in under 10 minutes, I guarantee this is one you’ll make then feel pretty pleased as punch to serve to your guests (or yourself). It’s perfect layered on top of your favourite whole grain toast (I’m loving this Five Seed Sourdough here). Or else make up a big bowl, and serve it at your next pot luck with a bunch of whole grain crackers or corn chips for scooping up the chunky goodness. So whatever you’re doing, stop now, make sure you’ve got these ingredients on hand, and make this Avocado and Pea Smash this weekend!
Enjoy, have a fabulous weekend, and til next week, stay happy and well.
PS if you try this recipe, share your avo and pea masterpieces on Instagram and tag me @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics - I always love hearing from you and getting to say hi in person!
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Takes 10 minutes
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Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible
1/2 c peas (frozen and defrosted, or fresh)
1 avocado (cubed)
Juice of 1/2 lemon OR 1 lime
1/4 c spring onion (finely sliced)
1/4 c parsley OR coriander (finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/3 tsp sea salt
4 slices of wholegrain toast OR crackers
Furikake OR sesame seeds and chilli flakes
c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon