If you’re of a certain age, “healthy eating” when you were a child was most likely a parent boiling up some frozen carrots and adding them to a processed nut roast from a packet, or a curly, limp lettuce served up with a drizzle of sugary salad cream. Thankfully, those days are long gone and getting the correct amount of nutrients our bodies need each day is not only simple – it’s also delicious.
A great example of this is the genius new trend “unicorn toast” which with a hefty helping of protein, superfoods and a dose of carbs makes the perfect brunch – packed with nutritional powerhouses that you might not otherwise eat. Smoothies are wonderful, but sometimes it’s nice to have an alternative to drinking liquid green gunk for breakfast.
Created by Miami-based food stylist Adeline Waugh, it’s simply a case of mixing your favourite superfood powders with a couple of large spoonfuls of your favourite cream cheese and then getting creative when you spread them on your toast. They’re brilliant for kids who are fussy eaters, because you can get them involved in making them.
If you want bright red you can either use beetroot juice, or mashed strawberries, if you want blue use blended freeze dried blueberries, if you want orange try juiced turmeric root and if you fancy green, use a 1/4 teaspoon of spirulina powder in your cream cheese.
The best way to do it is to pick which colours you would like and mix each one in a separate bowl with a dollop of cream cheese in each. Using a flat knife you can add a colour to each section of the toast, or layer them on if you prefer. It’s easy to recreate country flags, stars, swirls – whatever takes your fancy. It’s surprisingly soothing and satisfying, plus they taste great too. As toppings, you can add sprinkles of chopped fruit, dried mulberry and goji berries, chia seeds, blueberries, sliced banana or whatever you like.
Here’s our colour guide with nutritionist Shona Wilkinson’s explanation of why these ingredients are so good for you:
PINK: BEETROOT JUICE
Beetroot is an excellent healthy food which is packed full of natural nitrates. Nitrates are thought to increase blood flow to the brain. This will help with focus and your performance. Use beetroot in your cooking as much as possible, add it to smoothies or have it as a juice. Mixed with cream cheese on toast it’s a pretty great start to the day.
Chlorella has an amazing balance of nutrients that cleanse, alkalize and protect the body with a special focus on supporting immunity. It has a high chlorophyll content, which is important for cleansing. It is also high in chlorella growth factor which is known to support the immune system. Chlorella is one of the most nutritionally dense foods filled with antioxidants, amino acids, proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and nucleic acids. It can also help you to get rid of cellulite as it improves circulation as well as skin firmness and makes it more elastic.
GREEN: SPIRULINA POWDER
Spirulina is known to ward off free radicals and eliminate toxins from the skin. It has the ability to increase skin metabolism and therefore increase skin cell turnover and healing. It is also often taken to help boost immunity as well as help prevent candida bacteria overgrowth, which can often cause acne breakouts. Spriulina is 65% protein, which is more than eggs! This makes it a great choice for those who don’t get enough protein in their diet.
RED and PURPLE: STRAWBERRIES and BLUEBERRIES
Strawberries are another fruit that is very rich in vitamin C – in fact, they can contain more than any other berry. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and supports the immune system, helping to protect the hair follicles. Like most berries, they contain a wide selection of antioxidant flavonoids and specifically anthocyanins, which give your hair brilliant colour.
Same flavonoids in Blueberries may boost learning and memory. They are thought to protect against oxidative stress (free radical damage) in the brain.
Packed with antioxidants, which protect our cells from harmful compounds and help to keep us healthy. Phycocyanin, is the anti-oxidant giving the characteristic blue pigment in Blue Green Algae.
B12 found in Blue Green Algae has several health benefits making it a very good choice for vegans and vegetarians who are often deficient in this vitamin. Beta-carotene found in Blue Green Algae has been shown to be higher than that found in carrots and broccoli.The body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A, which contributes to the maintenance of healthy skin and vision.
Turmeric can be described as an amazing superfood. The substance that give it the yellow/orange colour is known as curcumin – the main agent that is responsible for its health giving properties. Packed with antioxidants, curcumin has an anti-inflammatory effect and is therefore often recommended for any health conditions caused by inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis and IBS. You do however need to take a lot per day to get the full effects, as you need an extract that contains a significant amount of the curcumin. Add it to your food and consider taking it in supplement form. There’s no upper limit to the amount you can take.
For a full step-by-step guide to making unicorn toast, its creator Adeline has put together an easy to follow recipe here. And, if you’d like some other healthy brunch options, why not try this cacao and avocado mousse which is so wickedly delicious and so good for you that you can have it for breakfast, or a mid-afternoon snack.