in favour of tostadas...

"Churros maybe the more 'romantic' of the Spanish breakfasts, but tostadas are the more healthy!"

I was reading one of the more illustrious travel guides recently trying to get a feel for how travel writers perceive Spain, and to my horror the section on typical Spanish breakfasts made no mention of the humble 'tostada', (toast normally served with grated tomato) a dish that is so readily eaten for breakfast in my part of Spain. Instead, it was lauded that churros (similar to a string doughnut, hot sugary, a bit sticky, and oozing hot fatty oil) and thick hot chocolate (into which one dips the hot churros) are the order of the day.


Of course as sinful as churros are, they are a must to try, and you can't say you have had a typical Spanish breakfast without first experiencing this dipping tradition. My preference however is to follow those in the south of Spain and partake in the more healthy alternative of a tostada. Naturally, not all tostadas are healthy. It is like anything. If you lace a tostada with cheese then the health benefits diminish, or if you smother the tostada with butter and conserve (as do many of the expat community) then again the health benefits take a backward step.

Enter the healthy tomato tostada. Most often half a baguette toasted, (usually in one of those small portable table top grills), no butter, sometimes they will rub an open piece of garlic into the toast to give it extra flavour. The tomatoes are cut in half and grated flesh-side down into a container - the contents are  then spread across the length of the baguette. It is served that way together with a condiments set including olive oil, salt, pepper and vinegar (the vinegar is not used but forms part of the condiments set). The olive oil is dribbled over the tomato, the salt and pepper are added to your desire. Yes, the dish is served cold (with the toast now luke warm at best).

As for the health aspects of this dish - the tomatoes are incredibly good for you, the oil is unsaturated (unlike butter) and the salt measure is entirely up to you.

Tomatoes contain a rich source of several nutrients. They are well known for their high vitamin C content, but also contain significant amount of vitamin A, B vitamins including niacin and riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorous and calcium. They are also a very good source of chromium, folate and fibre. As a breakfast dish they are a great fruit, and the tostada whilst most often served on white bread can be even more healthily partaken if you go for a whole meal baguette. Think health.