This sweet and savory combination makes for a perfect fall-inspired toast. The crisp and sweet flavor from the apple pairs great with the savory, melted cheddar cheese. Try this apple cheddar toast as a fun twist to your regular toast for a perfect afternoon snack!
When most people think of dietitians, they think of the food police. That makes me sad, because most of the RDs I know became dietitians because they love food, not because they enjoy enforcing rules around things you love.
That's how it was for me. I can trace my love of food back to childhood. Growing up in Brooklyn, my parents exposed me to lots of different cuisines. Other than a short period of time where I would only eat foods that started with the letter "P" (there was a lot of pasta with parmesan involved), I wasn't a very picky eater.
The first time I remember loving food was on a trip to France, my first overseas trip as a young child, where I spent two weeks exploring the castles of the Dordogne (went back a few years ago and it was heaven). The croissants were buttery perfection. I discovered Ritter chocolate. I guzzled Orangina (y'all remember that?) as my parents guzzled red wine. I was even obsessed with the airplane food...this was obviously a different time!
But the thing that got me most was the cheese. For lunch most days we would picnic with baguette, cheeses, meats and fruit at some random stop on our road trip. I ate them all - creamy cheese, goat cheese, hard cheese, fresh cheese, blue cheese, smelly cheese...I never turned cheese down. Apparently at one fine dining restaurant, I even chased the dessert cheese cart down because I was afraid they missed us. We may be partially responsible for any poor reputation Americans have among the French - sorry!
Cheese is still my favorite food, and I eat it almost every day. I think that's surprising for a lot of people to hear, especially from a dietitian who encourages eating on the more plant-focused side of spectrum. But there's benefits to be gained from eating foods that you love. Getting pleasure from eating actually enhances nutrient absorption, a fact that I find absolutely fascinating evidence of the mind/body interaction.
But even if it didn't, there's reason enough to eat food you love from a psychological perspective. Eating is supposed to be pleasurable, and when you incorporate ingredients and flavors you love into nutritious dishes, it makes it easy to simultaneously nourish your body and your soul.
That's basically what I did with these cheddar apple toasts. I'm not big on fruit and try to eat more. While I love the taste of really ripe, seasonal fruit, for some reason I never crave it when it comes to snack time, which is annoying because fruit is such an obvious and easy choice. What I've found though is the combination of fruit and cheese just gets me, plus the addition of cheese to fruit makes fruit feel actually satisfying and not just a stomach filler.
Making these apple cheddar toasts is incredibly easy. I like to do them on pumpernickel, but sourdough or a really nice, nutty whole grain bread is delish too. If you're a fancy mustard collector like I am, then this is a recipe to break out a good one. I used a roasted garlic mustard on this and it was incredible. You could also swap gruyere, brie or goat cheese for the cheddar, but I really love the taste of something aged and sharp with the apples and mustard.
Apple Cheddar Toasts
Sliced pumpernickel bread
Shredded sharp cheddar
Garnish: chopped fresh chives, extra-virgin olive oil
Spread bread with a thin layer of mustard. Top with a mound of shredded cheddar. Place in the toaster and toast until bread is crispy and cheese is melted.
Top toasts with sliced apples. Garnish with chives and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.