Bread is an essential food in college. With a few additional ingredients, it can stand in for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you really love bread or have a packed day, you can have a classic bread and butter breakfast, a grilled cheese for lunch, and beans and toast for dinner. The options are endless with different combinations. If you are interested on adding something new to your bread, read on for some of my favorite spreads and dips to slather on bread.

1. The Classic: Toast + Butter (and Jam)

bread, toast, wheat, pastry, cereal, sweet, flour
Jocelyn Hsu

When in doubt, toast a thick slice of sourdough bread or whichever type you prefer and slather it with salted butter and any jam of your choice. The tartness of the jam and the creaminess of the butter makes for a delicious snack. This one needs very little explanation, but if you can't decide on a jam, I always like berry-themed ones. 

#SpoonTip: Trader Joe's has many, many jams and jellies to choose from!

2. A Personal Favorite: Tahini

Tahini, a raw sesame seed paste, can be used as a salad dressing on top of vegetables, in baked goods, and more. I recently was introduced to tahini on bread with two variations: 1) topped with a drizzle of honey, a sprinkling of cinnamon, and some sea salt and 2) sprinkled with smoked paprika, diced garlic, a bit of olive oil, and a dash of sea salt. Either option makes a great breakfast based on whether you are feeling sweet or savory that day, but I personally like the cinnamon option for a dessert-like breakfast.

3. Nut Butter Galore

peanut butter, peanut, butter, chocolate
Jocelyn Hsu

Have you ever tried making a nut butter? Any nut or seed can be a nut or seed butter if you're willing to make it. Unfortunately, I do not have the right equipment to make it, so I usually stick with almond and peanut butter that is store-bought. I am a big fan of toasting bread and slathering on almond butter, then topping with sliced bananas, chia seeds, and a drizzle of honey. An easy meal with any nut butter of your choice!

#SpoonTip: If you're looking for new ways to use up your nut butters, check out this article! 

4. Creamy Cheese(s) and Fruit!

A melty, gooey grilled cheese is a classic lunch. When you're feeling like slathering something on your bread, rather than melting something on it, there are a plethora of other options. I personally love the combination of a funky or creamy cheese and a sweet fruit. Cream cheese and slightly mashed blackberries is a personal favorite; brie and sliced, tart apples is also a great combination to try.

5. Avocado!

bread, toast, vegetable, herb, guacamole, avocado
Julia Maguire

I couldn't write an article about how to top bread without mentioning avocados. My favorite way to enjoy avocado toast is to mash the avocados, squeeze some lime on top, sprinkle some cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, and chia seeds. If you're trying to make it into a more substantial meal, top it with slices of boiled egg or smoked salmon. It's truly delicious every time.

Cooking in college can be difficult. Sometimes you have midterms, other times, you run out of groceries; bread makes it all a lot easier. If you're looking to change up your daily toast intake, or just looking for a more nutritious option, try some new toppings. Using different types of bread can add interesting flavors and textures. Try pumpernickel, sprouted whole wheat bread, or sourdough studded with raisins or black olives.