There's something sort of magical about toast. A plain, boring piece of bread becomes a delicious, crunchy entity with just a bit of applied heat. Scientifically speaking, there's a whole sugar-amino acid party happening called a Maillard reaction, but that's beside the point.
The real point is that only a thin layer of butter is needed for toast perfection. But when you're ready to diverge from our favorite fat, here are five inventive new spreads to have on hand.
Big Spoon Roasters Chai Nut Butter, $14
Adding the warm spices of chai (cardamom, clove, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla) to hearty peanut and almond butter may seem like it's going to be overkill, but it works: Each of the components is present in each bite, but they don't overpower one another. Every jar is made to order, so give the Durham roasters a week to send yours to your door.
Potlicker Kitchen Pineapple Habanero Jelly, $7
Remember how much we love red pepper jelly? This Vermont-made spread is similar in its tanginess but with the fruity pop of pineapple and the kick of habanero peppers. Spread a layer of cream cheese on your toast first, then finish it off with the bright orangey-red concoction.
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Taste Rosemary Fig Chevre Spread, $8
Speaking of cream cheese, this is pretty much the best store-bought spreadable cheese we've had (though this pimento from the same maker ranks high). Creamy chèvre combines with fig and rosemary for a stand-alone toast topping or the perfect addition to a cheese plate—if you're willing to share.
Hey Boo Coconut Caramel, $12
One of breakfast's greatest qualities is that dessert somehow passes as an acceptable start to the day. Just go with it and reach for this caramelized coconut milk. After all, coconut is a fruit, so it's part of a complete breakfast, right?
Rare Bird Preserves Passion Fruit Curd, $12
For as ugly as passion fruits are, they sure make for great cocktails and desserts—not to mention curd (pictured above). The creaminess of the egg yolk means there's no need for butter or cream cheese, and Rare Bird succeeds at capturing the tart sweetness of passion fruit in that pretty little jar.