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Baby Kiwi and Pear Christmas Tree Toasts

Stunning to present, yet simple to make, these beauties will be the talk of the season. A study in healthy, flavourful contrasts, our Baby Kiwi and Pear Christmas Tree Toasts balance sweetness from fruit and sophisticated nut-free nuttiness and texture from Squirrelly Bread, and richness from cream cheese, topped with bright zest and a salty crunch. Whether you serve these as a light lunch or late-afternoon appetizer, this recipe scales up or down easily to suit the size of your gathering.

ingredients:
  • 6 slices Sprouted Power™ Squirrelly bread
  • ¾ cup (180ml/6oz) non-dairy cream cheese, softened (or spreadable)
  • 4 – 6 mini kiwi fruits (or 2 small kiwi fruits)
  • 2 green pears, sliced (core removed)
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils (seeds)
  • 1 yellow mini pepper (or ¼ yellow bell pepper)
  • Pretzel sticks
  • 1 tsp finishing salt, such as Maldon or fleur de sel
  • Juice of ½ – 1 lemon (or 1 – 2 Tbsp lemon juice)
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated (optional)
instructions:
  1. Lightly toast your Squirrelly bread slices, and spread liberally with an even layer of non-dairy cream cheese. Arrange on a serving platter and set aside while you prepare the garnish.
  2. Wash and thinly slice your pears, avoiding the core. Toss in a small bowl with juice of half a lemon (1 tablespoon) to prevent browning. If not serving immediately, place pear slices in a shallow bowl, cover with ice-cold water to keep crisp, add juice of half a lemon and set aside. When you’re ready to garnish your toasts, remove pear slices from water, and toss with lemon juice as you would if you were using immediately. (If using optional lemon zest, grate lemon zest from the whole lemon and set aside before cutting your lemon for juice).
  3. Wash and thinly slice your mini kiwi fruits, discarding the ends (they do not need to be peeled). If using small, full-size kiwi fruits, slice off each end of the kiwi fruit. Using a spoon , remove the fuzzy peel by sliding the spoon just under the skin from a cut end, and rotating the kiwi until the kiwi fruit slides freely from the peel. Thinly slice peeled kiwi fruit.
  4. Wash and slice your mini yellow peppers into rings (one for each tree), discarding any seeds. If using full-size yellow bell pepper, use a small star-shaped cookie cutter or a sharp paring knife to cut tree-toppers.
  5. Arrange overlapping slices of pear or kiwi in tree shapes on top of your toasts (copy one or more options from the picture, or use it as inspiration to find your own artistic direction!).
  6. Break pretzel sticks in half for tree trunks, top each tree with a pepper ring or star, and dot with pomegranate arils for ornaments. Sprinkle finished Baby Kiwi and Pear Christmas Tree Toasts with finishing salt, and optional grated lemon zest, if using, and serve!

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