It’s not breakfast and it’s not lunch – it’s brunch, and it’s brilliant. Brunch is that special meal whose entire existence implies an abundance of time. All other meals are typically hurried – breakfast is buried under the mad dash to get out the door, lunch is punctuated by busy schedules meeting times, and dinner is shortened by kids’ practices, chores, and take-home work.
But brunch? Brunch means you’ve got nowhere to be but sitting at the table, quite possibly still in your pajamas, enjoying a delicious meal. So treat yourself to some me-time or some we-time with these healthy brunch ideas at home.
Fruitful and Beautiful
Fruit is a wonderful brunch treat because it’s easy to prepare, light, and good for you. There are three primary ways of serving fruit at a brunch. First, you can go a la cart. This means that you prepare the fruit by rinsing it and slicing it, but then your only job is to arrange the items individually in bowls or on a platter and let everyone pick what they want.
The second option is to create a fruit salad. This can be a fun activity for the whole family. The youngest member takes care of the bananas, the next oldest gets to cut the strawberries, the next one gets the grapes, and so on. It’s also extremely easy to customize fruit salads to your or your guests’ tastes. Love pineapple? Load it up! Not a blueberry fan? Leave them out.
Your third option is to prepare parfaits. The basic requirements for parfaits include individual parfait cups, yogurt, granola, and the fruit of your choice – typically berries. First, put yogurt in the bottom of the cup. Next, add your fruit and then your granola. Add another layer of yogurt and top the whole thing off with a few pieces of fruit and a dusting of granola. Simple, delicious and classy! If you want a more interactive brunch experience, set up a parfait bar with different flavors of yogurt and granola and an array of diced fruit. Your guests can mix and match to suit their individual preferences.
Just because you’re making a healthy brunch, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of the most popular items: waffles and pancakes. Both of these dishes can be made using wholesome whole grains and packed full with delicious fruit.
If you want to get decedent without blowing your diet, check out these Carrot Cake pancakes from Health.com. (Yep, it even has the word “cake” in that title.) If you’re not already drooling, head over to Ambitious Kitchen to find 10 other amazingly delicious but still healthy pancake recipes.
These little stars of breakfast still take a leading role in brunch. Scrambled or baked, served alone or on top of an English muffin, there’s no shortage of delicious egg recipes. If you’re hosting a brunch gathering, or if you’re just partial to bite-sized foods, try this Baked Egg Frittata recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. To cut out more calories, try substituting 2% milk for the whole milk and substituting part-skim mozzarella for half or all of the parmesan.
Eggs benedict is another favorite, but it normally boasts a pretty tall calorie count thanks to the Hollandaise sauce. Thankfully, other health-minded people have fiddled with the recipe and created their own versions, like this Kale and Tomato Eggs Benedict recipe which relies on strong, yummy flavors to stand in for a rich, buttery traditional hollandaise. If kale and tomato aren’t up your ally, make the lighter hollandaise sauce from the recipe to top your personal favorite benedict fixings.
For the final touch…
If you’d like a special brunch refreshment but don’t want the heaviness of a Bloody Mary, try adding a few slices of peach to a nice, light Prosecco. Perhaps you’re a fan of red wine? You can find plenty of red bubbly wines or dessert style wines. The sweetness of these wines will match the sweetness of the morning.