Nothing beats a cracking brunch but it can be hard to think of what to eat that's going to taste amazing, not be too bad on the old waistline, AND that's not ridiculously complicated to make. We've come up with some healthy inspiration for your next day off; invite the girls over and enjoy a gossip over guilt-free, tasty brunch!
One of the simplest breakfasts you can make is a smoothie bowl, and it makes a great first brunch course if you're really pushing the boat out and doing a few different dishes. The best thing about this is it's not only low calorie, but you'll get a huge amount of your daily fruit and veg intake in one whack too.
Another awesome bonus to this dish? You can literally use any combination of fruit and veg you want. Strawberry and banana go really well together, as do mango and pineapple. They key with smoothie bowls is to make the smoothie a little thicker than usual (just add less liquid to the mix.) Then simply add toppings of your choice; dried fruits, dessicated coconut, toasted nuts, slices of fresh fruit and mixed seeds work really well.
For inspiration for your bowl's base, check out our recent article on super healthy (and easy) smoothie ideas.
Credit: Samantha Neades
Bacon & Egg Cups
Bacon and eggs, a classic brunch combo for all the right reasons. Eggs are full of healthy fats and essential protein, and this alongside bacon is a high protein hit that's going to set you up perfectly for the day ahead. These cups are quite high in fat but still really healthy; just don't go mental on how many you eat!
Spray a muffin tin with oil (or brush with melted butter) and preheat the oven to 200°C. Pre-cook your bacon (fry or grill; your choice but grilling will be healthier) for around 5 minutes until cooked through but not crispy. Press the bacon into the muffin moulds, pressing firmly down. Crack an egg into each mould, season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes, until the egg white is firm but yolk is still runny.
Smashed Avocado & Poached Eggs
Make your brunch just sooo Instagram-able by getting avocado involved. There's a reason this fruit is becoming more and more popular every day; it's full of healthy fats, body-beautiful fibre and is so versatile. Adding a couple of poached eggs (you could scramble them if you prefer) will give you your fill of protein (without the added fat from frying) and serving on some wholemeal bread or yummy sourdough will provide you with healthy carbs too. A delicious, easy and beautiful-looking brunch idea, that is actually perfect for any time of the day!
Porridge is such an amazing breakfast or brunch idea and it's so, so easy to make too. If it's just you then you can just whack it in the microwave or if you're serving a few people, stirred on the stove in a saucepan will take a little longer, but you'll be left with a totally creamy, filling and delicious meal. You can add chia seeds, flaxseed and linseed for an added nutritional punch and tailor it depending on your nutritional needs; so if you're vegan go for non-dairy milk to make your porridge, if you're gluten free stick to GF oats and if you're aiming for lower carb you can try quinoa flakes instead of normal oats.
Again like the smoothie bowls, there are tons of different flavour options to choose from. These suggestions for pimped up porridge will turn that boring bowl of oats into a truly delicious, and completely healthy, awesome brunch staple. Chopped apple and cinnamon work incredibly together; simply fry off small chunks of apple in coconut oil and stir into your oats with a good helping of cinnamon and a dash of honey or maple syrup. Fresh mango and coconut are delicious; use coconut milk rather than normal milk and top your oats with slices of fresh mango and dessicated coconut.
And if you're looking for something a bit more decadent? Go for a bowl of chocolate porridge. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and a glug of maple syrup whilst cooking your oats, and top with a couple of squares of your favourite chocolate. Cadbury's, Galaxy - it's your choice - but remember that if you want to make it healthier, stick to dark chocolate (with a cocoa content of at least 75%.)
Not-So-Naughty (But Very Nice) French Toast
When you think of French toast you probably think of a calorie-laden carb fest, but that doesn't have to be the case. Start by whisking a couple of eggs in a shallow dish (aim for 1 egg per person and adjust depending on the number you're cooking for) and get some sliced bread ready; keep it wholemeal and healthy. Heat some coconut oil in a frying pan and soak the bread in the egg. When the oil is hot, place the soaked bread in the pan and fry for around 3 minutes on each side (until crispy and starting to brown).
Again, this is a brunch idea you can be totally flexible with. Top with anything you like; bacon and maple syrup for a truly tasty treat. If you want to make it even healthier, use a drizzle of honey for sweetness and top with fruit, yoghurt and nuts (grilled apple and cinnamon are delicious, as are fresh berries or sliced banana with a dollop of peanut butter).
Ok, ok, another dish with eggs. They are SO good for you though! If you've not tried this meal that originated in North Africa then you're seriously missing out. It takes a little longer to prepare than your standard scrambled eggs. But it's also really filling, low carb and delightfully delicious!
Start by frying off some onions and garlic in a deep frying pan (you can also add in some extras here, like mushrooms or diced peppers). Pour in a tin of chopped tomatoes and season with a little salt, pepper and around 1 teaspoon of chilli powder (more if you like things super spicy, or omit altogether if you're not a fan of the heat!) Bring the mix to a gentle simmer whilst stirring regularly. Once it's simmering, get your eggs ready, allowing 2 per person. Make a small gap in the tomato mix using a spoon (so you can see the base of the pan) and crack an egg into it, repeating for as many eggs as you're cooking. Remember to leave space in between each egg! Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for around 5-8 minutes until the egg whites are firm. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, and boom! You're done. If you're really hungry, you can serve with bacon or (and!) sausages!
Credit: Samantha Neades
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Written by Samantha Neades / Personal Trainer / Cheltenham Women's Fitness
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay