The lazy, hazy days of summer are upon us. Summer is often a time when our schedule is less rigid. Yet, we know starting our day with a healthy meal is important for energy and replenishing needed nutrients. If we get a later than normal start, do we start with breakfast or lunch? The answer is brunch, a late morning meal eaten instead of breakfast and lunch.
The following menu with recipes, pointers and tips is a good starting place when planning your own brunch. The menu includes: Layered Fruit Salad, Zucchini and Sweet Potato Muffins, and Perfect Two Egg Omelet with vegetable and cheese options. The menu provides servings from all the MyPlate food groups. Beverages could include any of the following: water, coffee, tea, milk, 100% juice. Remember that adding sugar and cream to beverages adds calories and fat. While 100% juice is a healthy option, fresh fruit is a healthier option because it contains fiber and a small amount of juice can contribute a large amount of calories.
LAYERED FRUIT SALAD:
- 1-1/2 cups sliced bananas (2 bananas)
- 1-14 oz. can pineapple chunks in own juice
- 2 cups seedless grapes
- 2 cups fresh strawberries
Slice bananas in bottom of clear glass bowl/trifle dish. Pour pineapple chunks and juice over bananas. Sort and wash grapes. Slice grapes in half if desired. Arrange layer of grapes over pineapple. Arrange layer of strawberries sliced or whole over grapes. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until serving time. Garnish with washed fresh mint leaves or sliced kiwi fruit if desired. Yield: 10 servings (Adapted from Living Well with Diabetes Recipes)
Pam’s Pointers: Swap out any fruit in season you like. Remember the pineapple juice keeps fruit that browns such as bananas and apples from turning colors. Fruit is still safe to eat if it does brown, but it’s not very appealing. For a July 4th brunch, add blueberries or replace grapes with blueberries.
ZUCCHINI AND SWEET POTATO MUFFIN RECIPE:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour or 1 cup whole wheat plus 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cups sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1-1/4 cups grated zucchini
- 1-3/4 cups peeled sweet potato, grated
Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease muffin tins with pure vegetable oil and dust lightly with flour. In a large bowl, combine sugars, oil, and vanilla. Add the eggs and using a hand mixer, beat for about 1 minute until fluffy. Mix in zucchini and sweet potato. Add the dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture. Stir just until combined. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes. Serve warm. Yield: 12 muffins. (Adapted from Living Well with Diabetes Recipes)
Pam’s Pointers: Use mini muffin pans and decrease cooking time. Make muffins ahead and store in an air-tight container until ready to serve. Serve from a basket lined with a festive napkin or dish towel or piece of cloth that matches your theme. Don’t have time to make muffins, then serve whole grain toast or other bread of your choice. Reminder: Half of our grain servings for the day should be whole grains.
PERFECT TWO EGG OMELET
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Dash pepper
- 1 teaspoon butter*
- 1/3 to ½ cup filling, such as shredded cheese, finely chopped ham, and baby spinach.
BEAT eggs, water, salt and pepper in small bowl until blended. HEAT butter in 7 to 10-inch nonstick omelet pan or skillet over medium-high heat until hot. TILT pan to coat bottom. POUR IN egg mixture. Mixture should set immediately at edges. GENTLY PUSH cooked portions from edges toward the center with inverted turner so that uncooked eggs can reach the hot pan surface. CONTINUE cooking, tilting pan and gently moving cooked portions as needed. When top surface of eggs is thickened and no visible liquid egg remains, PLACE filling on one side of the omelet. FOLD omelet in half with turner. With a quick flip of the wrist, turn pan and INVERT or SLIDE omelet onto plate. SERVE immediately. For a video demonstration of this recipe go to https://www.incredibleegg.org/cooking-school/egg-cookery/make-an-omelet
Pam’s Pointers: *Instead of butter could use a nonstick spray. It is easy to make a 1 egg omelet. Use 1 Tablespoon water, decrease filling, and follow same instructions. Have all the filling ingredients ready ahead of time in individual bowls so each person can add their own. For example, other chopped vegetables such as onion, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus; various shredded cheese; other cooked meats such as sausage and bacon. Remember the cheeses and meats add fat, sodium, and are high in calories. Vegetable omelets are the lowest in calories and fat. Set up a cooking station with ingredients for the omelets. If possible, have two people cooking omelets side by side. Even children can learn to cook an omelet with adult supervision, of course. My 8-year-old grandson loves to cook omelets for everyone. Don’t get hung up on making perfect omelets, practice and patience help. Enjoy your meal!