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How to Plan a Healthy BrunchHow to Plan a Healthy Brunch


Plan a Healthy Brunch

At first glance, brunch menus may seem light and healthy, but pastries, high-fat meats, and heavily-dressed salads can add unnecessary calories and unhealthy fat to your meal. You can stay on track and enjoy a healthy brunch by making a few simple changes.

Work in more spring fruits and vegetables.

Spring means more fresh fruits and vegetables are available, so don’t pass up the opportunity to fill the table with healthy options. Radishes, asparagus, spring peas, spinach, arugula, raspberries, and strawberries are just a few of the healthy foods that you can work into soups, salads, and fresh salsas. Center your dessert options around fresh fruits by serving yogurt parfaits or incorporating them into frozen yogurt and frozen pops.

Keep heavy food portions small.

On special occasions, indulging in high-calorie treats such as cheese, sausage, or bacon is fine when done in moderation. The trick is to keep serving sizes small. Use half the amount of cheese or meat in baked casseroles and omelets. Instead of sausage patties, serve smaller sausage balls or try plant-based varieties. Fill plates with more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and use meats and cheeses as a small side to complement healthier foods.

Modify your baked goods.

Serve biscuits and scones made with whole grain flour. Add oatmeal to pancake and muffin batters. Whole grain flour and oats will add fiber to make these foods more filling. Substitute mashed fruits and apple sauce to reduce the need for excess oil and sugar.

Find substitutes for alcoholic drinks.

Alcoholic beverages can significantly boost your calorie count. To avoid them without feeling left out, look for enticing alternatives. Whip up some non-alcoholic Bloody Marys or make spritzers with fresh fruit juice and sparkling water.

Plan ahead.

Plan ahead so you won't need to grab an unhealthy option at the last minute. The following spring brunch menu will help you outline your shopping list and estimate the time needed to prepare your meal. The recipes can easily be doubled for larger crowds. Sit down to a portion of each of these foods, and you will only consume 464 calories and 4.2 grams of saturated fat, along with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Spring Peas with Basil and Green Onion Pesto

Turkey Vegetable Crustless Quiche

Oatmeal Banana Pancakes

Orange Kiwi Fruit Salad with Honey Yogurt

Strawberry Lemon Spritzer

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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