Hosting a healthy holiday brunch

The holiday season tends to mean high-calorie treats and excessive snacking. Making healthy decisions during the holiday season does not have to be difficult.

First step, start the day with a healthy, well-balanced meal.

Since many will be hosting friends and family over the holiday, why not treat your guests to more than pastries.

This menu will provide guests with a serving of protein, vegetable, fruit, grain, healthy fat and dairy! Even the pickiest of eaters will enjoy the variety of foods at this this meal.

Bagel Bar

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A bagel bar with a variety of toppings will be easy to set up with little to no preparation involved.

The average plain bagel has 270 calories. We chose mini bagels (120 calories) for better portion control and to encourage trying the other dishes on the brunch table. Provide guests with a few proteins to choose from (eggs, bacon, smoked salmon).

Starting the day with protein will help guests stay full longer which will limit snacking. Smoked salmon is a quality ingredient filled with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

There will also be plenty of fresh vegetables on display. Having vegetables readily available will make guests more likely to choose them.

Ingredients for bagel bar (serves 10)

Adjust servings based on number of guests/food preferences of your guests

  • 10 mini-bagels
  • 10oz smoked salmon
  • 4-6 fried eggs
  • 8-10 strips of bacon
  • 1 container of plain cream cheese
  • 1 container of chive and onion cream cheese
  • 4oz jar of capers
  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • fresh dill

Ideas for kid friendly bagel bar

  • Mini-bagels
  • Peanut butter (make sure there are no peanut allergies; can use Sunbutter if there are people with nut allergies present)
  • Sliced bananas
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Sliced apples (add lemon juice to prevent browning)
  • Mini-dark chocolate chips

Preparation: Display all ingredients on table for guests to build their own bagel.

Arugula Salad (serves 8-10 as a side)

 

Just like other leafy greens, arugula contains very high nitrate levels.

High intake of dietary nitrate has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise, and enhance athletic performance.

Arugula is very low in calories with just 6 calories for 1 cup!

Don’t let this low calorie food fool you, it’s packed with a peppery flavor profile that pairs well with citrus and the richness of parmesan cheese.

Lemon vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Salad:

  • 8 ounces Arugula lettuce
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan

Preparation: Mix together ingredients for vinaigrette. Toss arugula with vinaigrette then top with shaved fresh parmesan.

Greek Yogurt Cups (serves 6-8)

Get the party started with a healthy dose of probiotics!

Probiotics are certain strains of good bacteria. They help to keep our microflora (which is the natural balance of organisms) in the intestines healthy by acting directly on body functions, such as digestion or immune function.

Yogurt is also a great source of calcium which is important for the prevention of osteoporosis.

Ingredients

  • 1 carton (32oz) of vanilla Greek yogurt (can use regular yogurt as well)
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • ½ cup toasted almonds

Preparation: Scoop yogurt into 6oz cup (fill ¾ full), top with blueberries, coconut flakes, and toasted almonds.

Pomegranate Mimosa (makes 6-8 glasses)

Pomegranates are a great source of vitamin C. Vitamin C improves the immune system in the body which protects from cold and flu germs.

Staying healthy this holiday season is important so make sure your guests get plenty of vitamin C rich foods!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 6-8 sprigs of rosemary
  • pomegranate juice
  • 1 bottle of champagne or La Croix sparkling water to make it a mocktail

Preparation: Add 1 tablespoon of pomegranate seeds, a rosemary sprig, and 1½ oz of pomegranate juice to each glass. Top with champagne or La Croix and enjoy!

Check out the video here

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