There’s an abundance of delicious brunch dishes to choose from, but some are much healthier than others. Dietitian Melissa Meier reveals the best options.
The joy of café breakfasts is finally back. Hooray! But if you want to jump into healthier eating on the other side of iso, there are a few things to keep in mind before you opt for your usual pancakes, deep-fried fritters or greasy bacon and egg roll. To give you a little healthier brunchin’ inspo, here’s my top five dietitian-approved picks.
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1. Poached eggs on toast
Eggs are a humble superfood – they’re packed with protein and offer a range of micronutrients, including Vitamin D to support bone health and iron to keep you feeling energised. Order them poached alongside as many veggie sides as you can (think: tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach) and round out the meal with a slice or two of toast. If you can, level up with a wholegrain loaf. Oh, and skip the butter.
2. Avocado on toast
Bursting with healthy fats to support your heart and brain, avocado is another nutrient-dense food. Keep in mind that it does offer a decent chunk of kilojoules, so you don’t want your toast piled high with an avocado-shaped mountain. Instead, a small portion equivalent to a quarter to half an avocado is what you’re after. Again, order a wholegrain slice and veggies on the side if you can, and you’re good to go.
3. Muesli, yoghurt and fruit salad
Muesli isn’t always a sure-fire healthy option, so I’d advise you to tread carefully when it comes to an order like this. Nonetheless, it’s a good option if you’re trying to tame your sweet tooth but don’t want to go all-in on something like French toast with ice cream or a chocolate croissant. You’re looking for natural muesli (goodbye sugary granola), along with fresh fruit and plain yoghurt. Skip the option of coconut yoghurt if it’s there (it’s packed with saturated fat) and use honey or maple syrup minimally, if any.
4. Baked eggs
A hearty, healthy option, baked eggs are one of my all-time faves. A couple of gooey, runny eggs drenched in a spicy tomato sauce – what’s not to love? Extra points if your baked eggs come with legumes (think: chickpeas, beans, lentils). These babies are rich in gut-loving fibre and slow-burning carbs, so offer a well-rounded meal when paired with eggs.
Can you tell that eggs rank high on my list of nutritious brunch foods? Another twist on this modest little food combined with veggies and toast, a classic omelette is one of my go-to orders. I’d suggest skipping fillings like bacon, ham and prosciutto – whilst they’re delicious, cured meats are usually extremely high in sodium which isn’t good news for your heart, so you’d be better off without them.
And for your coffee…
Now the food is taken care of, let’s talk coffee – because we all know that breakfast is not complete without a glorious cuppa on the side. With good health in mind, opt for a small or regular-sized plain coffee on light milk over calorie-packed super-sized coffees on full cream milk with flavoured syrups. Not only will you save a stack of calories, but added sugar, too.
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based Accredited Practising Dietitian. You can connect with her at www.honestnutrition.com.au or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.