One of my favorite breakfasts of all time is french toast. But because it’s mainly carbs and sugar—as in, lacking in protein, fiber, and most nutrients—I don’t order it all that often. But the other morning I made an exception and ordered up a plate. It was delicious. Don’t get me wrong—it was no Banana Bread French Toast—but it was still super tasty. Thick challah bread, tasty Vermont maple syrup, and lots of fresh berries on top. Yum!
Of course, this early AM indulgence cost me a fair number of calorie: 450 calories, to be exact.
How could I have burned off the 450 calories in my breakfast?
I could have helped my boyfriend build his deck for 70 minutes. (more…)
There are a lot of things I don’t miss about New York City: The crowds, the noise, the smells, the expense. But there are a few things I do miss after living there for 10 years. While my friends rank high on that list, so do bagels.
In the morning, few things beat a boiled-to-perfection bagel. Glossy on the outside and chewy on the inside, these carb-tastic treats were a mainstay of my life in the city. When I went back for a visit this past week, my former local bagel shop was one of my first stops. I got a whole wheat bagel heaping with strawberry cream cheese. (In New York a “schmear” is more of a gob than a dab.) It was, not surprisingly, delicious.
It was also a total gut bomb. Full of sugars and carbs the breakfast didn’t feel light in my stomach and pretty much zapped my energy for the next hour or so. (Hello food coma!) This tastes-so-good, feels-so-bad treat also came at a high caloric cost. 450 calories, to be exact.
So how could I burn off the 450 calories in this bagel with cream cheese?
The best part of the pizza? That very first bite of the pointy triangle end.
The best part of a cinnamon roll? The ooey-gooiest center.
The best part of the muffin? The top. Duh!
My completely made up statistic that 99.5 percent of people would rather eat the top of the muffin exclusively, rather than what a friend of mine calls “the stump,” is the reason an entire pan has been created to let you accomplish such baked good sorcery. There’s no waste; just bake the part people actually want to eat!
I know it’s warming up outside and the last thing you want to think about doing is firing up the oven. But berries are in season! So, you kind of have to. Rules and what not.
Blueberries are one of those can’t-fail foods, at least from a mom perspective. I don’t care what my four-year-old’s mood is, what she is or isn’t liking that week, or where we are — blueberries always get a yes. They are one of the original super foods, so it’s a no brainer to add them to pancakes, salads, smoothies, or just devour a fist-full every chance you get. One of the few, rare “blue” foods that occur in nature, those juicy little beads of sweetness can stand on their own with a healthy dose of fiber, a bit of protein, potassium, vitamin c, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and a host of other good-for-you goodness.
So when I tell you this recipe calls for blueberries, do not be shy. Dump ’em in! The more the berrier, right?
You’ll notice we don’t add any sugar to this recipe. A generous, drizzly pour of honey with some natural applesauce really take on the heavy responsibility of sweetening these muffins. It’s not a two-man job though, the lemon juice, vanilla yogurt, and of course the blueberries, all carry their own weight in that department, too.
However, just before baking, I do sprinkle the tops with just a pinch of raw turbinado sugar. This gives the muffin that glazy top that you’d ordinarily create with a streusel topping, but without gobs of butter and white sugar.
I use half-and half all-purpose and whole wheat flours. This gives me the bulk of fiber in a better flour with the texture we’ve all become accustomed to with white flours. To make up the difference, I add just a bit of uncooked oats for more fiber and a denser bite.
After it’s all whisked and folded together, scoop that batter into a pre-formed muffin top pan. Roughly 20 minutes later, you’ll have a pile of muffin tops that are just jam-packed with blueberries! You’ll want to save them all for yourself, but they’re so darn cute that sharing will seem like a reasonable option, too.
Blueberry Muffin Tops
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup natural applesauce
2 Tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz. vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp. raw turbinado sugar, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl.
3. In a second bowl, beat the egg with the other wet ingredients.
4. Fold the wet ingredients in to the dry, then gently add the blueberries.
5. Lightly mist the pan with cooking spray, then add the batter. If you choose, sprinkle the tops with raw turbinado sugar.
6. Bake about 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
ALSO TRY THIS!
Recipe by Brandi Koskie; photos by Kacy Meinecke
It’s 5:00 somewhere has got to be the best excuse in the book to grab a drink. As I write this, it’s 5:20pm in Lisbon, Portugal. By that math I could have a wine with lunch. But people would scowl and wonder if I had a problem.
And I don’t. Really.
Fortunately, brunch has made it acceptable to start your day drinking a wee bit earlier than lunch and way earlier than 5:00. The happy hour rises at dawn with mimosas, bloody marys, and bellinis! They really can be the perfect complement to a late-morning meal of fresh asparagus and prosciutto crepes or hearty frittatas.
We’ve made over two of our favorite brunch cocktails – the mimosa and the bloody mary. They use whole, fresh ingredients rather than junky mixers and have inspired new tastes on standard classics.
The Blood Orange Mimosa uses three ingredients: Splashes of champagne, blood orange juice, and a hint of fresh basil. Your guests will be toasting you for this delightful addition to brunch. Prettier, sweeter, and possibly more refreshing than a basic OJ mimosa, this one is as charming as it is delicious. (more…)
The biggest draw of brunch is the possibility of creating that perfect marriage of savory and sweet, as breakfast tends to be sweeter and lunch much more savory. It’s also a perfectly good excuse to get a little fancy in the kitchen for no reason at all. All of that comes together in these crepes that are just as beautiful to admire as they are to devour!
My mother-in-law is somewhat of a crepe connoisseur. A self-proclaimed “Army brat,” she grew up in Europe where the world’s best crepes were a regular part of her family meals. I knew if I could win her over with these Mediterranean-inspired homemade crepes that we were on to something. It’s safe to say they got the MIL seal of approval!
We used a whole wheat flour and white flour mixture to give us the nutrition and the texture we wanted in these super-simple crepes. Then, we stuffed them full of some of the best ingredients we know: a handful of spring’s first asparagus, tender and salty prosciutto, creamy and sweet goat cheese, and a little bit of tart lemon zest. (more…)