How do we make healthy choices when ordering, especially when brunch is basically breakfast and lunch at the same time? Thankfully, it’s easier than you think.
Going out for brunch, or breakfast, is big business. Before the pandemic, data produced by Open Table showed that bookings for brunch were up 65% over a two-year period. And with increasing demand comes greater options, which is great news for those of us wanting a healthy start to the day.
Here are my top five healthy brunch ideas when eating out:
My go-to for keeping things on the light side has to be eggs. They’re incredibly nutritious and a great source of good quality protein. Obviously how you have them makes a difference, so opt for poached or scrambled over fried. Also, ask for any sauces, such as hollandaise, to be served on the side so that you stay in control of added extras.
Also a top choice, and a firm favourite with Instagrammers, is Avocado toast. Admittedly, avocado is high in fat, but it’s the ‘good-kind’ of fat and its bursting with nutrients. I recently had it served with pickled beetroot and a poached egg, at XOXO in Brighton, possibly my favourite so far.
Granola and Yoghurt
Pre-packaged Granola is not always as virtuous as the brands would have you believe. But a lot of cafes make their own and it can be a healthy, filling brunch choice. The ingredients will often be listed on the menu, but if not, don’t be afraid to ask. It usually comes served with yogurt and fruit, which along with the oats and seeds in the granola, makes a well-balanced start to the day. A good choice if you’re looking for a sweet hit without reaching for the waffles.
Smoothie or Smoothie Bowl
The only difference really is one is eaten with a spoon, and the other drunk through a straw! Smoothie bowls tend to come with toppings such as nuts, seeds and extra fruit, all adding extra nutritious goodness. And, they’re a great way to get in a couple of your 5 a day. Try choosing options with a fruit and vegetable mix, rather than all fruit based. This will reduce the fruit sugar content and give a wider variety of nutrients, which is always a good thing.
Vegetarian Full Breakfast
If you’re a fan of the traditional Full English, try giving the Vegetarian option a try. You’ll usually still get the eggs and beans, both full of protein, but will ditch the fatty, processed sausages and bacon. Each café will have its own variation, but expect grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado and maybe some deliciously salty grilled halloumi cheese. Meat substitutes are sometimes used, and can be worth giving a try, even if you are sceptical! There are some bad imitation sausages out there, but you never know, you may just try one you love.
So, It is possible to eat out and keep on top of your healthy intentions. You just need to make considered choices, and there are so many healthy brunch options out there.
But most of all enjoy the fact that someone else will be preparing your food, and washing the dishes afterwards. Possibly my two favourite things about eating out for weekend brunch!
For healthy breakfast and brunch ideas and recipes to make at home, take a look at our breakfast section.