Healthy brunch: 5 steps to prepare it at home
The Christmas holidays are over, that time for gatherings par excellence, almost always accompanied by opulent meals and long after-dinner chats. Perhaps now is the time to slow down a …
The Christmas holidays are over, that time for gatherings par excellence, almost always accompanied by opulent meals and long after-dinner chats. Perhaps now is the time to slow down a bit and settle for a lighter version of the holidays. Welcome to informal brunches!
A very good formula is to invite your friends and family to a fresh and healthy brunch, a perfect excuse for sharing an informal meal in a relaxing atmosphere, without complicated recipes and with nourishing ingredients that will also give you energy for your day-to-day activities. Because we don’t need a special date or a big banquet to taste good food in good company!
Below we present a practical guide to introduce us to the fantastic world of the brunch. There are 5 steps to follow to prepare a brunch, an informal meal that has triumphed for many years, also in this country.
1. Brunch essence: how to choose the day and time
Brunch is a meal that was invented to combine breakfast and lunch, and is usually served between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, approximately. It seems the idea arose in the late-19th century: the servants of upper class British families didn’t work on Sundays and, so that their masters could eat during the day, left them the fullest buffet already prepared.
Today the majority of brunches are eaten at the weekend. They are the days when we generally get up later, have more time and can use it to eat in a different way to how we eat on workdays. In other words, without haste, in good company and with a variety of ingredients, even a more complex recipe (although the fact is that the majority of recipes can be easy and quick to make).
So if you like informal meals and are thinking about organising a brunch at home, you should know that the first requisite is to have it on a holiday and ask your guests to come around 12-1 p.m. This way you’ll have time to prepare the table and the dishes.
2. How to dress the table for a brunch
Unlike the Christmas table, more formal and elegant, with a brunch we can try to create a spontaneous and relaxing atmosphere. A space where the guests can move around freely, mixing all kinds of ingredients and conversations.
In informal meals, to make it easy to move around, a good option is to hold a standing brunch, like a cocktail. Taking into account the number of guests and ingredients we are going to serve we could decide whether to place a single table or more, so that everyone can comfortably serve themselves.
Whether we hold it standing or seated around the table, when organising the brunch we cannot forget the placemats or cotton napkins, a functional and aesthetic element that plays an important role in the table decoration, in informal meals as well. Beyond what is absolutely essential (food, placemats, napkins, cutlery and drink), the fact is that on brunch tables the decoration is minimalist, without overloading them with other aesthetic elements. The different touch you can give it could be a fresh flower or other small detail.
Placemats for the brunch
On being informal meals we can use placemats with original patterns or choose single colour placemats in order to create personalised combinations and adapted to our taste. If we want a gentle and cosy atmosphere it is best to go for light colours such as cream, which harmonise perfectly with the natural ingredients you can serve in the brunch: bread, fruit, cheese…
If we want to give a more festive air to the gathering, the brunch is also a good time to go for brighter and bolder colours such as oranges, greens or blues, among others.
Cotton napkins for the brunch
In a previous post we explained to you how to choose the size of the cotton napkins. In the case of informal meals such as the brunch (and especially if eating standing up) we recommend using smaller cotton napkins than usual, that is napkins of 11×11 cm or 20×20 cm.
The colours and patterns of the cotton napkins should be in harmony with the placemats.
3. Brunch ingredients: flavours that must be present
If we are thinking of a fresh and healthy brunch, surely the first product that comes to mind is fruit: tasty, light and healthy, it will give a touch of colour and freshness to our brunch. We can place the whole fruit so the guests can serve themselves as they like, but we will surely have more success if we prepare it in colourful fruit salads, in juice or mixed in the salad. Fruit goes very well with different flavours and styles of yoghurt, served in glass dessert bowls that you can decorate with a bow that matches the placemats and cotton napkins.
Another essential ingredient is bread, and the novelty of the brunch is being able to choose and mix different types of bread: white, rye, cereals, toasted… We can present them attractively whole on the table, with the utensils necessary so each diner can cut their own slices as they wish.
How do we combine this bread? With sweet and savoury combos, it is the essence of the brunch. Our table cannot be without (though in moderate quantities) cheeses and cured meats as well as tasty and varied jams and other sweet things (the less sugar the better). Eggs are another star ingredient, especially those known as benedict eggs, although perhaps this is not the freshest and healthiest recipe… So…
4. Brunch recipes: ideas for a fresh and healthy brunch
As an alternative to the mythical benedict eggs, we propose you impress your guests with lighter recipes that combine sweet and savoury: apple with cheese toasties, fig and country ham on a skewer, tomatoes stuffed with spinach, raisins and pine kernels, avocado filled with poached eggs… There is an infinite number of recipes on the social media which can inspire you! Always prioritise natural, seasonal and quality ingredients: fruit, vegetables or cereals in the purest state. And above all, homemade recipes in which you know the origin and properties of the ingredients used.
5. Brunch drinks: the most usual ones
If we really want to organise a fresh and healthy brunch, we cannot do without water, infusions, natural juices or a smoothie (fruits mixed in the blender with water, milk or yoghurt).
The drinks that traditionally accompany the brunch are coffee and milk, more befitting breakfast, mixed with others more typical of lunch: beer, wine, cava, champagne or even a cocktail. Suffice to say that alcoholic drinks and those with caffeine should be reduced in a 100% healthy brunch.