25 Healthy Breakfast and Brunch Recipes

25 healthy breakfast and brunch recipes (for Christmas!)Our special Christmas meal was usually a simple, but lovely brunch. Some years it had lots of different items, and other years, it was kept simple. My husband’s family also concentrated on a yummy celebratory Christmas breakfast, and so it has been natural for our family to continue that breakfast tradition. We are still getting into the rhythm of what that looks like exactly now that we have our own kids, but it has been a fun evolving adventure to create our own traditions by combining our two families’ traditions.

Usually, we open stockings first thing in the morning, and while the kids have a chance to admire their new things, I finish up breakfast, and then we sit down for a meal together. After breakfast we open gifts (including our book gifts!). It is a wonderful way to prolong the gift giving and Christmas excitement instead of simply ripping through all of the packages in five minutes. ;-) Plus it builds holiday memories of enjoying the proverbial breaking of bread together as a family each Christmas, and that act of eating good food, talking together and just being with each other, is part of what is important to us as a family culture. Last year our girls got the flu Christmas Eve, so we are trying to keep everyone healthy this year so that we can enjoy all of the holidays!

For those also looking for some fun, healthier, Christmas morning breakfast recipes, here are lots of great options! And for those needing last minute gift ideas, check out this fun list of homemade food gifts! 

Healthy Pancakes and Waffles

Soaked Whole Grain Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup: Spiced pumpkin pancakes with a homemade apple cider syrup – what a great combination!

Blueberry Lemon Clafoutis: Plump blueberries burst in your mouth as the creamy custard-like batter hints of fresh lemon zest and the subtle zing of ginger. This adapted version of the traditional French dessert is absolutely brimming over with flavor!

Crispy Gluten-Free, Dairy-free, Egg-free Waffles: These crispy gluten free waffles are surprisingly delicious and simple to make.

Soaked Chocolate Chip Whole Wheat Pancakes: For the kid in all of us, these healthier chocolate chip pancakes are a delight!

Whole Grain Blender Pancakes (Soaked, with gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free options): Make life easier for yourself with these easy peasy blender pancakes!

Sourdough Pancakes: I love the tang of sourdough in pancakes.

Blueberry Lemon Pancakes (made with sprouted flour): I love lemon, including in these bright pancakes.

Healthy Baked Goods and Hot Cereals

Spiced Currant Orange Muffins (gluten, dairy, and egg-free): These mini  muffins are easy to premake and are so delightful for little hands!

Grain Free Banana Muffins: Do you like banana bread? You’ll like these then.

Grain Free Spiced Apple Muffins: These flavorful apple muffins are super easy to make and full of protein too!

Chocolate Grain Free Bread: Chocolate, need I say more? This loaf makes a great gift, but I find that even breakfast or brunch is chocolate bread worthy.

Chocolate Dipped Mini Chocolate Donuts: Speaking of chocolate, these moist gluten free donuts are one of my kid’s very favorite recipes. Definitely holiday worthy.

Gluten Free Biscuits (egg free, dairy free as well): Making biscuits and gravy? These are what we use smothered in gravy. Yum!

Fluffy Whole Wheat Biscuits: When you soaked these biscuits overnight, you will be surprised at how fluffy they are when they are baked!

Pumpkin Maple Baked Oatmeal: Many of my readers have let me know that this is a favorite recipe of theirs from this site! Plus, all of the work is done the night before.

 Grain free Coffee Cake: I’ve loved coffee cake for a long time, and now those grain free can enjoy it too!

Creamy Quinoa Porridge with Coconut milk and Spices: A simple gluten free porridge that is rich and satisfying.

Eggs and Bacon

Easy Egg Muffins with Pesto and Ham: Flavorful, easy, and even portable!

Individual Ricotta and Spinach Omelets: Yum! Keep things flavorful, protein-rich, and simple with this dish.

Twisted Candied Bacon made with coconut sugar: Bacon just got better with this recipe.

Sweet Potato Crusted Spinach Frittata: Oh, this is a fun dish! And impressive too.

Smoothies

Creamy Raspberry Vanilla Smoothie (lower carb, and dairy-free): My current favorite smoothie recipe!

Nut Butter Banana Smoothie: A delicious and creamy protein rich smoothie.

Chocolate Hazelnut Smoothie: Do you like Nutella? Then you will love this healthier smoothie.

Mango Orange Smoothie: Oranges and mangos make an amazing smoothie!

Soaked Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

Recipe: Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup- a perfect fall and winter breakfast! The homemade syrup make the spiced pumpkin pancakes even more amazing! www.thenourishinggourmet.com

By Katie Mae Stanley, Contributing Writer

Warm autumn spices and moist pumpkin puree enrich pancake batter to make the perfect fall breakfast – pumpkin pancakes (For regular soaked whole wheat pancakes see this recipe: Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes). To seal the deal they are drizzled with a delicious apple cider syrup. It’s all of the best things the season has to offer on one plate.

I was first introduced to the idea of this seasonal breakfast when a good friend made them for 50 plus people in Mexico about 10 years ago. They were a hit! I didn’t remember exactly how she made them so this fall I decided to give them a try starting with the star ingredients – pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and apple cider. How can you go wrong with those amazing foods? And I was pleased to find that they turned out similar to the first ones I tried so many years ago.

There is something beautiful about cooking with the seasons. The bounty that is provided at each unique time of year always delights me. It is another way to celebrate the world around us and be grateful to the one who created it all.

Next time you have a chance, put your comfy clothes on or embrace the PJs. Then start a fire if you have one and whip up a batch of these tasty pumpkin pancakes. It is highly suggested that you enjoy them with hot coffee; you might even want to add a bit of the apple cider syrup to your cup!

These pancakes can be made using homemade puree or canned. If you don’t have pumpkin, feel free to try sweet potato, butternut or kabocha puree. Whatever works for you is always best!

Other Healthy Pancake Recipes:

Soaked Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, coconut milk, kefir, or buttermilk - if using a non-fermented liquid such as coconut milk, add in 2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar, water kefir, or other live culture liquid (I used raw whole milk)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • Apple Cider Syrup (optional)
  • Butter (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large glass bowl, mix your flour, melted butter and milk. Cover with a towel and leave on the counter for 12- 24 hours. (I usually do this the night before.)
  2. In the morning in a medium-sized bowl whip the pumpkin puree, eggs, coconut sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
  3. Pour the mixture into the flour that was soaked over night. Stir until the batter is smooth.
  4. Heat a skillet (I prefer cast iron) over medium heat. You will know it is ready if you sprinkle a couple droplets of water on the pan and they sizzle.
  5. Pour batter onto the skillet to create the size pancakes you desire. I prefer about 4 inches in circumference, ¼ of an inch thick.
  6. Cook until bubbles start to appear. Flip over and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  7. Serve fresh off the skillet or place in a baking dish in a warm oven.
  8. Top with butter and apple cider syrup.

 

Soaked Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup - www.thenourishinggourmet.com

 

Spiced Currant Orange Baked Oatmeal Mini Muffins (Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free w/ Egg-Free Option)

Spiced Currant-Orange Baked Oatmeal Mini Muffins (GF & DF) -- egg-free option too
by Alison Diven, Contributing Writer

This baked oatmeal in mini muffin form is quintessential Autumn–and so fun for little snacks or little hands! With their hearty texture, warm spices, subtle orange notes, and mild sweetness, they cozy up perfectly to a cup of tea and your favorite sweater . . . or cuddly story-time with your little ones. They’re also chock full of healthy ingredients, so I feel good about doling them out any time of day or taking them along on outings for easy nourishment.

Spiced Currant-Orange Baked Oatmeal Mini Muffins (GF & DF) -- egg free option too

This is great news because as my baby’s due date draws near (just 2 weeks now), it seems like there’s always another errand to run or midwife appointment to attend. Mama’s tired! I’ve baked several variations of these muffins and squirreled them away in our freezer for postpartum life, but truly, I’m already breaking into my stash. I can’t keep up with our daily food needs at the moment, so I’m extra grateful for foods like this that I can make in big batches when I have a burst of energy.

For the record, these freeze and reheat beautifully. I like them plain, slathered with butter, or broken up into a bowl with raw milk. My dairy-free son enjoys his solo or with a smear of almond butter and raw honey.

3 Variations to Try

  • Pumpkin Spice — One of my favorites! Just use pumpkin puree instead of mashed banana, omit currants and orange zest, and increase sweetener to taste.
  • Banana-Coconut-Chocolate Chip — My toddler’s favorite. Omit nutmeg, clove, orange zest, and currants. Add shredded unsweetened coconut and mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life has a soy-free, allergy-friendly product).
  • Cranberry Orange — Use chopped dried cranberries instead of currants and omit nutmeg and clove. Increase orange zest by up to double, depending on your taste.

Let your taste buds guide you! So long as you don’t overdo the wet ingredients, which will make your muffins forever gummy no matter how much you bake them (voice of experience here!), it’s hard to go wrong.

Spiced Currant-Orange Baked Oatmeal Mini Muffins (GF & DF) -- egg free option too

Related recipes you may enjoy from The Nourishing Gourmet:

Buckwheat Crepes (as Gluten-Free Sandwich Wraps)
Mini Zucchini Millet Muffins
Pumpkin Maple Baked Oatmeal
Apple Oatmeal Mini Loaves (Soaked Whole Grain and Naturally Sweetened)

Spiced Currant Orange Mini Baked Oatmeals
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24 mini muffins
 
Perfectly spiced and gently sweet, these flourless oatmeal mini muffins nourish any time of day and are especially nice for little hands. You can, of course, make them as regular-size muffins by increasing the cooking time to 30 minutes. I chose currants because their size suits mini muffins, but feel free to use raisins instead, either whole or chopped up. Now that my son can eat eggs, I use them for the protein and vitamins, but the recipe works great without them, between the holding power of oats and banana. Just add enough additional liquid to make a batter.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats if needed)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup mashed overripe banana (about 2 large bananas)
  • 2 eggs OR additional ¼ to ½ cup coconut milk for egg-free version
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut sugar or other natural granulated sweetener (liquid sweeteners add too much moisture)
  • zest of one orange
  • 6 tablespoons chopped pecans (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons currants (or raisins)
Instructions
  1. The night before baking, mix together the oats, coconut milk, and lemon juice in bowl and leave out, loosely covered, overnight.
  2. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 and grease a mini muffin pan.
  3. Break up the thick, gummy soaked oats with a fork, then add remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine.
  4. Scoop heaping tablespoons into the greased mini muffin pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then invert onto a cooling rack.

Easy Egg Muffins with Pesto & Ham (GF with DF options)

Easy Egg Muffins with Pesto & Ham -- Perfect for breakfast all week or a packed lunch

By Alison Diven, Contributing Writer

Y’all, a week of breakfasts or light lunches doesn’t get any easier or more delicious than this. These little darlings? Five minutes prep, then bake. Done. No sautéing, no mixing, no mussed up bowls. And the flavor combinations are endless! This batch got all fancy with layers of leftover pesto, goat cheese, and ham, but I can also vouch for the simple pleasure of ham and cheddar. And what about in-season Hatch chiles and cheese? Oh baby.  I’m still all over the freezer burrito idea, but if you don’t watch your supply, you run out before you have time to make more. (Ask me how I know.) Egg muffins to the rescue!

One thing I love about this method is that, unlike scrambled eggs (which I also love), it showcases the glorious orange-gold yolks of pastured eggs. If you’ve never tasted a backyard-raised egg, you really owe it to yourself to locate some. Their flavor is so much richer that I now find grocery store eggs bland, even the fancy ones. We buy grocery store eggs too, of course, but every chance I get, I nab the “good stuff.” Farmers’ markets are a great place to look for them, and sometimes locally-owned health food stores will carry eggs from the community. You can also ask around. You want eggs from chickens that spend most of their lives outdoors being chicken-y–eating bugs, worms, and grass. Once you see and taste the difference, you’ll know the “pastured egg thing” isn’t just hype.

Pastured eggs, or eggs of any kind, are especially important for pregnant women like me. Egg white omelets may still populate the “healthy” menu at restaurants, but it’s eggs with their yolks that offer so much for general health and for building babies—including hard-to-get nutrients like vitamins A, D, and K, choline, zinc, and iodine. (Read more nutrition details from Kimberly here.)  These days, as I plod through the third trimester, I get as many egg yolks as I can for the brain-food choline, but scrambling eggs every morning gets really old. Adding in these egg cups and raw “milkshakes” with egg yolks has kept me going.

Recipe Notes:

Swap out ingredients freely! Don’t do pork? Skip the ham or substitute a slice or two of chicken sausage. Use any cheese your heart desires, or nix it altogether if you’re dairy-free. Some easy, no-pre-cooking-required flavor combinations to try:

  • Jarred roasted red peppers, ricotta cheese, and a basil leaf
  • Roasted New Mexico (Hatch) chile peppers with goat cheese or cheddar
  • Tomato, mozzarella, and a basil leaf
  • Thinly-sliced zucchini, monterrey Jack cheese, and cilantro pesto
  • Ham and cheddar

Do use paper muffin liners. While not strictly necessary, they help hold everything together since you’re layering, not mixing ingredients.

Eat ‘em hot or cold. They’re delicious fresh, of course, but I eat them cold throughout the week.

Other Bulk Breakfast Recipes You Might Like:

Individual Ricotta and Spinach Ricotta Omelets in a Muffin Tin
15 Freezer Burrito Hacks for Nourishing Cooks
Spiced Oatmeal-Apple Muffins (Dairy, Gluten, Egg-Free)
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes (Soaked)

Easy Egg Muffins with Pesto & Ham (GF with DF options)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
 
Egg muffins are endlessly versatile and a great way to cook breakfast or light lunches for a week. Pesto, ham, and cheese give these an Italian vibe, but you could go all-American with ham and cheddar or Southwest with green chiles and goat cheese. Let your imagination guide you! They are also delicious without the cheese, so don't let being dairy-free stop you from enjoying them.
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces sliced ham (I often buy Applegate or Organic Pastures)
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese or your favorite cheese, optional
  • ½ cup prepared or leftover pesto (use dairy-free pesto if needed)
  • 12 eggs, preferably pasture-raised and GMO-free
  • 12 paper muffin tin liners
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Meanwhile, line regular-size muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Chop ham and cheese into largish pieces.
  3. Distribute chopped ham among muffin cups. Then add a small spoonful of pesto to each cup. Sprinkle in the cheese. Crack a whole egg into each cup.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the yolks are set but not chalky. Let stand for 5 minutes. Eat warm or refrigerate for later meals.