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10 Healthy Brunch Hacks Dietitians Swear By

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    Pancakes

    Add some protein to your pancakes by using almond flour and eggs instead of white flour. Switching your pancakes from refined carbs to protein and healthy fats will give your brunch extra staying power so you don't end up hungry or craving sugar or carbs later on. (Want more ideas? Check out these protein pancake recipes.)

    Get the recipe: Blueberry Almond Flour Pancakes

  • Emily Kyle Nutrition

    Quiche

    Quiche is basically breakfast pie thanks to the buttery, floury crust. It also tends to be loaded with cheese, taking the calorie, fat, and sodium count beyond where your brunch should be. Emily Kyle, M.S., R.D.N., comes to the rescue with her version. It helps you cut down on carbohydrates and saturated fat by eliminating the crust while still proving an awesome flavor and texture. (Plus there's a serving of veggies in every slice.)

    Get the recipe: Veggie Lovers Crustless Quiche

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    Waffles

    Waffles are another delicious but high-carb, low-fiber, and low-protein option. Not to mention all the syrup, butter, and whipped cream that flow over every little square don't do your waistline any favors. To save your brunch, use whole-grain flour and add protein powder to the mix. And ditch the syrup: Heat up frozen berries in a saucepan instead, creating a sweat "sauce" that has zero added sugar.

  • Hungry Hobby

    Frittatas

    For a lower-calorie frittata that's packed with vegetables, Kelli Shallal, M.P.H., R.D. of Hungry Hobby recommends using shredded vegetables like zucchini or cauliflower as an alternative to potatoes. As for cheese, try not to go overboard. Jessica Fishman Levinson, M.S., R.D.N. of Nutritioulicious suggests lining the bottom of the pan or baking dish with cheese, which forms a crust and ensures you get cheese in every bite without using quite as much.

    Get the recipes: Paleo Cauliflower Frittata, Mushroom Leek Frittata

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    Crêpes

    Crêpes seem skinny thanks to their shape, but the filling can be high in sugar and calories. The batter tends to be made from white flour, which offers little in terms of nutrients. Dietitian Lauren Pincus makes egg wraps that are a healthier alternative to crêpes. They're stuffed with fruit and heart-healthy walnuts, and the "batter" doesn't contain flour—just protein-packed eggs.

    Get the recipe: Fruity Egg Wraps

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    Omelets

    Hold the bacon, sausage, and cheese—amp up the vegetables to take your omelet from splurge to health food! Madeline Basler, M.S., R.D.N., of Real You Nutrition and Jessica Levings M.S., R.D.N., of Balanced Pantry roast extra vegetables at dinner, so they have them ready to add to their omelets in the morning.

    Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D.N., of Amy Gorin Nutrition likes to combine unexpected ingredients in egg dishes to add extra nutrition. For instance, she'll whisk a few eggs with a little milk and vanilla extract, then top her omelet with Greek yogurt, chopped pistachios, and pan-heated berries. The yogurt and pistachios amp up the protein content, plus there's fiber from the pistachios and fruit.

  • Nutrition Starring You

    Cereal

    The traditional cereal-and-milk combo can leave you hungry in an hour thanks to the low protein content. By whisking protein powder into your milk, you will enjoy the chocolate or vanilla milk you always wanted as a kid, but with way more protein and far less sugar. Adding berries to your cereal will pump up the fiber content as well and keep you full for hours.

    Get the recipe: Protein-Packed Chocolate Cereal Bowl

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    Toast

    Toast can fall anywhere on the less-healthy-to-super-healthy spectrum depending on the type of bread you choose and what you spread on it. Make sure you select a 100 percent whole-grain bread. Instead of adding butter or peanut butter that's filled with sugar and trans fats, use natural nut butter for protein and healthy fats. And rather than using store-bought jam that's loaded with added sugar, dietitian Lauren Fleming suggests thawing about 1/3 cup of frozen berries in the microwave until their juices release, then stirring in 1 teaspoon of chia seeds or ground flax seeds. Let that sit for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until the consistency is thick enough to your liking. 

  • Abbey's Kitchen

    Yogurt Parfaits

    Most store-bought granola is high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats, but these healthy granola recipes are good for sprinkling on yogurt. But if you're willing to mix it up, Abbey Sharp, R.D. of Abbey's Kitchen, suggests trying chia pudding. Chia seeds are packed with protein and fiber that work to stabilize your blood sugar, so you'll have fewer cravings throughout the day. 

    Get the recipe: Vegan Chia Pudding Granola Cups

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    Cocktails

    What's brunch without a mimosa? While you don't want to miss out on the fun, don't forget that calories from alcohol can add up fast and make you less inhibited (translation: you may eat more than you originally planned). Make your cocktail healthier by swapping orange juice for sparkling water and orange slices, which will cut down on calories while the water keeps you more hydrated and full. 

 

Christy Brissette, RD

Christy Brissette is one of North America’s top dietitians and a leading nutrition and food communications expert. She is the President of 80 Twenty Nutrition, a nutrition and food media company and private practice. Her mission? To end food confusion and dieting once and for all.  More →

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