Plans to entertain out-of-town visitors at your house any time soon? Could that mean extra mouths to feed in the morning maybe, too? If that is the case, let me help as there is no need to exhaust yourself over various complicated egg orders or pancake batter for a crowd or even worse — offering a poor selection of unhealthy cereal boxes or frozen waffles.
Instead, let your guests mosey up to a breakfast bar after their night of sweet slumber and grab a spoon to start their day with some nourishment and great taste! And, as for you the host or hostess, this healthy breakfast offering only takes 15 minutes – just a wee-bit more effort than plopping down those cardboard boxes on the table anyway!
HOWA SELF-SERVE, HEALTHY BREAKFAST BAR CAN FEED A CROWD
You barely cook a thing for this breakfast for a crowd and get to spend more time with your guests! In fact, it is so easy on you, you can even sleep a little late, too!
Here is why a breakfast bar of starting with a choice of organic, warm polenta or delicious, creamy, organic Greek yogurt embellished with wonderful and delicious toppings can work so well for everyone at your house:
- Let your guests top their bowl and create the breakfast of their liking and spoon whatever suits them. (More on delicious topping ideas below.)
- If you have late sleepers or early risers, this works out especially well. Polenta stays warm on the back of the stove (or in a crockpot). If it gets a little thick from sitting there for the snoozers, add a teaspoon of water at a time and give it a stir. Greek yogurt can stay cool in your fridge ready to grab anytime. No problem!
- If you have vegetarians or gluten-free eaters in the mix, it qualifies as a safe dish for them, too!
- Leftovers are easily reheated or wrapped up for the next day.
- It takes the host so little time and effort – 15 minutes!
- You can easily expand the meal with a bowl of fresh fruit, coffee and tea, simple juices and a whole grain bread basket.
- It offers fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more — all a great way to encourage a great start to the day.
3 EASY STEPS TO CREATE A HEALTHY BREAKFAST BAR IN 15 MINUTES
Get out your stopwatch and follow these easy steps to set up a self-serve and delicious breakfast for your guests . . . in 15 minutes. Depending on how fast your move in the morning and your choice of toppings, that really is all it takes.
1. 4 Minutes: While the water is heating for the polenta, spread a few nuts of your choice on a cookie sheet to toast and then chop the herbs. Set out the serving bowls and spoons and various other delicious and healthy toppings you wish to offer in small bowls and pitchers. (See below for various ideas.)
This is the best tasting organic polenta I have found and it is gluten-free and non-GMO too! Everyone loves it and it takes no time at all to prepare – 10 minutes. The simple directions are on the box but can be made dairy-free with water, milk or dairy-free nut milk.
2. 10 Minutes: Finish making the pot of comforting organic polenta and keep it warm on the stove. (You could try transferring it to a crock-pot to keep it warm and fuss-free, but I have not done that myself-) Watch the nuts in the oven so that they do not burn.
Don’t miss this: Steel cuts oats is another great choice to offer. It can take a while to cook, though. Here is how to make whole grain oats a whole lot faster.
3. 1 Minute: Put your fresh, plain and organic Greek yogurt in a pretty bowl and set it on the bar. Purchase plain with no added sugars. Refined sugar is not a good way to start your day anyway and those flavorings would compete with the wonderful toppings you are offering as well.
Do make sure the yogurt is organic and here is why: Most conventional milk comes from cows that are raised on a diet of genetically modified grains (not grass), sprayed with toxic pesticides, pumped with antibiotics, growth hormones (rbGH) as well as steroid hormones. These harmful substances can be found in the cow’s milk, which is then made into the non-organic yogurt. In fact, you really may want to go organic for all dairy if you consume it – milk, cheese and ice cream, too.
Don’t miss this: Why antibiotics in our food supply is a very, very bad thing.
BREAKFAST BAR TOPPINGS
Set up a breakfast bar of savory and sweet delectable toppings that your guests and family can choose themselves to make it just how they like it!
Go a little sweet . . .
- Fruit compote of choice (Try the make-ahead, 10 minute one below.)
- Fresh berries
- Infused maple syrup or raw honey
- Small pitcher of organic cream (This topping can go savory, too!)
- Chopped dates or dried fruit
- cinnamon or other favorite spices
Go a little savory . . .
- Toasted nuts – almonds, walnuts, pecans
- Chopped herbs like basil, chives or thyme
- Poached eggs (polenta only)
- Minced sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (polenta only)
- Grated cheese (polenta only)
Let the imagination lead when creating your breakfast, but here are some tested and nice combinations:
- yogurt topped with apricot compote, slivered almonds, and fresh thyme (see quick compote recipe below)
- polenta with a poached egg sprinkled with chives and cheese
- yogurt drizzled with raw honey, berries, and walnuts
- polenta with a splash of cream, a generous spoonful of apricot compote, pecans and sprinkled with a tiny bit of cinnamon
- yogurt layered with maple syrup, cinnamon, berries
- polenta decorated with sundried tomatoes in olive oil, basil, and cheese
HEALTHY RECIPE: FAST & DELICIOUS APRICOT COMPOTE
I guarantee this will be a popular topping for your breakfast bar and quite delicious on both the polenta and yogurt. It is make-ahead and stays fresh for days.
- 5 or 6 fresh apricots or 2 cups dried, diced in small pieces
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup water (You may need a bit more if pan starts to dry out. Add a tablespoon at a time.)
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- pinch of pink salt
Now do this
- Combine apricots, lime juice, water, honey and salt in a large skillet.
- Cook over medium heat until low boil, turning occasionally, until apricots are glazed and they break down – maybe 8 – 10 minutes. The dried apricots may take longer to break down and soften.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Transfer to a small bowl and chill.