Expand your repertoire for the ever-popular mid-morning meal, and you are one step closer to hosting a fun party
Explore the country’s cafes and eateries during the weekend and you’ll find that brunch takes centre stage. From hearty bacon and eggs and English fry-ups to buttery croissants and bursting bagels; fluffy berry pancakes and waffles dripping with maple syrup and caramelised bananas; healthy salmon eggs benedict and avocado salads; lattes and champagne cocktails – the brunch list is delicious and long and limited only by the creativity of the cook.
Brunch is not only a wonderful solution to Friday night hangovers but also replaces all that energy lost during a tough week at the office or an exhausting game of golf under the blistering sun. Brunch is a late morning or early afternoon meal, typically between 10am and 12.30pm, that combines foods usually eaten for breakfast and lunch. Many restaurants and hotels serve brunch, especially on weekends and holidays and are often buffets, but a la carte is also available.
Contrary to belief, brunch need not be a guilty pleasure. Most brunch options contain healthy ingredients such as eggs, which are nature’s gifts to your wellbeing.
10 health benefits of eggs
1. Eggs are great for the eyes. According to one study, an egg a day may prevent macular degeneraton due to the carotenoid content, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. Both nutrients are more readily available to our bodies from eggs than from other sources.
2. In another study, researchers found that people who eat eggs every day lower their risk of developing cataracts, also because of the lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs.
3. One egg contains 6g of high-quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids.
4. Regular consumption of eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks.
5. They are a good source of choline. One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline. Choline is an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system.
6. They contain the right kind of fat. One egg contains just 5g of fat and only 1.5g of that is saturated fat.
7. New research shows that moderate consumption of eggs does not have a negative impact on cholesterol. Regular consumption of two eggs per day does not affect a person’s lipid profile and may, in fact, improve it.
8. Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D.
9. Eggs may prevent breast cancer. In one study, women who consumed at least 6 eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%.
10. Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Many people find their hair growing faster after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulphur or B12.
Healthy brunch options
If you crave some bacon, sausages and eggs but are worried about it being oily and unhealthy, remember this: Moderation is key. You don’t consume these foods every day, and you can add more salad and fruit to the dish, and lessen the meat. Cut out the processed food by getting good bread (vs the mass produced factory versions), cheese, butter and eggs.
Turkey and chicken
These two types of white meat are rich in tryptophan. If we introduce these meats to brunch cooking, we can be sure of secreting enough serotonin to generate a sensation of well-being. These meats are delicious in open sandwiches, salads, quiche, waffles and tarts.
Nuts, especially walnuts, are essential for providing the body with the dose of monounsaturated fatty acids it needs to ensure your cardiovascular system functions properly, and for stimulating the mood. Nuts are good for concentration and for improving energy. Use nuts with pancakes and French toast instead of too much butter and sugar. You can also blend nuts to make pesto or a healthy spread.
If you eat salmon, sardines or other oily fish, you’ll ingest the amount of omega 3 fatty acids you need to help your brain stay healthy and to release serotonin – a basic substance for feeling good. Salmon, sardines and tuna are excellent substitutes for bacon or ham, and are good in all salads and sandwiches.
If you dream of waffles oozing with chocolate and bananas use dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and also stimulates the production of serotonin, in addition to reducing the amount of stress hormone in the body.
Lighten any brunch salad dressing or garnish by substituting cream and mayonnaise with yoghurt. Yoghurt regulates cognitive and emotional functions mood and its probiotic properties ensure a healthy gut. A fruit smoothie with yoghurt feels less guilty than a milkshake with ice cream and milk.
There’s no doubt that this is one of the most complete cereals you can have in your larder. In addition to its beneficial properties for digestion and for keeping blood sugar levels balanced, it contains folic acid and vitamins that prevent the body from losing energy.
Grill with your microwave oven
With today’s technology the microwave oven can create many of your favourite brunch dishes. Even sizzling bacon and sausages to go with your scrambled eggs. Look out for microwave ovens with ‘Crunch Mode’ or ‘Crispy Grill’ functions. These actually brown meat and other ingredients that have crispy, browned texture. You can have fried bacon and steak, grilled tuna and salmon fillets without the splatter of frying.
Microwave grill technology works when the grill plate or rack provided with the oven interacts when the ‘Crispy Grill’ function is turned on. Instead of penetrating the plate, the microwaves heat the surface of the plate to a temperature hot enough to sear meat, grill a sandwich and brown bacon. Gone are rubbery meat and soggy crusts which regular microwaving often produces.
Many grill microwaves can also be converted to convection ovens with the touch of a button, such as Teka’s microwave grill ovens. Since convection ovens cook and brown food through surrounding it with moving air, the microwaved food gets even crispier than when cooked in grill microwaves. Create a delicious brunch croissant sandwich with cheese, or a bacon, egg and tomato frittata, or potato rosti with sausages or grilled honey apples to top your oat and yoghurt poke bowl.
Use your oven
Cooking brunch is great but if you’re worried what the smells and smoke will do to your interior space and to your hair, your oven is the answer. To grill bacon and sausages, line a tray with greaseproof paper and lay out the meat in a single row, then use the grill function to cook the meat. Minimal fuss and minimal cooking smells.
Ovens also have other functions apart from grill. You can steam and coddle eggs, you can bake omelettes, bread puddings, creamy oats and pastries; you can roast vegetables and fruit. Roast-caramelised bananas, apples and apricots go so well with pancakes and French toast.
The new range of Teka ovens offers many features with a modern and elegant design in every model. Along its many different characteristics, Teka ovens also have a low consumption, safeness, precision and an easy use. The most advanced models add a new control display screen, becoming one of the best and most useful tools in your kitchen.
High capacity ovens
Small ovens and compact ovens by Teka, all of them offer larger up to 30% more capacity to cook more food. You can cook several recipes at the same time with the new Teka DoubleCook oven without mixing flavours or odours, thanks to two different independent parts in the same oven but with the standard oven measures. Teka oven design also looks elegant and sleek to create harmony and balance in your kitchen space.
The dream of easy-cleaning
Ovens are so much easier to clean these days. And after cooking your brunch spread, easy-clean ovens are a godsend. Teka ovens are easier to clean than ever thanks to DualClean, with two self-cleaning systems: Pyrolysis and Hydroclean (Hydroclean technology is an evolution in hydrolysis oven clenaning systems). You can choose between these two systems whenever you need it. Pyrolysis will help you with rests of food and grease thanks to heat and hight temperatures, and it will keep your oven as clean as a new one every time you use it. This feature is the best one if you need a deep cleaning. Hydroclean is the best choice for a daily cleaning routine and helps you to keep the oven in the best conditions without any effort. This feature uses power of steam to eliminate dirt.
Coffee – the elixir of brunch
Good coffee is essential in any brunch repertoire. Creating aromatic brews needs a good coffee machine. The teka Built-in coffee maker with 30 programmes and 15 bar pressure features an easy and intuitive control panel with easy access to 3 great functions: coffee, steam and hot water. This allows 30 different programmes to control the temperature and coffee intensity, so you can enjoy fantastic coffee with a fantastic brunch spread. Use fresh coffee beans for an authentic taste.