Healthy fuel for the busy season

Food has always played an important role during celebrations and holidays. While it’s nice to celebrate with food that’s a little more special than your everyday fare, it’s also important that it be healthy to ensure you remain energized and satisfied throughout the morning. The following recipes all fit these criteria and are sure to start your morning off right.

Dutch Baby Pancake with Cranberry Orange Compote

This puffed pancake is the perfect start to a holiday morning. Its pillowy sunken middle lends itself to cradle all kinds of toppings, either sweet or savory.

1 large navel orange
2 cups (500 mL) fresh or frozen cranberries
3 Tbsp (45 mL) maple syrup
1/4 cup (60 mL) ginger-flavored kombucha or orange juice
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract, divided
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (80 mL) sprouted spelt flour
3/4 cup (180 mL) milk or unsweetened almond milk
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter or vegan butter
3/4 cup (180 mL) plain Greek yogurt of choice
1/4 cup (60 mL) toasted pumpkin seeds or toasted sliced almonds

Start by making cranberry orange compote. Finely zest orange rind and set aside. Cut away peel and pith from orange. Working over small bowl, cut between membranes to release orange segments into bowl before setting aside.

In small saucepan, place orange zest, cranberries, maple syrup, kombucha or orange juice, and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until cranberries have burst and sauce has thickened to a light jammy consistency, about 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to heatproof bowl and set aside to cool while making pancake.

Place 8 or 9 in (20 or 23 cm) cast iron pan on middle rack of cold oven before preheating oven to 450 F (230 C).

While oven preheats, in blender, combine eggs, spelt flour, milk, salt, cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract until very well combined (it should resemble the consistency of heavy cream). Set aside for at least 10 minutes. If you want to cut down on morning-of prep time, this batter will keep covered in the refrigerator overnight.

Carefully remove hot cast iron pan from oven and add butter, swirling around to melt and coat bottom and sides. Pour in batter, transfer pan back to oven, and cook until pancake is puffed and golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let pancake rest for a minute in pan before transferring to serving plate.

When ready to serve, stir reserved orange segments into cranberry compote. Using kitchen scissors, cut Dutch baby pancake into segments and transfer to serving plates. Top with cranberry orange compote, a dollop of yogurt, and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds or sliced almonds. Enjoy.

Serves 5.

Each serving contains: 226 calories; 10 g protein; 8 g total fat (3 g sat. fat); 28 g total carbohydrates (16 g sugars, 4 g fiber); 196 mg sodium

Gingerbread Overnight Oats with Caramelized Pears

Gingerbread is a quintessential holiday flavor. Here we showcase it in a make-ahead breakfast that is crowned with warm caramelized pears and toasted nuts.

1 cup (250 mL) rolled oats
1 Tbsp (15 mL) chia seeds
1 Tbsp (15 mL) ground flaxseed
1 Tbsp (15 mL) hemp hearts (hemp seeds)
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground allspice
2 tsp (10 mL) blackstrap molasses
1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
3 Tbsp (45 mL) maple syrup, divided
1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened almond or unsweetened oat milk, plus extra to serve
2 pears, thickly sliced lengthwise
1 cup (250 mL) yogurt of choice
1/4 cup (60 mL) toasted hazelnuts, chopped

In medium bowl, with wooden spoon, stir together rolled oats, chia seeds, ground flaxseed, hemp hearts, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice.

In medium bowl, whisk together molasses, vanilla extract, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup, and milk. Pour over oat mixture and stir until well combined. Transfer to airtight container and refrigerate for at least 6 hours to overnight. Overnight oats may be made up to 2 days ahead.

When ready to serve, make caramelized pears. In large frying pan, add pear slices and remaining 2 Tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup and bring to a hard simmer over medium-high heat. Let pears cook and caramelize while flipping pears occasionally, about 4 minutes total. Remove frying pan from heat and set aside.

If desired, thin out overnight oats with additional milk to desired consistency. Divide among serving bowls and top with yogurt, caramelized pear slices, and a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 313 calories; 10 g protein; 9 g total fat (1 g sat. fat); 51 g total carbohydrates (26 g sugars, 8 g fiber); 94 mg sodium

Raspberry Cardamom Rolls

Inspired by a classic Swedish treat, these rolls are the perfect breakfast pastry when you’re looking to impress.

1 1/2 cups (350 mL) finely ground almond flour
1/3 cup (80 mL) coconut flour
3 Tbsp (45 mL) coconut sugar, divided
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) baking powder
1 1/4 tsp (6 mL) xanthan gum
1/2 tsp (2 mL) fine sea salt
5 Tbsp (75 mL) unsalted butter or vegan butter, at room temperature, divided
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened oat milk
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract, divided
2 large eggs
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cardamom
1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen raspberries, roughly chopped
4 oz (113 g) cream cheese or vegan cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 Tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup
2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped pistachio nuts

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Line 8 in (20 cm) square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In large mixing bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt until well combined.

In small saucepan, melt 3 Tbsp (45 mL) butter over medium heat. Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in almond milk, 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract, and eggs. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add butter mixture, whisking well until a shaggy and tacky dough forms. Bring dough together with your hands and place on piece of parchment paper measuring at least 12 x 15 in (30 x 38 cm). Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

While dough rests, in small bowl, whisk together ground cardamom and remaining 2 Tbsp (30 ml) coconut sugar. Set aside.

Place an additional piece of parchment paper overtop dough before rolling out into 9 x 12 in (23 x 30 cm) rectangle. Taking care to leave 1/2 in (1.25 cm) border around edges of dough, dot and spread remaining 2 Tbsp (30 ml) butter over dough and sprinkle with reserved cardamom mixture in even layer. Sprinkle frozen raspberries over cardamom mixture. With the help of the bottom piece of parchment paper, roll up smaller side of dough to create a log. Divide dough into 9 equal pieces and place cut side down in prepared baking pan. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes.

While rolls cool, make glaze. In medium bowl, whisk together cream cheese, maple syrup, and remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract until smooth. You can thin glaze to your desired consistency by adding hot water, a teaspoon at a time.

When ready to serve, drizzle glaze over cooled raspberry cardamom rolls and sprinkle with chopped pistachios, if desired. Rolls are best eaten the same day they are made.

Serves 9.

Each serving contains: 270 calories; 7 g protein; 22 g total fat (8 g sat. fat); 15 g total carbohydrates (9 g sugars, 3 g fiber); 218 mg sodium

By Lawren Moneta