My friend Eunice and I hike to the dining hall together almost every Sunday to get brunch. We take brunch seriously: we both have three empty plates stacked in front of us at the end of each excursion. But one day we were craving something different.
And then another (spring) day, it was snowing. Spring snow calls for a little creativity to minimize depressing and confusing time outside (you will understand if you live on the East Coast).
So we got together those Sunday mornings to make our own brunch: a yogurt bar including a ton of fruit, greek yogurt, homemade granola, matcha powder, and oatmeal bars (her recipe). And lots of honey. At the end of each meal, we looked at each other with our same Sunday brunch smiles and I knew I had to share our experience (that only took around twenty minutes to create). Here are the components of our quick and delicious meal.
The Raw Material
Here’s what you’ll need and (probably) already have:
- 3 cups of rolled oats
- a ripe banana
- Your choice of:
- fresh or frozen fruit
- Honey or agave
- Cocoa powder (optional)
- Green tea powder (optional… you may not have this lying around)
- Chocolate for garnish (optional)
- Sesame seeds (optional)
Wake up craving bacon? Skip the 9 grams of fat and sodium count that comes with three pieces of bacon and consume even more protein by eating yogurt. Greek yogurt is an excellent alternative to breakfast meat — in one cup of 2%, there are 23 grams of protein and only 4.5 grams of fat. You can use
You can use whatever kind you want, but go for high protein, low sugar (you will be putting lots of natural sugars on top). My favorite is Plain Fage Total 0% or 2%, but any Siggi’s would also be awesome. My friend brought green tea powder, which we mixed in the yogurt and then drizzled with honey (or agave works, too). It tasted like green tea ice cream.
Eunice had some frozen grapes, and I brought grapefruit, mango, and blueberries. These ended up tasting delicious with the green-tea-infused yogurt. The second time we made this meal, we used oranges, apples, and bananas from the cafeteria (which were just as delicious, and a lot cheaper). Any fruit you use is going to offer a range of health benefits for a small amount of calories. You don’t need to buy expensive super fruits to be healthy.
To make this granola, we didn’t even need to turn the oven on. We just heated up about two tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan on medium heat (you could definitely use a different kind of oil but coconut oil is fat-burning, brain-healing, and cholesterol-lowering, so I recommend it).
We mixed in half a cup of oats, a couple of crumbled mixed nuts, and a drizzle of honey. Be careful not to let the granola burn — stir frequently and take the mixture off heat after about three to five minutes. The oats will darken a little bit and the nuts will be aromatic.
These oatmeal bars are a great source of fiber, which will fill you up and fuel you for the day (and may reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer). Since oats are a source of complex carbs that will keep you full for hours, these oat bars are a perfect stand-in for french toast.
Mash about half a banana, then mix it with a little cinnamon, cocoa powder (if using) and about a half a cup of oats. Put into the microwave for a minute and a half, flip, then put in for another minute. Feel free to heat it up until you’re happy with the consistency. Eunice likes her a little crispier (2 minutes and a half); I like mine a little gooier (2 minutes). Know that it will crisp up a little bit after it sits.
#SpoonTip: Prefer to bake a breakfast cookie instead? Try this recipe.
If you haven’t eaten enough food that’s fat-blasting and metabolism-boosting, add the green tea powder (which offers its own antioxidants and green tea catechins that reduce cancer risk) and honey to your yogurt, then top with fruit and granola. Dip your oatmeal bar into your yogurt and enjoy.
The first time we made this brunch, the yogurt bowls looked like this:
The second time the entire spread looked like this:
Those orange things are Eunice half-dried, half-baked sweet potatoes that Eunice brought. These are obviously not required but definitely recommended. Eunice’s bowl looked like this:
The cool part about this meal (besides the fact that it is speedy, nutritious, and vegetarian) is that it is versatile. The recipes are easy to adjust depending on which ingredients you find in your dorm room. Next time you are hungry for a different and delicious brunch, grab a sous chef (hopefully one as cool as Eunice) and make this yogurt bar. I promise you will be satisfied.