Smart Swaps

For a Balanced Mother's Day Brunch

Mother’s day is right around the corner. What better way to celebrate such an amazing person in your life than making a delicious brunch together? What I am suggesting isn’t your typical greasy bacon breakfast with sugary French toast, but rather some nutritious balanced ideas that will surely satisfy your mid morning cravings and keep you energized throughout the day.  Let me guide you with some of the ideas that I certainly am going to entertain on my Sunday brunch with my mother.


What not to have—white refined bagels, breads and muffins, processed cereals

What to have—whole grain muffins, bread made from spelt, oat, rye or brown rice flour or even homemade granola


What not to have—white pancakes with icing sugar and syrup

What to have—Buckwheat pancakes sweetened with pure maple syrup

Refined, white carbohydrates spike blood sugar levels really fast giving a false burst of energy – which only makes you crash. Opt for whole grains that are high in fibre, protein and nutrients.



What not to have—Eggs Benedict, fried eggs

What to have—organic poached or hard boiled egg, sprouted organic scrambled tofu


What not to have—bacon, salami or other high sodium, processed deli meats

What to have—organic grilled tempeh, marinated with maple syrup and orange juice

Organic or free-range eggs have rich yolks full of nutrients and tofu provides a hearty vegan alternative to eggs. Processed meats are high in sodium and very difficult for the body to digest. Try tempeh instead which is a whole food that is “meaty” high in enzymes and plant-based protein; you will be just as satisfied.



What not to have—conventional butter or margarine on white toast or muffins

What to have—coconut butter or almond butter on sprouted spelt bread or gluten- free bread


What not to have—conventional cow dairy or processed cheddar cheese, cow milk

What to have– organic goat cheese, organic sheep’s cheddar, avocado, cashews or almond milk

Commercial dairy can be hard on the body and margarine has no nutritional value and is extremely processed. Opt for natural sources of dairy from goat and sheep sources or go veggie and explore the amazing plant-based rich and creamy alternatives to dairy.



What not to have—white sugar, brown sugar, artificial sweeteners, jams

What to have—coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, fresh fruit or a homemade chutney

Processed sugar and chemical sweeteners are hard on the body and metabolism. Sugar spikes your blood sugar levels with empty calories, while aspartame gives you a false sense of sweetness and can have detrimental long-term effects on health. Choose natural sweeteners whether from fruit or other sources, as they carry nutritional value and taste delicious.



What not to have—fruit juices and boxed orange juice, dessert coffees

What to have—fresh pressed fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies, herbal teas

Many beverages are laden with sugar, fat and calories. Before you know it you have taken in more calories before you’ve even eaten anything. Opt for natural juices and smoothies that will give you a morning buzz without the caffeine!

Try making this delicious breakfast loaf for your family. It tastes great on its own or with a dollop of almond butter. It’s naturally sweet with yams and maple syrup. It’s got a delicious crunch from pecans and some tartness from cranberries. You can also make this into mini or full size muffins as well. (Just be sure to adjust the time: Mini muffins 15 minutes and full size muffins 25 minutes).


Yam Pecan Loaf


What’s In It?

1 yam (about 1 cup) cooked and mashed

1⁄2 cup grapeseed or coconut oil

3⁄4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1⁄2 cup vanilla rice milk

5 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed

3 tablespoons orange rind, grated

2 cups whole spelt flour or gluten-free all purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1⁄2 cup dried sweetened cranberries

1⁄2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped


How It’s Made

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Steam or boil yam in water in medium saucepan and cook until soft.

2. Strain the yam and mash with a masher.

3. Add the oil, syrup, vanilla, vinegar, rice milk, orange juice and orange rind to the yam and mash the ingredients together thoroughly.

4. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.

5. Pour the yam mixture into the flour mixture and gently stir them together until all the flour is incorporated into the wet mixture.

6. Fold in cranberries and pecans.

7. Scoop mixture into an oiled and floured bread pan. Place the pan in oven and bake for about one hour.

8. Use a toothpick to test readiness;  this loaf is done when the toothpick comes out clean.


Let the loaf cool in the bread pan on a wire rack before removing.


Categories: Nourished