Five healthy Mother's Day brunch dos and don'ts

Celebrate your mom by treating her to a super healthy meal that will keep her energized all day long. And try our pecan loaf recipe

Breakfast served outdoors


With Mother’s Day right around the corner what better way to celebrate such an amazing person than making a delicious brunch together? What I’m suggesting isn’t your typical eggs and bacon with French toast, but rather some nutritious ideas that will satisfy your mid-morning cravings, keeping 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 Mom.

Serve: whole grain muffins, bread made from spelt, oat, rye or brown rice flour, homemade granola
Avoid: white refined bagels, breads and muffins, processed cereals

Serve: Buckwheat pancakes sweetened with pure maple syrup
Avoid: white pancakes with icing sugar and syrup

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

Serve: organic poached or hard-boiled egg, organic scrambled tofu
Avoid: Eggs Benedict, fried eggs

Choose: organic grilled tempeh, marinated with maple syrup and orange juice
Avoid: bacon, salami or other high sodium, processed deli meats

Note: 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” plus high in enzymes and plant-based protein, so you will be just as satisfied.

Serve: coconut butter or almond butter on sprouted spelt bread
Avoid: butter or margarine on white toast or muffins

Serve: organic goats cheese, organic sheep’s cheddar, avocado or almond milk
Avoid: cow dairy or processed cheddar cheese, cow milk

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

Serve: coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, fresh fruit
Avoid: white sugar, brown sugar, artificial sweeteners, jams

Note: 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.

Serve:  fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies, herbal teas
Avoid: fruit juices and boxed orange juice, dessert coffees

Note: Many beverages are laden with sugar, fat and calories. Don’t take in calories before you’ve even eaten anything. Opt for natural juices and smoothies that give you a morning buzz without the caffeine!

Yam Pecan Loaf

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
3 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1⁄2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1⁄2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

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

2. Strain the yams and mash them with a masher.

3. Add the oil, syrup, vanilla, vinegar, rice milk, orange juice and orange rind to the yams 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 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.

Marni Wasserman
is a culinary nutritionist in Toronto whose philosophy is stemmed around whole foods. She is dedicated to providing balanced lifestyle choices through natural foods. Using passion and experience, she strives to educate individuals on how everyday eating can be simple and delicious.