Christmas brunch menu ideas

I will be hosting a Christmas Day brunch. Some have health issues and require/need low carb options. I was thinking of making a winter fruit salad, some kind of breakfast strata, and of course brunch pastries such as scones and coffee cake or muffins. What other items can I include to help all indulge without regrets?

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26 Comments

Emily |. December 16, 2017
This citrus and yogurt salad is healthy and festive too especially if you mix regular and blood oranges for color: https://food52.com/recipes/35601-blood-orange-salad-with-yogurt-hazelnuts-and-honey. I have served this for brunch along with candied bacon (baked in the oven on a tray with a cookie-cooling rack on top, glazed with a mixture of dijon mustard and brown sugar) and frittata - this is always a good and versatile low carb option and easier than individual omelettes. My favorite frittata is one by Giada DeLaurentis with asparagus, tomato and fontina : http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/frittata-with-asparagus-tomato-and-fontina-recipe-1942086. I have substituted broccoli when asparagus can't be found out of season.
 
MMH December 15, 2017
You can prepare a frititta, sheet pan eggs or just scrambled eggs and provide fillings for breakfast burritos. The low carb folks can just skip the tortilla.
 
Em December 15, 2017
Tart crusts for fruit tarts can be made from dates and walnuts, or dates and pecans and coconut. You can also melt dark chocolate into muffin or tart tins as a base. Then fill with fresh fruit or berries, with or without cream.
 
Stephanie G. December 14, 2017
Thank you Dina. I love your veggie version.
 
Dina December 14, 2017
I've done a riff on a quiche lorraine as a frittata before, and it was a BIG hit at a work brunch. I typically use whole 30 compliant bacon (no sugar), caramelized onions, grated swiss and a splash of milk, then just to bulk things up a bit I like to add sliced or cubed white sweet potatos, which really amps up the sweet/savory combo in the frittata. My local whole foods sells a variety called Hannah, and they are perfect. You could obviously do it without any kind of potatos, but depending on what kind of low carb diet is being followed sweet potatoes are usually OK.

If you're looking for a more outwardly healthy option, shaved brussels sprouts and regular sweet potatoes are also a great combo in a frittata.
 
ktr December 13, 2017
Hard boiled eggs and deviled eggs are good low carb options that can be made ahead of time.
 
Sam1148 December 13, 2017
A classic shrimp cocktail. Maybe even english style. With a mayo/ketchup (or mayo sriracha) dressing. Served in a martini glass on shredded lettuce, with a bit of avocado and sliced cherry tomato. You can go multiple ways with the sauce/dressing. Mayo based for english. American with horseradish and ketchup or Mexican with a lime/garlic/olive oil/cumin dressing. (add a couple of grapes or melon balls if you do mexican)
 
Stephanie G. December 13, 2017
Thank you Cory!
That sounds delicious.
 
Cory B. December 13, 2017
Go for an egg (or mostly egg white!) frittata with seasonal veggies; you can make it in a casserole pan in the oven and there are no carbs! Serve alongside a fruit salad with citrus, pomegranate, and whatever other fruits you like; a whipped greek yogurt (you can flavor with a little maple syrup); bacon rather than sausage; a seeded whole wheat bread for toast; and smoked salmon with sliced onion, sliced tomatoes, and capers. People can mix and match from these foods and assemble their own lovely little plates.

If you need more, you could also dice root veg like butternut squash, sweet potato, regular potato, parsnips, carrots, and beets, and roast with thinly sliced onion, olive oil, and some thyme and rosemary. Roast the beets separately so the color doesn't bleed and then mix them all together after they are cooked. Could also add Brussels. It's like a fancier, prettier take on breakfast potatoes.
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx December 13, 2017
Root vegetables have the highest carb/starch/sugar as opposed to other vegetables.
 
Nancy December 12, 2017
Another idea, good on its own or if the fruit crumble is nixed as not suitable for low-carb guests.
Serve for dessert aged, very good Parmesan with a sweet and complex wine, like Gewurtztraminer or Port.
 
Nancy December 12, 2017
Small servings of the wine. If too much carb even in 3-4 oz glass of sweet wine, use dry wine or replace with a low-carb drink.
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx December 11, 2017
Our Christmas brunch includes my MIL'S egg & sausage casserole, bacon, candied bacon, sausage links, spiral ham and yogurt, fruit nuts parfaits, spinach quiche just to name a few low carb options.
 
inpatskitchen December 11, 2017
Crustless quiches are usually very low in carbs. Pastries and fruits (especially with sugar added) are very high. Low carb eaters normally stay away from sugar and wheat.
 
Nancy December 11, 2017
Would a fruit compote type thing with something like stevia be acceptable for low carb eaters or not?
 
ktr December 13, 2017
It would depend on their definition of low carb and their eating preferences. I personally eat very little fruit, but my husband, who also follows a “low carb” diet eats fruit almost daily.
 
BerryBaby December 11, 2017
A Waldorf type salad would be nice with a yogurt dressing instead of mayo...apples, grapes, celery, all in season.
 
Stephanie G. December 11, 2017
Thank you Nancy!
Would you make a compote or do the apples and pears raw?
 
Nancy December 11, 2017
What I was suggesting is a crumble (sometimes called a crisp, a grunt, or other regional folk terms) for a cooked or baked fruit dish with a crispy topping, made of grain, butter & nuts.
If you want to serve apples & pears fresh/raw, I would include them in a cheese or deli meat board, as they go well with that, but serve them whole to let people cut as they want or - as dkv suggested - topped with lemon juice to delay/prevent browning.
Another idea for uncooked apples & pears is a fruit compote, with some citrus added and liquor if your group likes that. Otherwise, can use (good quality, pure) fruit juice to pull it all together.
 
Stephanie G. December 11, 2017
Love the tart idea. Do you have suggestions for seasonal fruits on the tart? I truly have been drawing a total blank on low carb options for brunch. I like the paleo banana bread idea too. Forgive my ignorance, but is paleo synonymous with low-carb?
 
Nancy December 11, 2017
Stephanie...
In season now - apples, pears, cranberries. Also maybe quince.
Use one or a mixture , some classic baking spices, then crushed nuts, butter and sugar for the streusel topping. Serve as is, hot, warm or chilled. Garnish (optional) some good cream.
 
dkv December 11, 2017
Someone below suggested apples which, if you're serving raw, need to be brushed with lemon or honey to stop them from browning. Not sure where you live but persimmons could be lovely. Berries should be available in supermarkets, though aren't seasonal...You could also go fully festive and use clementines or sweet citrus! Or make a cranberry orange compote and swirl it on top! Ooooo now we're getting really festive!!

Here's a tried tested and true banana bread: https://civilizedcavemancooking.com/recipes/desserts/paleo-banana-bread/

And yeah paleo is usually low carb as it avoids processed sugars. Obviously there are carbs in fruits and veg but much less than in other sweeteners/foods.
 
dkv December 11, 2017
-paleo banana bread (you'd be able to make it ahead!) and you can always french toastify if on the day of
-berry and yogurt tart (https://food52.com/recipes/30383-yogurt-and-berry-tart-with-a-pecan-crust#comments)
-a large shakshuka!
 
Nancy December 11, 2017
For sweets or desserts, make a fruit crumble with a nut (Not oat-based) streusel. Also chocolate truffles, if acceptable to the low-carb diners.
 
BerryBaby December 10, 2017
Whole milk plain Greek yogurt has the least carbs of yogurt, 7 grams per 6 oz. serve fresh berries or seasonal fruit as toppings. I eat a small bowl ever morning with homemade granola. Turkey sausage in the strata or on the side is excellent.
 
MMH December 10, 2017
Serve a smoke salmon with all the ingredients for bagels & lox. The low carb folks can skip the bagels & eat the salmon.
 
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