Saturday, May 3, 2014

Mother's Day Brunch with Low Sugar Blueberry Breakfast Bread

If you are looking for an easy, prepare-ahead brunch for Mother's Day, look no further.  This brunch is easy enough for the non-experienced cook (husband) to prepare.  And if your mother is supposed to be eating low-sugar foods but still has a sweet tooth, I've given you my recipe for a delicious blueberry breakfast bread that is low in sugar.

Blueberry Breakfast Bread - Low Sugar/Low Fat Version
You can make the bread a day ahead.  Simply wrap with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter but out of the sun.  Full recipe shown below.  The egg casserole is a rendition of my Farmers Breakfast Casserole.  In this version I've substituted the ham for bacon.  If you do this, you'll want to cook it in advance then chop it into bite-sized pieces.  These were relatively large casseroles with two eggs per person, but you certainly do them half the size if Mom doesn't have a big appetite.  As these use frozen shredded hash browns, they are simple and quick to assemble.  You can even assemble them an hour or so ahead and refrigerate, then pop them in the oven for baking when ready.  If you do so, add 10 minutes to baking time to accommodate the cold ramekin.

Country Breakfast Egg Casserole, Baked Tomato,
Nectarine and Blueberry Bread
The casseroles bake about 45 minutes. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean when done.  In the foreground you can see a baked tomato.  About 15 minutes into the baking of the casserole, add the tomato to the the oven as they only take about 30 minutes to cook.

Baked breakfast tomatoes are a staple in England but you rarely seem them here in the USA anymore. I've never given a recipe for them as they are so simple to make.  If you are making them and have never done so before, simply cut the top off of a tomato.  Use your finger or a knife to push out the seed pods.  Melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter per tomato.  Add to that 1 tablespoon or a pinch more of seasoned breadcrumbs.  Add chopped (fresh or dried) parsley and/or basil to taste.  Lightly fill each tomato and place in a baking dish.  They bake at 350F degrees, just like the breakfast casserole.

Blueberry Breakfast Bread
This was a recipe I picked up on PBS.  I've modified it to reduce the fat and sugar.  I've also given you the substitutes if no one is watching their girlish figure!  I use four mini loaf pans here, as it's likely we won't eat more than one of two and I can send the rest home with the ladies.  You can as easily use a single standard loaf pan. (See footnote on loaf pan sizes.)

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Splenda Sugar Blend (or 1 cup sugar)
3 eggs
1 pint blueberries (about 10 ounces)
zest of one lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt (or full fat if you prefer)

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Spray four small or one standard loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder and salt. Add the lemon zest and toss to combine.

Cream together the butter and Splenda Sugar Blend until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the yogurt then the dry ingredients, mixing only until incorporated. Gently turn in the blueberries.

Scoop batter into the prepared loaf pans. If you are not making the low sugar versoin, sprinkle the top with large crystal sugar.  Bake until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Small loaf pans will take about 40 minutes and one large single loaf will bake for about 60-70 minutes.   If you substituted the full sugar version they will be more browned than those shown here.  Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting gently onto a plate.

Mini Loaf Pans vs. Standard Loaf Pan
A standard loaf pan is 9" x 5" x 3" and referred to as an 8 cup loaf pan.  The mini-loaf is usually 5 1/2" x 3" x 2 1/2" and is a 2 cup loaf pan.  I find the easiest way to test both by cup volume.  Anytime you have a recipe that is for a standard 8 cup loaf, the four mini 2-cup loafs can be substituted.  I often do this as they look more presentable to send to home with guests or to work when you can't consume a full loaf at home.

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