Fresh fruit is a must-have staple of any brunch.

Simple No-Cook Brunch Ideas

by Zora Hughes

Having a brunch is a fun way to get together with friends or family on a lazy weekend morning or early afternoon. However, a brunch tends to be a lot of work for a busy mom, especially if you plan to cook eggs, pancakes, bacon, grilled sandwiches or other foods that can require hours of time in the kitchen. Save yourself a lot of time and hard work by planning a no-cook brunch with simple items that appeal to both the adults and kids you plan to serve.

Super Simple Staples

For a nutritious, family-friendly brunch that requires no cooking of any kind, plan to serve items from every food group that can be eaten as-is. On your brunch table, put out whole grain bagels and English muffins to fulfill the grain requirement. Low-fat cream cheese for the dairy and salmon requirement and salami and prosciutto for the protein are the perfect complement to the bagels. Offer plenty of fresh, bite-sized cuts of fruit, including all varieties of berries, orange slices and pineapple wedges, as well as raw vegetables such as baby carrots, tomato slices and cucumbers. You can also offer plain yogurt with a variety of toppings and cubed low-fat cheese for additional dairy offerings. Provide orange juice, milk and water as beverages, as well as coffee and tea for the adults.

Creative Easy Extras

Keep things simple, but get a little more creative in no-cook offerings for your brunch. Instead of simply offering lox with the bagels, for example, combine smoked salmon, capers, cream cheese and a splash of lemon in a food processor for a zesty salmon spread. Make a tropical fruit salad using kiwis, pineapples, blood oranges, mango and papaya; top with a sprinkle of grated mint leaves. Prepare a caprese salad by combining sliced tomatoes with sliced fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil and a little sea salt. Add a splash of cranberry juice to the orange juice for the children and make mimosas for the adults by adding champagne to the orange juice.

The Brunch Setup

Setting up your brunch on one long table like a buffet is the easiest way to serve your brunch. However, if you are expecting a lot of guests, you may want to set up different food stations around the room, making it easier for your guests to go straight to the items they want. This arrangement also allows you to prepare simple, do-it-yourself food bars. For example, create a yogurt bar with plain and vanilla yogurt, with several bowls of toppings such as granola, raisins, fruit and honey. Set up your bagel bar in the same manner, offering whole grain, raisin and onion bagels with different-flavored cream cheeses, lox, salami and other cold meats. Make a cereal bar, offering boxes of healthy, whole-grain cereals and both dairy and non-dairy milk in ice buckets.

Keeping It Kid-Friendly

Keep your brunch exciting and entertaining for the kids. Put out a children's food table with toast or mini-bagels and toppings such as cream cheese, raisins and dried fruit so they can create funny food faces. Cut fruit like watermelon and cantaloupe into cubes, allowing them to build fruit towers or create their own fruit kabobs using popsicle sticks. Give the kids small cookie cutters to cut their own shapes out of sliced melon.

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.

Photo Credits

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