Every year, I try and find ways to switch up the norm when it comes to planning out or contributing to the Thanksgiving menu. As you know, I enjoy encouraging creativity when it comes to eating well, and boxed stuffing and canned cranberry sauce doesn't quite cut it.
In recent years, my Thanksgivings were spent in Brooklyn with a small, intimate group of friends and I began to favor celebrating the occasion in a smaller group setting. And that it doesn't just have be reserved for lunch and dinner, but breakfast and brunch as well. Really, who doesn't love the idea of a seasonal stack of pancakes in the morning, followed by an afternoon of long, you-stay-right-there naps. I don't know about you, but that's sounding pretty good to me right now.
Honor your intuition and cook what feels good and nourishing to you. My selections are meant to serve as a framework, a guide for getting your menu together based on your personal preferences and those you're cooking for. Add nourishment, add love, get creative, go wild. You won't find any casseroles on this brunch menu, and while I'm not saying that they're completely off the table, these options provide an abundance of nourishment, and in ways that you may not have otherwise thought about.
Pancakes, waffles, sticky buns, parfaits and bowls, here we go.
Simplified Sticky Buns | Amanda Maguire of Pickles & Honey
"There is just something about dough that rises and cinnamon in the air that is so…perfect. Taking the time to bake your own bread should be considered its own form of meditation." I don't have a great history with baking, but surely I'd take the time to attempt my best at these. These sweet little buns are whole grain, low glycemic, and very satisfying to make, and of course, enjoy.
Option two: these with a vegan-friendly cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
Apple Buckwheat Pancakes | Alexis Jospeh of Hummusapien
The apple topping on this seasonal stack of sprouted buckwheat pancakes could be a meal itself. Why sprouted? It's more easily digestible and contains readily available vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids and more.
Loaded Hash Brown Waffles | Heather Poire of Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes
The best of both worlds, and an excuse to use that waffle iron for more than just your traditional batch of waffles. These hash brown waffle gems include shredded potato, red pepper, green onions and red onions combined with a spicy mix of fresh pepper, sea salt and smoked paprika. With sunny side-up eggs plus your toppings of choice...boom. Brunch is served.
Otherwise, this Pumpkin Waffle Benedict with vegan hollandaise may just have your name written all over it.
Savory Steel Cut Oats | Gena Hamshaw of The Full Helping
Savory oats will make you completely rethink how you may currently be doing them. This life-changing one-pot wonder is packed with umami and protein and so many good things: olive oil, shallot, mushrooms, kale, miso, tahini.
Breakfast Baked Sweet Potatoes | Monique of Ambitious Kitchen
With creamy almond butter, sliced banana and chia seeds. Dessert for breakfast with the benefits of essential vitamins, nutrients, beta-carotene and manganese and healthy fats.
Sweet Potato Skillet Hash | Sarah Britton of My New Roots
Caramel Apple Pie Chia Pudding Parfaits | Ashley Melillo of Blissful Basil
If you prefer the sweeter, dessert-like side of brunch, then these parfaits deserve a special place in your heart and on your Thanksgiving brunch menu. Creamy vanilla coconut yogurt chia pudding is layered with spoonfuls of cinnamon-spiced apple compote and vegan caramel.
To eating well, this Thanksgiving + beyond. xo