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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
French Toast Casserole

A Toast to Mom this Mothers Day

Each year leading up to Mother's Day I see numerous advertisements of local restaurants taking reservations for Mother's Day brunch. Many families take part in honoring their mother by treating her to a meal that she doesn't have to cook or clean up. Whether it's eating out with family and friends or served at home after sleeping in, your mother will be sure to enjoy the pampering.

Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch usually eaten late in the morning or early afternoon between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It's said to have originated in England in the late 19th century, reserved for the upper British class. Today, it's generally a weekend meal often eaten after Sunday service for church-goers or after a late-night for party-goers. Typical brunch foods include breakfast sweets, such as pancakes, waffles or crepes, cinnamon rolls and coffee cake. Savory dishes balance out the sweet and most often include egg casseroles, biscuits and gravy and hash browns. Typical lunch foods need not be forgotten. A buffet brunch generally always has a carving station of roasted ham or beef, with choices of warm vegetables, rolls and dessert. And some restaurants even serve signature morning cocktails like mimosas and bloody marys.

While a few healthy foods may be found at brunch, they typically are crammed onto a plate that is top-heavy with high calorie, fatty foods. Buffets and all of their choices can be hard to control yourself. Try taking a stroll through the buffet before filling your plate to find the healthier foods to fill up on. Apply the child's no-touching rule and leave a half-inch space between every food. This will help control the amount you take. Of course, the healthiest way to enjoy brunch is to prepare it yourself. Consider serving brunch to your mother at home, and she'll be impressed by your efforts in the kitchen!

Slow Cooker Apple French Toast (Printable PDF)

14 slices whole wheat bread, cubed

1 apple, peeled cored & chopped

6 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups fat-free evaporated milk

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg

Spray the inside of a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Inside the slow cooker, layer half the bread on the bottom, top with apples and layer the other half of bread on top of apples. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla, evaporated milk, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until smooth. Evenly pour over bread and apple layers allowing it to soak into the bread. Cook on High for 1 ½ -2 hours or until internal temperature measured with a food thermometer reads 160°F.

Yield: 10 (½ cup servings)

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 200 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 270 milligrams sodium, 28 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 12 grams protein

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