buttermilk bran muffins

 buttermilk bran muffins

Summer entertaining is also about serving a great breakfast to your house guests, one they’ll love that also doesn’t take a ton of time to pull together. Here are a few of our favorite breakfast ideas to wow your guests with little effort.

This is our go-to breakfast muffin for early morning entertaining. We love it because there’s no mixer required to make, allowing you to easily (and quietly) make them while your house guests are still asleep. They’ll love waking up to these muffins, guaranteed not to stay around for very long.

  • Cooking spray, for greasing
  • 1 cup unprocessed coarse wheat bran
  • 1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • Fresh butter, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Coat mini muffin tins (or regular-sized tins) with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine bran, flour, baking soda, and salt. 
  4. In another medium bowl, whisk together egg, honey, applesauce, oil, vanilla, and buttermilk until light and frothy, 1-2 minutes. Dry wet mixture to dry and gently stir to combine. Do not overmix.
  5. Divide batter among prepared muffin tins, filling 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when pressed gently in center, 18-22 minutes (depending on size of muffin tins you’re using). Allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to cook completely. 

Makes approximately 18 mini muffins.


chunky homemade granola 

Making homemade granola is surprisingly easy, and you can customize it any way you like. This version uses oil, which tends to make a crispier (and chunkier) granola, especially if you don’t toss it around it as it cooks. Make a big batch and keep it on hand for easy weekday snacking.

Cooking spray
6 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup unsalted whole almonds, roughly chopped
1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
1/4 cup finely ground flaxseed or wheat germ, optional
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat top of paper with cooking spray, and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, coconut, flaxseed or wheat germ (if using), and salt. 
  4. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, honey, oil, and vanilla and stir until combined. Pour over oat mixture and mix until evenly coated. Pour granola onto baking sheet and, using a spatula, press granola firmly. Bake, without stirring, until outside edges are just golden brown, about 30-35 minutes. (Start checking after 25 minutes to avoid overcooking.) 
  5. Remove from oven and allow granola to cool completely before breaking it apart into chunks. Granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes approximately 8 cups.

This recipe is from The Coastal Table cookbook by Union Park Press.


vanilla bean yogurt

A simple, yet delicious way to amp up plain yogurt.

1 35-ounce container plain Greek yogurt
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
Homemade granola (recipe above), for serving
Fresh fruit, for serving

In a large bowl, combine ingredients (except granola and fruit). Taste and adjust if desired. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.

Serve 4-6.


blueberry smoothie

Double or triple the batch and make it the day before. Keep it covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

1 cup ice
1/2-1 cup whole milk
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a blender, chop ice. Add 1/2 cup milk, blueberries, yogurt, honey, and vanilla and blend until smooth. Add more milk if smoothie is too thick. Taste and adjust as desired.

Serves 1.

cook’s note: To freeze freshly-picked blueberries, pick through and discard any damaged ones. Lay the blueberries in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer. Once the blueberries are frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer bag.

For more of our favorite smoothie recipes, click here.

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