August 10th 2009

Quick spa-inspired brunch

A delicious brunch is a succulent way for spa-like sustenance without spending too much time in the kitchen. Have a variety of fresh cut fruit and vegetables, yogurt, and other light snacks to round off the experience.

Lavender Mint Tea

1 tsp. dried lavender
4 tsp. dried mint
2 c. boiling water

In a tea-ball, brewing pot, or some piece of cheesecloth (with a string to secure), combine dried herbs together. Pour boiling water over, and cover, letting steep for 15-20 minutes. Remove herbs and enjoy.

Peach Crumble

2 lbs firm, ripe peaches (6-8 peaches)
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose or whole grain flour
1 cup fresh blueberries

for the crumble:
1 cup all-purpose or whole grain flour
1/4 cup  sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 lb (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced, or non-dairy margarine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice peaches into thick wedges, and place them in a large bowl. Add the zest, lemon juice, sugar and flour. Toss well and mix in the blueberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes, then spoon into ramekins.

For the topping, combine flour, sugars, salt and cinnamon in a food processor, then add margarine, pulsing until the size of peas.

With your fingers, rub so its in large crumbles and distribute over fruit.

Place ramekins on a  pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Stuffed Raspberry French Toast

2 oz. ricotta cheese
1 tsp. icing sugar
2 slices whole grain bread
2 oz. fresh raspberries
½ c. egg whites
2 tbsp. milk

Stir together ricotta cheese and icing sugar. Spread mixture onto one piece of bread and top with raspberries. Top with other slice of bread, and set aside.

Lightly oil a non-stick skillet, and bring to medium heat. In a shallow bowl, whisk egg whites with milk. Dip both sides of sandwich into egg mixture, saturating well. Place in pan, allowing to cook and brown, about 4-6 minutes. Flip, and cook until other side is browned. Top with more raspberries, pure maple syrup, and a sprinkling of icing sugar.

Sure, serenity takes some preparation – so the moral of the story? Plan ahead! Prepare these in bulk, and whisk yourself away for a brief spa delight when you can catch a free minute – or morning. A jump start rejuvenation is a perfect way to revitalize your much deserved body.

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As a musicologist, writer, personal fitness trainer and food-enthusiast, Laurie just can't decide what she likes best - so she does them all. She is also the editor of Ecoki.com, an eco-lifestyle community bringing you all things green.