I love brunch more than the average person. I cannot emphasize this enough! I’m telling you, I could be at death’s door and I’d still be craving brunch (if you have to blend it up and feed it to me through a straw, I swear I’ll still take it). I love sleeping in on a Saturday and then walking to the grocery store to stock up on essentials: rashers of bacon, eggs for omelets and pancakes made from scratch, fresh fruit to painstakingly chop by hand. I spend all morning rushing around the kitchen and by the time I’m done, we’re usually solidly in lunchtime territory. But brunch can’t always be a big production. When I’m super hungry or feeling lazy, quick and easy brunch shortcuts are a godsend. Here are some Sporked-approved brunch components I rely on when I want to eat before 3 p.m. rolls around.
Eggs benedict is typically made with Canadian bacon, but in my kitchen, regular ol’ bacon just gets a lot more play. So I don’t wind up with a few round slabs of ham spoiling in my refrigerator’s meat drawer, bacon benedict is the way to go. In her ranking of the best bacon, Sporked managing editor Gwynedd Stuart called Coleman Hickory Smoked Bacon “straight-up special occasion bacon in everyday bacon clothing,” and since brunch is always sort of a special occasion, it’s the best bacon to buy. Pair it with powdered Hollandaise sauce, a fried egg (unless you’re up for poaching; good on you), and Thomas’s Sourdough English Muffins, which the Sporked crew found to be more flavorful than plain English muffins. This is pushing the limits of my energy some Saturdays, but it is worth it every single time!
Handy Eggs & Hash Browns: Three Little Pigs Uncured Bacon & Swiss Sous Vide Egg Bites + Great Value Shredded Seasoned Potato Hash Brown Patties
I’ll confess my sins here: I don’t know how to properly cook eggs. Every single time, I just throw them in a pan (scrambled, whole, literally makes no difference to me) and hope for the best. Three Little Pigs saves the day with their Uncured Bacon & Swiss sous vide egg bites, which cook up perfectly in the freaking microwave. Serving them alongside Great Value’s extremely tasty hash brown patties gives us an otherworldly pairing that eliminates loads of dirty dishes—and forks.
Pancakes & Syrup: Birch Benders Organic Buttermilk Pancake Mix + Pearl Milling Company Original Syrup
No matter how lazy I’m feeling, no brunch would be complete without pancakes and syrup. Typically, I’ll make batter from scratch, but when I want to get in and out of the kitchen quickly, this Birch Benders Organic Buttermilk Pancake Mix is the next best thing. Actually, it might be the better thing since they have buttermilk flavor without forcing me to buy a quart of buttermilk that’s going to spoil. For drenching purposes, go with Pearl Milling Company’s Original syrup. It’s not all fancy like real maple syrup, but the Sporked team promises that it’s better—buttery and delicious. It also keeps for a long time, so you’ll have it on hand for many future brunches.
Perfect Parfait: Noosa Vanilla Bean Yogurt + Purely Elizabeth Original Ancient Grain Granola
A parfait really is the ultimate easy way to enjoy the taste of brunch when you can’t be bothered to do anything remotely labor intensive in the kitchen. I let my stomach guide me as I scoop as much Noosa Vanilla Bean Yogurt into the bowl as my stomach desires. Then comes Purely Elizabeth’s Original Ancient Grain Granola, which adds texture and even more sweetness. As Gwynedd wrote in her ranking of the best granola, “This bag is full of plump clusters of salty-sweet oats and grains (amaranth, quinoa, chia seeds), and a hint of cinnamon that compliments that natural sweetness of coconut sugar.” If I want to really overachieve on my lazy day, I throw in some fresh fruit to make it seem even more like something a crowded L.A. brunch spot charges $20 for.
Plant Based Bacon & Eggs: Ozo Spicy Jalapeño Plant-Based Bacon + Just Egg Plant-Based Scramble
I’m a real bacon and eggs guy, but seeing as I live in Los Angeles, I always need to keep a plant based version of any food on hand in case I have meat-free company. Ozo Spicy Jalapeño Plant-Based Bacon takes the single best part of bacon—the immaculate taste of cooked pork fat—and recreates it with an added pop of spicy jalapeño. Making jalapeño-spiced bacon never even occurred to me. This is brilliant. Once the plant based bacon is cooked, it’s chopped up and put into a bowl of Just Egg Plant-Based Scramble to create a classic brunch dish that even non- carnivores can enjoy.