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Serve up a healthy and heart Sunday brunch

If you grab a cereal bar and coffee on your way to work every morning, you probably anticipate Sunday brunch all week. Everyone loves a warm, comforting meal at home or at a restaurant, eaten with family and friends.

The only downside to brunch is its potential to promote unhealthy eating: Bacon. Eggs. Croissants loaded with butter. Chocolate-chip muffins. These mouth-watering morsels might sound delicious, but eating them regularly can lead to weight gain, high cholesterol and heart disease.

A heart-healthy meal doesn’t have to be bland. Try these recipes for a nutritious take on brunch.

Banana yogurt shake

  • Get fruit and calcium in one delicious beverage.

  1½ cups fat-free milk
  4 small bananas, peeled
  1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  1 tsp. vanilla
  ½ tsp. cinnamon
  ⅛ tsp. nutmeg
  1 cup ice cubes

  • Combine all ingredients except ice cubes in blender or food processor; process until thick and creamy. With motor running, add ice cubes; process until smooth. Pour into tall glasses. Makes 4 shakes.
    Per serving: 160 calories, 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Red and yellow pepper omelets

  • Swap in green or orange peppers for color variation.

  1 tsp. olive oil
  1 sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
  1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  4 egg whites
  ½ tsp. dried basil
  ¼ tsp. black pepper
  2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided

  • In a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat, warm oil; add the peppers. Cook, stirring frequently for 4 to 5 minutes. Keep warm over low heat. In a small bowl, lightly whisk together the egg whites, basil and black pepper. Coat a small nonstick frying pan with nonstick spray. Warm over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add half the egg mixture, swirling the pan to evenly coat the bottom. Cook for 30 seconds or until the eggs are set. Carefully loosen and flip; cook for 1 minute, or until firm. Sprinkle half of the peppers over the eggs. Fold to enclose the filling. Transfer to a plate. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining egg mixture, peppers and 1 tsp. of cheese. Serves 2.
    Per serving: 90 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 140 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention