We’ve all fallen victim to the prospect of a free hotel breakfast, only to be disappointed with a continental-style offering of boxed orange juice, packaged muffins, and Raisin Bran. Bleh. Whether you own a bed and breakfast or are hosting a weekend group at su casa, don’t let your guests suffer from limited morning dining options. Instead, surprise them with a creative (and filling!) continental breakfast that’s worthy of a Four Seasons night rate. Because quick and easy doesn’t have to mean boxed and chock full of hard-to-pronounce preservatives.

Traditionally, a continental breakfast includes juice, coffee, jam, fruit, toast, and baked goods. With these ingredients in mind, we’ve taken a newer, more modernized approach to upgrade the past and present the following:

Traditional: Orange Juice; Upgrade: Fruity Smoothie

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If you’ve got a yogurt lover in your group, this fruity smoothie kills two breakfast birds with one healthy stone. Along with an added boost of protein, the presence of silken tofu also gives it a creamy texture that rivals most milkshakes. Eat your heart out, Black Tap. Get the recipe.

Traditional: Strawberry Jam; Upgrade: Shallot-Tarragon Jam

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The problem with most continental breakfasts is that everything is just so sweet. Take a departure from the norm with this savory alternative that pairs well with spreadable Laughing Cow cheese. Better yet, smear it on a bagel with smoked salmon and you’re guaranteed to be full until lunchtime. Get the recipe.

Traditional: Coffee; Upgrade: Vietnamese Coffee Ice Pops

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Okay, so nothing can really take the place of actual coffee, but why not have a little fun in the morning with these Vietnamese coffee ice pops? The condensed milk and cream make them a decadent treat, but the French roast will give you that much-needed caffeine zing. It’s a win-win, if you ask us. Get the recipe.

Traditional: Fruit; Upgrade: Melon Salad with Sweet Wine and Lemon

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We’re not telling you to start your day by drinking alcohol. We’re telling you to start your day by eating it, instead. This playful take on a traditional fruit salad will highlight seasonal melon with the sugary citrus of lemon and sweet wine. Hey, it’s 5:00 somewhere. And this time, we’re talking AM. Get the recipe.

Traditional: Croissant; Upgrade: Double Chocolate Pop Tart

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Pop Tarts aren’t just for kids. In fact, homemade varieties make a fun, throwback alternative to croissants if you’re looking for something buttery and flaky. These are stuffed with chocolate, which obviously is never a bad thing. Get the recipe.

Traditional: Blueberry Muffin; Upgrade: Vegan Jelly-Filled Muffin

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Frankly, we wanted to figure out a way to squeeze doughnuts into the mix, but that Americanizes the continental breakfast a little too much. These jelly-filled muffins are a perfect plan B. In fact, you may not be able to tell the difference between these and your weekend favorites at Dunkin. Get the recipe.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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