I’ve been working on a French toast recipe for a while now, it’s been a back burner kind of thing that comes back every once in a while. But a few weekends ago, when my hubby didn’t feel like taking charge with his usual pancakes, I decided that French toast sounded amazing, so off I went. I had some leftover pumpkin puree and salted caramel icing from my Pumpkin Molasses Cupcakes I posted last week (you need to try them!), and I decided that a fall inspired indulging breakfast was the way to go. My family really liked my base recipe for the original French toast I’ve made, so I stuck with that but changed it up a bit to encompass the flavors of fall.
When I first began this creation last summer, I wanted to find a way to make it very similar to the original non vegan version with that crispy outside and eggy type flavor. But I also didn’t want to use oil to fry it and I wanted to avoid any “mushiness” in the bread. I am very picky when it comes to consistency, especially mushy breads…yuck…I had seen a few recipes out there using a touch of nutritional yeast in the bread dip and it intrigued me. I had never seen it in sweet recipes before, only the savory kind. So I gave it a shot, and wow! It was the perfect missing ingredient. You can definitely leave it out, but it made this French toast taste just like the real thing! It gave it that eggy flavor I was looking for. Along with all the other ingredients, I was able to make these oil free but cook them to crispy perfection. The key is to make sure your griddle is really hot, then be very patient with the bread. I cooked each piece for about 5-7 minutes on each side, or until I could insert a spatula under the bread easily. If it sticks in any way, it’s not ready. Patience is the key, but it’s so hard because they look and smell so good while cooking! Just look at this yumminess!
I needed a fruit topping to round out our healthy but comforting breakfast, so I went with apples cooked in a pan to a cinnamon baked perfection. It was super easy because by the time the French toast was ready, these were soft and delicious. I was able to keep this all without refined sugar, which is always a goal over here, so as you shove that extra piece in your mouth you know its all in the name of good wholesome ingredients!
You certainly don’t have to, and this definitely does not need it, but if you want to take this breakfast up a notch, add the salted caramel icing. I made both a deep flavored version and a lighter one. In experimenting, I got great feedback for both kinds so decided to keep them both and let you decide! For my kids, I placed a small spoonful on the side of their plate and let them dip their strips of French toast in it. Yes, I did earn mom of the year that morning…but as I said, no refined sugar, sweetened purely with dates so I had no problem with that little extra bit of yummy that earned me perfect behavior, for a few hours anyway.
Although this whole ensemble looks super fancy and like it would be a lot of work, it actually isn’t at all. I even made the dip for the bread the night before to allow all the flavors to combine and create a deep delicious flavor. So come morning, all we did was chop some apples, throw them into a pan with a few other ingredients and practice our patience while our delicious pieces of French toast cooked. The icing is also something that can be made ahead of time, however if you always have date paste and coconut butter on hand, you can whip it up in just a few minutes. With or without it, this is definitely a crowd pleaser and will be put into our weekend breakfast rotation for sure!
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