Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Apple Cinnamon French Toast

I did it! I finally did it! I made vegan french toast on Sunday and it was so good, I can't stop thinking about it. Previous attempts have been disastrous or at best, pretty much regular toast-textured. I've been trying hard though because french toast is one of my all time favorite foods, and it was one of the first breakfast food recipes I perfected back in college. My french toast was made with egg whites, so it was high in protein and low in fat. I found it easy to digest too, so I would often eat it before crew practice in the mornings. The crispy outside and soft inside, paired with the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple are hard to resist... These days, I have a waffle maker, an awesome pancake recipe, and we don't keep eggs around. Fianc√© says the cholesterol is bad (though this logic fails since there's no cholesterol in the whites) but until the eggs come from happy chickens that live in my back yard, I've become skeptical. So I've been challenging myself to try to create vegan french toast so that this old favorite can again become a regular part of my life.

Sunday morning, we woke up to a cold, wet, dreary day. The type of day that's best for sitting inside with a warm breakfast and cup of coffee watching the rain fall (you know, before you go out and ride your bike for a few hours in it.) We had made pumpkin waffles on Saturday (coming soon!) and I wasn't in the mood for pancakes. So I did a little research and decided to give vegan french toast one more shot. I decided to make my batter with apple sauce, protein powder, and flax seed, since the blogs I trusted most seemed to be using banana and I personally really like flax as an egg replacer. Banana unfortunately makes me gag, but I had an opened container of apple sauce in the fridge that I thought might be close enough. I added Life Basic's vanilla unsweetened protein powder, since I always need a protein boost in the mornings. This particular protein powder is pretty palatable and it's a complete source of all of the essential amino acids! The vanilla adds to the cozy flavor nicely. The flax seeds were also a good choice for their omega-3 fatty acids and nutritional profile, as well as the hearty, nutty taste they bring to the table. The final, critical tip for cooking these... make sure you use a generous amount of vegetable or canola oil to grease your pan! Otherwise they will stick and become a soggy mess.

Apple Cinnamon French Toast

3/4c vanilla almond milk
1/2c unsweetened apple sauce
1/3c vanilla unsweetened protein powder (I used this one)
1T ground flax seeds
1T cinnamon
3T maple syrup
6 slices bread (whole wheat, multi grain or Udi's gluten free)
canola or vegetable oil to grease the pan

1. Preheat skillet to medium heat. Add a generous amount of vegetable oil and swirl to spread it. Skillet is ready when water droplets sizzle when added.
2. Mix all of the ingredients except the bread together in a large bowl.
3. Dip bread in batter. This is a bit thicker than regular french toast batter, so you may have to spread it a little with a finger or a knife to make sure it's fully coated.
4. Cook french toast on skillet. The first side will take 2-3 minutes and the second will take 1-2 minutes. Don't try to flip it early or it will stick! Cooking times will vary, but it'll be easier to recover from a slightly black piece than a soggy-all-over-your-pan piece (which will require you to cool & clean your skillet to start over)
5. Remove from skillet and let cool. Regrease your pan for every piece you make, it's crucial for it to come out right! Serve with additional maple syrup, nuts, and/ or chocolate chips. Enjoy!

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