It is no secret that I love breakfast food - honestly, I feel like my days are spent just waiting for it to be breakfast again. French toast was one of those things I thought I'd have to give up when I decided to become plant based. "How could you possibly achieve the springy and tender yet crispy and crunchy thing that so obviously came from the addition of eggs?", I wondered. The answer is the blend of banana with ground flax/chia seeds. The banana acts as the yolk would, coating the bread in creamy richness and the flax/chia acts as the whites, binding it all together. The other star addition is nutritional yeast, it adds a rich, buttery flavor that you might otherwise miss in an vegan version of this classic dish.
To be honest, I have failed at making vegan French toast a number of times. I've tried different batters and different breads but my results were always similar - soggy toast that fell apart - it tasted good but I am a huge texture person so this was not cool. After wasting way too many slices of really expensive bread than I'd like to count, I finally cracked the code...the secret is to not soak the bread as long as you would with an egg based mixture, seriously a quick 2 second dip on each side is all you need then quickly get it in the hot pan. I am so happy to have finally figured that out because this toast turned out so crispy, so tender - I couldn't get enough of it.
Vegan or not, you have to try this recipe. It's a total crowd pleaser and easy to double (or triple) for a breakfast or brunch party (the best kind of party?!). It is slightly sweeter than traditional french toast thus requiring a more delicate and complex topping than just maple syrup in my opinion, so I also included the method to making a quick and easy preserve sauce that makes this dish insta-worthy.
Serves: 2-3 (6 slices of toast) • Prep Time: 7 minutes • Cook Time: 10 minutes
- 1/4 cup unsweetned non-dairy milk
- 1/2 ripe banana
- 1 tsp nutritonal yeast
- 1 tsp ground chia seeds OR flax seeds (or a combo of both)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 capful of vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 slices of your favorite bread
1. Blend almond milk, banana, nutritional yeast, flax/chia, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a blender until well combined. Pour the mixture into a wide bowl and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes.
2. Quickly dip a slice of bread in the liquid on both sides. Shake off excess.
Note: DO NOT soak this as you would traditional french toast, the lack of egg changes the chemistry of things so it really only requires a very quick dip in the batter. Use my many soggy fails as your warning - if you leave the bread too long in the batter, it will fall apart as you cook it. Of course this may change if you use stale, sour dough or a thicker slice of toast - experiment at your own risk :)
3. Cook the bread on each side for 1-3 minutes on medium heat in a non-stick pan or until you reach your desired level of done-ness. I find it helps to have the pan pre-headed before adding the bread in. There will be some extra liquid as the bread cooks but don't worry it will evaporate off during the process leading to perfectly tender, springy, crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside french toast.
Super Easy Berry Sauce
- 3 tbsp of your favorite berry preserves
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
1. Add the preserves, water and syrup to a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Allow to reduce slightly. If it gets too thick, add a bit more water.
2. Drizzle over your toast, while still warm