One of my favorite Sunday brunch treats is French Toast.
The crispy, cinnamon-y outside and soft, sweet center get me every time!
However, I'm lactose intolerant (yay!).
So, naturally, a French Toast brunch isn't something I get to enjoy often. Many restaurants' French Toast recipes are rather traditional and, most times, decadently dairy. I also have yet to find a brunch place that makes a perfectly non-butter-yet-buttery, moist-centered, sweet, vegan or vegetarian French Toast (if you have suggestions, let me know!)
So, I decided to take matters into my own hands...
I always say I become the most creative (in the kitchen) when I am craving. So I decided to let my taste buds take the wheel and came up with my own (crispy, non-butter-buttery, sweet, cinnamon-y) recipe for dairy-free French Toast, using all organic ingredients.
Dairy-Free Banana Nut French Toast with Berry Compote
4 slices soft whole wheat bread (I like Whole Foods Organic Honey Wheat)
1 handful of pecans, chopped
1 tsp chia seeds
1 cup almond milk
1 cup berries (I like blueberries)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbs water
Heat a small saucepan to medium.
Add berries, lemon juice, water and 1/2 tsp coconut sugar.
Bring to a low boil.
Reduce heat to low, allow this to simmer and reduce for about 15 minutes.
Set aside. The mixture will thicken as it cools.
Banana Nut Mixture
Toss half of the sliced bananas and half of the chopped pecans into a bowl. Add a pinch of cinnamon. Stir.
Set aside remaining bananas & nuts for later.
Grab a small non-stick pan; heat to medium.
Once pan is heated, add 1/2 tsp of coconut oil.
Add banana and nut mixture to heated pan.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until bananas begin to caramelize.
Once the mixtures is soft/gooey, remove from heat, save for later!
Putting It All Together...
Got get your mixing bowl! Add egg, almond milk, 1 tsp coconut sugar, 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, and a pinch of cinnamon.
Whisk until all items are blended. Set aside.
Now, you'll need a large 12-14 inch nonstick pan. Heat pan to medium-high.
Once pan is heated, add 1 tsp of coconut oil to pan. Allow oil to melt & heat.
While your oil is heating, find your bread...and the almond milk & egg mixture.
Dip your bread, a single slice at a time in almond milk & egg mixture, being sure to lightly soak the slice.
Once soaked, each slice will go directly into the heated pan. Be mindful of the size of your pan, dip only the amount of slices that will fit comfortably (I do 2 at a time).
Allow slices to cook on one side, flipping when brown.
After you have browned both sides, set aside on a plate or cutting board for safe keeping.
Once you have successfully browned all 4 slices of bread, return them, 1-2 at a time, to pan.
As soon as your french toast hits the pan, begin flipping, and flip frequently while sprinkling coconut sugar on the slice, being sure to lightly cover both sides. Once sugar has melted, remove from pan. Repeat for remainder of slices.
Once all four slices have been "sugared", spread your banana nut mixture on one side of each slice (I do about 1 tsp per slice).
Sandwich 2 slices on top of each other, keeping the banana mixture in the center. Slice in half then stack halves on top of one another.
Drizzle berry compote over French Toast and finish with the remainder of fresh sliced bananas and chopped nuts.