I'm not sure why, but I love eating french toast more than any other breakfast food. (Even waffles!) Maybe it's that warmness, the soft inside, the crispy outside, the possibility of drowning it with maple syrup or barely topping it at all to fully taste the ingredients... In honor of the wonder that is French Toast, today's recipes are Simple French Toast and the only-slightly-more-complicated French Toast Cups.
Since being vegan I've only tried to make french toast twice from recipes - the complicated list of ingredients or long process stopped me from trying more. But that's unfair! Omnis only stir a couple ingredients together, whereas I was mashing tofu or heating up a cornstarch mixture or hunting down chickpea flour (apparently not available organic at my local whole foods, so I'm adding it to my wishlist for when my parents come visit me this weekend).
So I decided to make my own French Toast. And I made up a recipe and it was great. With a bananas and strawberry sauce:
Simple Vegan French Toast
(Makes 8 slices)
1 1/2 cups soymilk
3/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
up to 1 tbsp sweetener (maple syrup, agave, sugar, whatever)*
1/8-1/4 tsp turmeric, depending on how yellow you want it*
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
8 slices bread
oil for frying
Combine cashews and soymilk in a blender or food process and blend until smooth. If your blender is finicky like mine, add the cashews and half the milk, blend, then add the rest. Once smooth, add all of the other ingredients and blend until mixed. Adjust spices/sweetener to taste.
Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Pour milk/cashew mixture into a large bowl. Dip bread into the mixture one slice at a time, making sure each piece is good and slimy with batter. Fry slices on one side until brown (3-5 minutes), flip, fry until brown again (2-3 minutes). Serve with maple syrup, fruit, powdered sugar OR strawberry sauce (recipe to follow).
* - Note: turmeric is bitter, so the more you use, the more sweetener you'll want... plus the more you use, the more you'll taste turmeric in your french toast. delicious? maybe. but mostly weird.)
Another Note: when I made this I ended up with 10 slices' worth of batter, but I don't want to make any promises. I might just be stingier with my batter than you will be. And the batter, by the way, is so tasty I "adjusted to taste" way more than I needed to.
Yes, yes, delicious, okay, yawn, everyone has a french toast recipe. Where's the challenge in that?
WELL. Ages ago I saw Rachael Ray do a brunch episode. In place of muffins, she recommended mini quiches and many other such muffin-sized things that mostly involved ham and always involved eggs. And one of those muffin-sized things: French Toast Cups! Her recipe, of course, calls for eggs and dairy and - of all things - bacon on top. So:
Vegan French Toast Cups
(makes 8 cups)
French Toast Batter (see above)
8 slices bread
Any toppings you desire: Maple Syrup, Fruit, Non-dairy yogurt, Strawberry Sauce, Nuts, Ice cream?!
Preheat the over to 375. Prepare French Toast batter as above. Mine's a little yellower than it needed to be because I had a turmeric accident.
Stack the bread. Cut a slit from the middle out to one of the corners (this will help fold the bread into the muffin pan).
Dip each piece into the batter, making sure each piece is wet enough to bend without breaking. Fold each slice into a greased muffin cup. They'll be funny-looking. That's okay.
Bake for 15 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned and the bottom of the muffin cups are no longer soggy. Remove from oven, allow to cool 5-10 minutes. Use a fork or knife to gently pull french toast cups away from the muffin pan.
Fill with fruit and/or any other toppings you can think of, including:
Simple Strawberry Sauce
(makes a litle less than 2 cups)
1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup orange juice
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp sweetener (optional)
Combine strawberries, orange juice, and optional sweetener in a small pan over medium-low heat. YOu can leave the strawnberries whole, slice them, quarter them, or mush them with the back of a spoon like I do, depending on what kind of appearance/consistency you're going for. Once strawberries are really soft, add cornstarch and stir until no longer opaque, or until you reach the consistency you desire.
This is a super-tasty and healthy topping that works on french toast, pancakes, ice cream, or anything that could use a strawberry sauce.