When I worked in a continental style cafe in Belfast, I loved when there was an ordering mistake that would allow me to tuck into our decadent french toast. Made with thick and sugary brioche bread and served with a generous topping of syrup and cream, this was not the ideal breakfast for someone pursuing a healthier lifestyle. When I started eating an increased plant based diet, I didn’t think this dish would easily cross over.
As I’ve always found when attempting to recreate my favorite dishes in vegan form, nothing is impossible. All it takes is a little creativity and you find the solutions are surprisingly simple.
This plant based alternative to french toast more than makes up for the lack of eggs in taste and nutrition. The banana and chia seeds give the mixture a soft and moist texture after frying whilst the chia and flax seeds give a nutritional kick in the form of Omega-3s. The key is to only use a small amount of cashew milk to ensure the bread doesn’t get too soggy before cooked. I add a little turmeric (read about the health benefits of turmeric here) as it mimics the yellow color of the yolk but I keep it low enough so you don’t actually taste it, so it is not essential. This should make 4 – 6 slices of french toast.
4 – 6 slices of organic, whole grain bread
1 tbsp flax seeds
2 tbsp (preferably soaked) chia seeds
half a banana
half a cup of cashew milk (you can use any plant based milk alternative, I use cashew for it’s thicker consistency)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
(Optional for taste)
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp turmeric
pinch of black pepper
Start by soaking the chia seeds for 30 minutes with double the amount of water to seed. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend for one minute on a high speed. You want the seeds completely blended before dipping. If the mixture is too thick add more cashew milk until the consistency is right. Pour the mixture into a bowl and dip the bread in. You want to fully coat the bread but not soak through entirely.
Fry in coconut oil on a medium heat for around 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
I like to have this with fresh berries but it is equally yummy with syrup, honey or banana.