China-based foodie and restaurateur Lindsey Fine (aka Veggie Mama) has been creating all sorts of delicious vegan recipes since moving to China nine years ago. You can read all about the perks of eating a plant-based diet via her blog Veggie Mama and sample recipes on this series, Cooking with Veggie Mama. In this edition, Lindsey shares her recipe for Vegan Cinnamon French Toast Crunch.
If I want to prepare an extra special breakfast, this vegan rendition of French toast is definitely my go-to recipe. Of course, French toast is traditionally made with an egg and milk dip, but I am happy to report that this dish is even more delicious with the vegan replacements you see in this recipe.
It wouldn't be a true Veggie Mama recipe post without a little food history lesson, so first let's learn a little bit about this sweet and soggy (in the best of ways) breakfast staple. I should have known that this delectable breakfast treat would have something to do with the ancient Romans. Those folks knew how to do it. There are now countless variations of dipped and pan-fried recipes from around the world, but they all stem from the Roman's need to make use of stale bread.
For this recipe, I didn't just want any old French toast. I wanted it to be poppin'. So I got creative and added some panko breadcrumbs to the mix to add a bit of deliciously irresistible texture to it. I also just happened to make my own macnut milk using 1 cup soaked macadamia nuts blended with 3 cups water and then straining it. It was super easy to make and super creamy too!
Vegan Cinnamon French Toast Crunch
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 flax eggs
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 baguette, sliced
Coconut oil for cooking
Powdered sugar and maple syrup, or whatever you like for toppin' and dippin'!
1. In a shallow dish mix together the non-dairy milk, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, salt and flax eggs.
2. In another shallow dish, mix together panko breadcrumbs, flour, white and brown sugar, cinnamon and ground nutmeg.
3. Add 3 pieces of the sliced baguette to the wet mixture and let soak on each side for about 20 seconds. The bread should have soaked up the mixture a bit.
4. Place the wet baguette in the dry mixture and coat well. Remove and place on a baking pan. Repeat with the remaining slices until all are soaked and coated.
5. Heat a pan on medium-high heat and add the coconut oil. Coconut oil is heat sensitive, so you will likely need to reduce the heat when it starts smoking. Add 3 pieces of the prepared French toast to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy all around. You will need to continue to add a bit of coconut oil between batches because the French toast will absorb it as it cooks.
6. Bake slices in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius, until cooked inside. (Note: This step is optional. If your bread was on the dry, stale side, you might be able to skip this step. I decided to go for it, so the bread was a bit less soggy. Of course I ate a piece before this step and it was still so yummy.)
7. Plate and top with powdered sugar and maple syrup.
You can double the recipe and make the whole baguette, which is definitely recommended. My older son and husband were at school so this was enough. If they would have been home (sorry you missed out this time guys!), then a double batch would have been necessary to avoid a fight in the living room.
Read more Cooking with Veggie Mama
[Images courtesy of Veggie Mama/Lindsey Fine]