French Toast

The current Wholefoods Diner feature is French toast. This may seem like an odd pick, but this dish is such a clever combination of basic ingredients, and one that delights most palates. So, if you are going to enjoy French toast, you might as well do it right.

As with all of our Wholefoods Diner recipes, we have updated (and upgraded) the classic version so that is can provide wholesome nourishment along with appeal. No matter which version you select, and we hope you’ll try them all, be sure to start with an additive-free, whole grain bread and eggs from free-running, drug-free hens.

The recipes that follow include a traditional French toast, as well as a reduced-fat alternative, an egg-free version, a pancake-style version, and a deluxe batter-coated French toast. When preparing any French toast recipe, the key to making it crisp on the outside and soft on the inside is to make sure the bread is well soaked and the skillet is hot.

To make French toast a more nutritious and satisfying meal, instead of drowning it in sweet syrup, add some protein to the topping. For example, prepare Maple Cream by mixing equal parts pure maple syrup and plain, nonfat yogurt or YoChee*. Or, prepare Berries and Cream by mixing a cup of crushed fresh or frozen strawberries or raspberries with ½ cup plain, nonfat yogurt or YoChee* and a few spoonfuls of honey to taste. You will find these and more topping recipes in The Good Breakfast Book (currently on sale on this website), along with some great waffle and pancake recipes to suit any diet (egg-free, vegan, gluten-free, high protein). Of course, you’ll find lots of other great breakfast recipes there, too.

Basic French Toast

2 eggs
½ cup dairy or soy milk
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt
8 slices whole grain bread
butter or oil

Beat eggs with milk, honey, vanilla, and salt.

Soak both sides of bread in egg mixture. When fully saturated, cook in hot skillet coated with melted butter or oil until browned on both sides.

Reduced-fat French Toast

To prepare large quantities of French toast at one time, or to reduce fat and calories, broil or bake.

To broil, place soaked bread on a wire rack set above a cookie sheet and brown on each side.

To bake, place soaked bread on a wire rack set above a cookie sheet and bake in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes. Turn slices over and bake an additional 5 minutes. Because this version does not brown (although it does become crisp), you may want to sprinkle it with cinnamon for appearance.

Egg-free French Toast

The Goldbecks’ personal favorite.

4 tablespoons soy flour
4 tablespoons tahini
½ cup water
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
pinch salt
6 slices whole grain bread
1 tablespoon oil (optional)

Beat together soy flour, tahini, water, honey, and salt until creamy, adding more water if necessary to make the consistency of heavy cream.

Soak bread on both sides until “cream” is completely absorbed. Sauté in hot oil or broil or bake as described above.

Bread Cakes

10 slices whole grain bread
water
1 cup skim or soy milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons wheat germ
pinch salt
1 tablespoon oil (for cooking)

Soak bread in enough water to cover for a few minutes until soft. Drain, squeezing out all moisture. Place in a large bowl. Mash bread with a fork and add remaining ingredients except oil or butter.

Drop bread mixture by soup-spoonfuls onto a hot oiled skillet or griddle. Cook as you would pancakes, flipping when top begins to set and bottom is lightly browned.

Makes 12 3-inch Bread Cakes

Batter-coated French Toast

2 eggs
¼ cup dairy or soy milk
¼ cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt
6 slices whole grain bread
butter or oil

Beat eggs with milk, wheat germ, honey, vanilla, and salt.

Soak both sides of bread in egg mixture. When fully saturated, cook in hot skillet coated with melted butter or oil until browned on both sides.

Recipes from the Nikki & David Goldbeck’s American Wholefoods Cuisine, Eat Well the YoChee Way and The Healthiest Diet in the World. ©