VANILLA COCONUT VEGAN FRENCH TOAST
Ever since I ditched my strict electric diet, brought to you by the late Dr. Sebi, breakfast has gotten way more interesting in the kitchen. I remember the days when breakfast was a dietary occasion to look forward to. There wasn’t ever a wrong time to have fluffy pancakes with hot maple syrup. Perfectly scrambled eggs became a staple with Cracker Barrel extra sharp cheddar paired with a side of flavorful grits cooked to the perfect consistency (I’m a hater of chunky, dry grits). My Bacon?! Thick pork slices fried to crispy perfection with a pair of Dior sunglasses to keep me from getting popped in the eye with grease (I am so serious). Breakfast for me was more of a tasty and gluttonous indulgence rather than an opportunity to fuel my body with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Fast forward to a new mindset and even newer refrigerator contents, breakfast has been a redefined ritual to uplift my spirit and soul during the wee hours of the morning. When I started my vegan journey in the beginning of 2016, eliminating dairy and meat from daily gallivants was daunting at first. That meant no eggs, bacon, yogurt, milk, or sausage for what we know as a classic American breakfast. There were no more random runs to Cafeteria after a night at 1Oak and damn sure no pit stops at the 14th St diner before hopping on the bridge back to Brooklyn.
So instead of making enemies with my “once favorite meal of the day”, I became friends with it. My mornings now include a selection of herbal detox teas, fruity smoothie bowls and green juices. Feeling a bit nostalgic a week ago, I took one of my favorite classics, French toast, and turned it into something memorable. Most, if not all, recipes call for milk and egg with a hell of a lot of cinnamon fried in vegetable oil. Well since we don’t have any of those things in my house, I made a vegan-friendly version of this breakfast staple. The traces of vanilla and coconut gave the plain whole grain toast new meaning, while the nutmeg and cinnamon created satiating warmth. The hot berry jam was reminiscent of a more-grown up Welch’s jelly, and the macadamia nuts added the perfect amount of crunch. Try whipping up my version in the kitchen for a somewhat healthier and yummier alternative for a couple’s brunch with Bae, or whenever you’re a bit tired of that chocolate avocado smoothie.
Vanilla Coconut Vegan French Toast
For the toast:
10 slices of whole grain or sprouted bread
3 small burro bananas
1 cup of coconut milk
2 teaspoons of maca root powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
½ teaspoon of blonde coconut sugar
¼ teaspoon of ginger powder
For the topping:
1 cup of strawberries, chopped
1 cup of blueberries
½ of blackberries
3 tablespoons of agave or maple syrup
3-4 burro bananas, sliced
1 tablespoon of seed oil (I use sunflower or grape)
1 handful of macadamia nuts, chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon of hemp seeds (optional)
For the toast:
1. Mix coconut milk, maca root powder, vanilla extract, nutmeg, sugar, ginger powder, cinnamon, and bananas in a blender till liquefied.
2. Heat oil or vegan butter over medium heat in a skillet.
3. Quickly dip each side of the bread in the coconut batter and add to skillet to fry cooking each side until crispy and golden brown.
For the topping:
1. Heat oil and agave nectar/maple syrup till brown, bubbly, and caramelized.
2. Add fruit to the caramel mixture and cook to a thick, jam-like consistency over simmered heat.
3. Serve on top on toast and bananas, and add your favorite nut, seed, or granola.
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