One of my biggest hesitations about switching to a fully vegan diet was that I’d never get to enjoy some of my favourite foods again. Obviously, this was a ridiculous concern, but at the time it really worried me. The idea of saying goodbye to a food or food group seems silly, but I’m sure a lot of other vegans or plant-based eaters could agree with me.
French toast was one of those meals I was scared I’d miss. I often made French toast for a sweet snack or dessert rather than a brekky meal, but I loved the taste, texture and flavours of a classic French toast. Knowing that it was made with eggs gave me the impression that I wouldn’t be able to eat it again once becoming vegan.
So I stopped thinking about French toast. Until now.
One of my favourite ways to experiment with vegan cooking is to recreate traditionally non-vegan recipes. I’ve had some success with other dishes (check out my Mushroom & Lentil Spag Bol or my Vegan Sausage-Less Rolls as delicious examples) but at first, I wasn’t sure if I could make a vegan French toast at all.
Until I just tried. And guess what guys? It turned out to be bloody delicious!
Coconut French Toast
- 1 ½ cups coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon nut butter
- 4 pieces of thick cut bread
- Mix coconut milk, vanilla essence, maple syrup, chia seeds and brown sugar in a bowl. Whisk to mix together and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Put a pan on medium/high heat and add a quarter of the nut butter.
- Quickly dip one piece of bread on both sides in the coconut milk mix, making sure it’s only in there for a second (otherwise it will absorb too much liquid and get soggy) and then fry in the pan for 2 minutes before flipping and cooking for another 2 minutes.
- Repeat with remaining pieces of bread, adding a quarter of the nut butter to the pan each time.
- Serve with your preferred toppings (I used hemp seeds, toasted coconut flakes, fresh raspberries and berry compote).
- Be super careful when dipping your bread. The first time I tried it, I soaked it completely and it just fell apart in the pan and was really soggy. All you need to do is a very quick dip on each side so the bread is covered in liquid, but not soaking in it.
- You may also need to fry the bread a little longer than 2 minutes on each side. It just needs to get crispy and golden so if it looks like it needs a little longer, just play it by ear.
- You can use whatever toppings you like! I already had a berry compote made up from the night before, so I used this along with the other toppings. You could also use other fruit, like banana or blueberries, or even coconut yoghurt.
- The thicker the bread, the better. If you only have a thinner cut bread available, it will still work but you’ll just have to be extra careful that you don’t wet the bread too much in the coconut milk mix.
- While this recipe uses mainly natural sugars, it is still pretty high in the sweet stuff, so consider this dish a ‘sometimes’ meal.
Remember – eating just one vegan meal a day can make a really big difference. It is an easy and tasty way to help the planet, the animals, and yourself!