Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Weekday French Toast: Easy, Lazy, Healthy(ish), Vegan

There are a few lots and lots of vegan French Toast recipes out there, but this version is so incredibly simple, I can throw it together in 15 minutes on a weekday. It's also relatively virtuous (as virtuous as fried bread can ever be, I suppose) - no sugar or salt for weaning babes, and can be made with just a handful of cupboard staples (at least staples in our house!). This is a small batch. It's a weekday, remember? Can easily be scaled up.

A few tablespoons neutral cooking oil.
3 thick slices of sturdy bread. Stale is fine, even better. I used some homemade malthouse from Friday, but Sourdough would also work well. The flimsy, shop bought stuff probably won't work.
Half a cup of non-dairy milk. My top choices would be almond, hemp or soy. We used almond today.
1 Tablespoon chickpea flour
1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
Generous sprinkling of cinnamon
Ok, first things first, before even putting your coffee on, get your pan and oil pre-heating. If the pan isn't good and hot, these bad boys WILL stick. My kitchen is unheated, and in the winter it's freezing in there at night, so I don't judge if my pan is pre-heated by time, but rather by the way the oil behaves. I pre-heat my cast-iron skillet on medium low, until the oil swirls around quickly. Sluggish oil = ruined toast.
While your pan is getting good and warm, lazily mix together the milk, chickpea flour, flaxseed and cinnamon with a fork on a shallow serving plate. Give it a minute to come together - if you don't already know this, ground flaxseed adds a viscosity that is not unlike egg, you just have to give it a little time to work its magic. Soak the bread, both sides. Now is a good time to make coffee.

As appetising as wet bread is, don't taste the batter. Chickpea flour is foul when raw. I found out the hard way.

Fry 'em up! You obviously want them browned on both sides. For me, that's about 3 minutes a side. They shouldn't stick if you follow the golden rules I just made up:

Pre-heat well - have I mentioned that?
Don't mess with them until you are fairly certain they will be browned. If you try to flip them too early, or sneak a peek before they are browned, the pan won't 'let go'.
Use a metal spatula, and really be careful to get under there.  
Any number of toppings would be delicious, and as they aren't sugary to begin with you can be as decadent or abstemious as you feel that day. I had brown rice syrup and pumpkin seeds with mine, the babe had some banana slices. It's a big hit in our house!

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