What is balance? For us it’s eating right on the regular, with the occasional indulgence. And if the indulgence happens to be vegan and mostly naturally sweet, even better. This vegan banana french toast recipe uses bananas in two ways: both in the bread soak and caramelized on top. Combined with chia seeds and chopped pecans, it makes for a more nutrient-filled, real food rendition of the traditional dessert. For breakfast, I loved it slathered with a bit of peanut butter to balance the sweetness and make it a bit more filling. Another option is to scrap the breakfast idea all together and make it for a dessert.
This recipe comes courtesy of our friend Tess Masters who’s just released a new cookbook: The Perfect Blend! I met Tess at a conference in Austin this year and we hit it off. What I love about Tess is her joyful personality and passion for wholesome, real foods. In her journey she found that the blender is an optimal tool for healthy fast food, and his been blogging over at The Blender Girl ever since. Spoiler alert: we’ll be featuring Tess and her story on the podcast soon, which she will rock with her killer Australian accent. She’s also got a sweet $27K giveaway going on to celebrate the launch of her book. Congratulations to Tess on the launch of her book!
Make it a meal
For a hearty meal, spread your toast with some natural peanut or almond butter.
Tess is coming soon to the A Couple Cooks Podcast.
Did you make this recipe?
We’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks.
- 1 cup unsweetened almond or macadamia milk (strained if homemade)
- 1 ripe medium banana
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus more to serve
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 slices sandwich bread (whole grain or gluten free, if desired)
- 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 medium bananas, thickly sliced on the diagonal
- 1⁄4 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons crushed raw pecans
- Pure maple syrup, to serve
- Almond butter or peanut butter, optional
- Set the oven to its lowest temperature or the “warm” setting.
- To make the French toast, pour the milk, banana, maple syrup, vanilla, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt into your blender and blast on high for about 30 seconds, until well combined. Pour the mixture into a large shallow baking dish and let rest for about 5 minutes to thicken slightly. In batches, place slices of the bread in the baking dish and let soak on one side for 8 to 10 seconds. Flip the slices and let soak for another 8 to 10 seconds, until evenly moistened.
- In a medium skillet (that fits two slices of bread) or on a large griddle (that holds all of the slices) over medium heat, warm 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil per two slices of bread. (Resist the urge to use less coconut oil, or the bread won’t get crispy.) Add the bread and fry for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy on the edges; you may need to add more coconut oil after you flip the bread. If cooking in batches, transfer the French toast to a lined baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm, and repeat to fry the remaining bread, adding more coconut oil to cook each batch.
- While the last pieces of toast are cooking, make the caramelized bananas. Combine the banana slices and the coconut sugar in a zipper-lock bag, seal, and shake to coat evenly. In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm the coconut oil, add the coated bananas and the bourbon booster, and fry for about 2 minutes on each side until nicely caramelized.
- Serve two slices of French toast on each plate, topped with one-quarter of the caramelized bananas and one-quarter of the crushed pecans. If desired, top with almond butter or peanut butter. Pass maple syrup at the table (it's perfect with a tiny drizzle).