Disclaimer: The actual French Toast that you see in the picture is NOT dairy-free and egg-free. I began this impromptu project late in the evening and I was too tired to make up some homemade dairy-free pancake mix and bake a fresh loaf of vegan bread (especially since I have never made it before)…but the bread is not the main issue that needed addressed, right? Right!
P.S. My youngest son was ironically diagnosed with an egg allergy just a couple of days ago, so now, my egg-free mission is ON!
I accidentally stumbled upon a recipe in the Gooseberry Patch magazine (the current Halloween edition which is on stands until November 27th, 2010).
I had never purchased this magazine before, but one day while standing in line at the grocery store, it just so happened to catch my eye because, well, I am a Halloween FANATIC! I get so many of my ideas from magazines, but I usually gravitate towards recipes that typically require a lot of tweaking to make it fit my family’s dietary needs, but not this time. Nope, this time the answer to the question of “how the heck do I make a French toast without eggs or soy?” literally JUMPED off the page! It was one of those answers that makes you go, “duh, why didn’t I think of that?”
I adapted the following recipe to be gluten-free and sugar-free from the Citrusy French Toast recipe (on p.66) of the Gooseberry Patch Halloween issue.
Gluten-Free Egg-Free French Toast
2 cups GF Pancake Mix (I used Pamela’s Pancake and Baking Mix, but it is not dairy-free. For a GF, dairy-free, egg-free homemade pancake mix, try Ginger Lemon Girl’s Master Baking Mix recipe. Carrie’s recipe can easily be made corn-free too, with a simple switch from xanthan gum to guar gum!).
2 cups of Water
2 droppers of Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia (more or less, to taste). The original recipe suggests 4 Tbs. of powdered sugar, so if you don’t have any liquid stevia just use that or try your own sugar-free tweak).
1/4 cup + 3 Tbs. Grapeseed Oil (or use Earth Balance Dairy-Free Buttery Spread)
Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and whisk until smooth, set aside.
- Heat skillet with 1 Tbs. of Grapeseed Oil (or oil of your choice) over medium heat.
- Dip bread slices in Pancake Batter (I like to let mine soak for a minute or two…I say that as if I’ve made French toast from semi-scratch before, but I haven’t!), allow excess batter to drip off coated bread slices before placing on the hot griddle.
- Cook each slice 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
- Serve with your favorite syrup.
I’ve also been working on trying to make my own homemade low-sugar/sugar-free maple flavored syrup for a while now because I cannot seem to find a commercial product that doesn’t use an artificial sweetener, like Splenda. I *think* I just hit pay dirt. This recipe might still need a little fine tuning but for now, everyone in my family is digging it (but since I can’t actually taste it, I won’t know for sure how good it is until my sense of taste returns)!
The following recipe is adapted to be gluten-free and low sugar from a recipe for Cinnamon Syrup that I found on AllRecipes.com. The consistency and color of this syrup is different (not bad, just different) from pure maple syrup and agave nectar, but if that doesn’t bother you and you need to watch your sugar intake, then why the hell not?!
NOTE: I have discovered that this syrup is best served either freshly made and still warm (if it sits for long at room temperature, it can get somewhat gelatinous because of the arrowroot but after an evening spent in the refrigerator (in an airtight container), the consistency is great). I do plan on trying out different GF flour combinations in the near future, any suggestions for me?
Low-Sugar Maple Flavored Syrup
1 cup Water
1 Tbs. Arrowroot Starch (NOTE: Initially tried using 2 Tbs. of Arrowroot, but the end consistency was quite slimy, ick.)
20 drops of English Toffee Liquid Stevia
1 1/2 tsp. Maple Flavored Extract (just make sure it is gluten-free. Nature’s Flavors has one: Organic Maple Flavor Extract)
1 Tbs. Brown Sugar* (I used Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Light Brown Sugar)
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, slowly bring to a low boil.
- At this point, taste the syrup to make sure you are happy with the flavor, if not, add a little more maple extract, sweetener, etc. This was when I decided to add the brown sugar the first time, it just seemed to be missing “something” according to my husband (I was going for a full-blown sugar-free syrup). 1 Tbs. was all it needed for my guys to be happy, and I am happy because there is a LOT less sugar in this than pure maple syrup (approximately 53 grams of sugar in 1/4 cup).
- Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week (maybe longer, but that is as long as I have personally tested it).
Have you been following the great new blog series, “October, Unprocessed” over at EatingRules.com? I think that this was a fantastic idea of Andrew’s to challenge and encourage people to cut all the highly refined pre-packaged food products from their diets for the entire month of October. Eating Rules is not a gluten-free blog, but so far, the various guest bloggers are sharing their ideas for keeping it simple (just like my pal Shirley from Gluten-Free Easily always encourages us to do), but most importantly, keeping it real. This blog series is actually very similar to Diane’s series 30 Days to a Food Revolution that she hosted over at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang earlier this summer.
Do you like a challenge?
Yes, I know that most of us in the specialized diet population are already light years ahead on this concept because quite often, we have no other choice if we want to eat well and not break the bank! However, with more and more mainstream companies now making ‘gluten-free’ pre-packaged foods, it might be tempting for some of us to slide back down that wormhole (just wait till you see some of the new products that my sad, sorry self purchased as recently as yesterday…on October 2nd (oops)…and I took the October, Unprocessed Pledge…AND I will be doing a guest post on October 9th!). At least I have not sampled the new GF products yet, so maybe my personal challenge will be to refrain from doing so until November!
So, do you think you could you do it?
No need to fret over this my friend, not when you can still have goldfish crackers, Lunchables, Pizza Lunchables, (although, I will need to reconfigure the “Lunchables” somewhat so they truly fit into the whole “unprocessed” theme, but that’s okay we can do it…and our kiddos will be even better off!), Happy Meals (Please see my Happy Meal Update Post for how I currently make them for my boys). You can even make a synthetic dye-free Jungle Junction birthday cake!
You can even make your own condensed soups which will remove all the added chemicals (and a certain toxic poison that shall remain nameless), that come with the canned version!
While my definition of “unprocessed” might be a little different from others, the fact of the matter is that my kids do not eat the vast majority of the mainstream pre-packaged snacks, etc. which not only contain gluten ingredients, but also contain added synthetic dyes, chemical preservatives, unhealthy fats, lots of sodium and sugar, etc. True, my homemade copycats might seem contradictory towards the overall mission of getting our nation’s kids to eat more real whole foods, like fruits and vegetables, but my kids are already 99% there because I have been working on this for quite a while now, one baby step at a time. Plus, the only time my kids really get the above mentioned treats anymore is when there is a social event and their peers are eating the “real thing,” which can sometimes make them feel lonely and left out…pretty tough to understand when you are only 6 and 3.
Still need some more convincing? Then how about the chance to win one of six cool prizes as an added incentive? (You can read all of the bribery details on my Facebook Page).
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