As a vegan, I feel like breakfast is the hardest and the easiest meal to prepare for. At home, it’s easy to whip up a batch of hashbrowns or a few waffles, no problem! But eating out is sometimes a different story. You might have a choice of granola or a toast/fruit side combo, but really, who gets jealous of all the other things on the menu that are totally not vegan? ME! Although I’ve found some awesome brunch places here in Milwaukee and figured out what works for me, this stuffed french toast kind of has me thinking that I can stay at home for breakfast from now on. As I’ve mentioned here before, french toast used to not be my thing at all, the eggy flavor, the soggy bread, gross! I could just leave that one behind. But, ever since discovering vegan french toast, my mind has been changed. For vegan french toast there are no eggs, so no eggy flavor, and usually the batter that the bread is dipped in is spiced up and flavored with all kinds of sweet things, so I can totally get down with that version of french toast.
For my french toast, I usually resort to cinnamon-rasin bread turned french toast or this babka sliced up and grilled into french toast perfection, but this caramel apple stuffed version just goes beyond any of those. First of all, I could slurp the caramel sauce by the bowlful and eat a whole pan of the sauteed apples, without even thinking about it. Second, this comes together fairly quickly, so I can avoid a breakfast/morning hangry situation, which no one wants to get in the middle of. If you prepare the caramel sauce ahead of time, the longest component is getting the apples all brown and caramelized before stuffing into the pockets of crunchy bread. This recipe is from Kristy’s newest cookbook, But I Could Never go Vegan! and let me tell you, this recipe and this cookbook are major winners! I’ve only tried a few recipes so far, but between this perfect french toast and the pan of brownies that I inhaled (recipe from her book too!), I think all the other recipes are probably pretty solid too. Word to the wise, make a double batch of this caramel sauce and you can thank me later!
Enter to win: Leave a comment below telling me your favorite indulgent breakfast, from a big plate of hashbrowns to a tall stack of pancakes, tell me! Also, make sure you leave an e-mail address with your comment, or I won’t be able to contact you if you win!
Caramel apples are stuffed inside the perfect vegan french toast!
- For the caramel sauce:
- 10 Medjool dates (pitted)
- 2 ⁄3 cup non-dairy milk (160 ml)
- 1 ⁄4 cup water (60 ml)
- 1 ⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Salt to taste
- For the apples:
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 2 Granny Smith apples (cored and thinly sliced)
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or vegan brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- For the french toast:
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (250 ml)
- 1 ⁄2 cup canned coconut milk or vegan creamer (125 ml)
- 1 ⁄2 cup chickpea flour (55 g)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 11 ⁄2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Dash of nutmeg
- Dash of salt
- 1 large loaf of French bread (about 4 to 5 inches wide)
- Vegan cream cheese
- Cooking spray
- Maple syrup (for drizzling)
- Vegan powdered sugar (for dusting)
- In a food processor, combine the caramel sauce ingredients. Process until completely smooth, scraping the sides as necessary.
- Melt the vegan butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the apple slices and coconut sugar; stir to combine. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is gone and the apples are softened and golden. Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the caramel sauce.
- In a large shallow bowl or baking dish, mix the non-dairy milk, coconut milk, chickpea flour, maple syrup, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Slice the bread into four to six 2 inch slices. Use a bread knife to make a slit in the top of each slice, keeping the sides and bottom intact, creating a pocket.
- Carefully spread the cream cheese inside one side of each pocket, then stuff it with about ⅓ cup of apples.
- Preheat the oven to its lowest setting. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Spray generously with cooking spray. Take one “sandwich” and soak in the milk mixture, 15 to 20 seconds on each side. Place the soaked sandwich on the heated pan and cook until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches, spraying the pan again before each. Serve warm, topped with maple syrup, the remaining caramel sauce, or both. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.
Recipe from But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over Dinner, Kristy Turner, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment.