Coconut Crusted French Toast

I don’t know when I started liking french toast, but I am so glad I finally hopped on that train. When I was a kid, I feel like everyone’s favorite breakfast was french toast. I was always more of a waffle or pancakes kind of girl, but, I did not like french toast. Needless to say, when friend’s parents would make it the next morning at sleepovers, I was not very pleased. Anyway, many years have passed, and at some point I decided I would try it out again. Although its still not usually my go-to indulgent breakfast, I can now say I like french toast, and am always pleasantly reminded when I have it.

For whatever reason, I’ve really been craving it in the past couple of days. My favorite part of french toast is the contrast of the crispy edges with the soft insides. I love how the outside starts to caramelize, while the inside gets kind of spongy and delicious. I knew that I wanted to make sure this would be the highlight of this meal when I made my own this morning, so I used a coconut coating to amp up the crust and give it a little extra texture.

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So pretty I almost don’t want to eat it…..for about 2 seconds.

The shredded coconut gets crunchy while it fries up in the coconut oil, and turns a gorgeous golden color. Although I’ll eat just about anything if it tastes good, it gets extra points if its beautiful too. To add in my first daily dose of fruit, I chose bananas as the perfect counterpart to the coconut. I ended with a dusting of coconut palm sugar*. You can skip this if you really want, but as you can see from the picture below, the coconut palm sugar melts right into the honey, banana, and coconutty goodness, and it tastes just as fabulous as it looks. It has a low-glycemic index, contains B vitamins, and minerals. If you haven’t tried it, I suggest you do!

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Coconut sugar on the bananas, almost too much!

*I have heard about some controversy pertaining to palm oil and palm sugar. Palm oil is known to have been made in unsustainable ways, damaging to our own environment as well as orangutans’, namely in Malaysia and Indonesia. In my understanding, palm sugar comes from an entirely different palm species. From what I can tell, the extraction of palm oil seems to be a very detrimental practice to the land and species in these areas, while the sustainable cultivation of palm sugar is in part being used as an effort to create jobs for locals and can be grown without deforestation. Just wanted to clear that up, so we can enjoy our breakfast without supporting that kind of mistreatment to our mama Earth 🙂

Coconut Crusted French Toast

Serves 2

4 slices Rustic Bread (I used a whole grain wheat bread from our farmer’s market)

2 Eggs

Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (I just used enough to cover a plate, you can add more as necessary)

3/4 C Almond Milk

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 tsp Cinnamon

2 Bananas

Coconut Oil (for frying)

Coconut Palm Sugar (for dusting)

Raw Organic Honey (you could use grade A maple syrup here if you want, I’m just addicted to honey)

1. Pour the shredded coconut onto a plate and spread it out evenly.

2. Mix the eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla extract in a shallow bowl that is big enough to fit the bread you will be dipping into it.

3.  Heat a large pan to medium-heat.

4. Dunk each slice of bread into the liquid mixture (you want the bread to be saturated through, but not so soaked its falling apart. Happy medium!).

5. Lay the slices of bread onto the plate of coconut, and turn onto both sides. If there are areas that the coconut does not stick to, just take some from the side and pat down into the bread so it sticks.

6. Add coconut oil to hot pan, then add the slices and flip halfway through.

7. The french toast is ready when both sides have turned golden brown, and crispy on the edges. Check out the bottoms while cooking to make sure neither side gets burnt.

8. Drizzle with honey, top with bananas, dust with sugar and eat up!

(adapted from popsicles & pinatas)

Exotic Oatmeal (Gluten Free)

Oatmeal may not have the best reputation for being an exciting breakfast, but I kind of think it should. Its comforting, hearty, versatile, and if you do it up the right way (which is super easy), incredibly delicious. This fiber-filled, cholesterol-lowering, heart-disease-preventing bowl of creamy goodness is exactly the kind of breakfast I want to start my day with. It takes less than 10 minutes to put it together, you really can’t beat that!

I switch it up pretty often when I eat oatmeal (which is also pretty often), but one of my new favorites is this mix. Its a simple recipe, and by no means revolutionary, but its yummy enough to deserve sharing. It’s a little spicy from the ginger, sweet from the bananas, honey, and a dusting of coconut palm sugar, as well as packing some added crunch (and benefits!) from the chopped almonds and chia seeds. If you don’t eat some of the ingredients or don’t have them on hand, feel free to sub them with whatever fruit, spices, and nuts you’d prefer. Tell me about some of your own oatmeal creations in the comments!

Exotic Oatmeal

Serves 2

1 C Whole Grain Oats

2 C Water

1/2 C Chopped Crystallized Ginger

1/2 C Chopped Almonds

2 Tbsp Raw Organic Honey (switch this out for another sweetener to make this recipe vegan)

2 Tbsp Chia Seeds

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

2 Bananas (sliced)

Coconut Palm Sugar for dusting

1/2 C Almond Milk (Optional, but I like to add a little more moisture to get the oats even creamier)

1. Bring oatmeal and water to a boil.

2. Once boiling, add chia seeds and turn down the heat to low and allow to simmer until the oatmeal reaches the right consistency (about 5 minutes). Stir occasionally, scraping the sides of the pot to prevent sticking.

3. Mix in almond milk, ginger, almonds, coconut oil, and honey, and remove from heat.

4. Split the oatmeal into 2 bowls–top with bananas, sprinkle with sugar, and enjoy the easiest, most satisfying breakfast ever!