This year, the Fun Food Feed will be sharing our most loved whole-plant recipes, we’ve developed over the years. Each month, we will publish a favorite recipe.
April’s featured recipe is for Cannellini French Toast.
My family’s favorite weekend breakfast indulgence was French toast. We prepared our French toast in the traditional fashion, with eggs, milk and butter, and topped it with still more butter and a lake of amber maple syrup.
Our new recipe carries the traditional flavors forward, while updating with nourishing ingredients that fuel us with energy, and are kind to the planet. The sprouted whole grain bread has a sweet nutty flavor, and its robust texture holds up in the “soak.” The soak’s cannellini aquafaba and bean’s creamy neutral flavor gives center stage to the sweet cinnamon, caramelly dates and vanilla. Optional soak additions of pecans, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and a couple drops of almond extract, can add to its complexity.
The deglet noor and medjool dates, many of us grew up with, had a molassesy flavor and fibrous texture that can overpower a dish. Now every variety of date under the sun can be delivered from a far. Varieties with flavor notes of caramel, maple and butter, and the texture of dulce de leche, can be enjoyed. Barhi, honeyballs, zahidis and ciré. Flying Disc Ranch, in Thermal California, is a favorite date grower.
Date “jam,” aka date paste, stores easily in a glass jar, in the freezer up to 3 months. Dates’ invert sugars allow it to stay soft and spreadable straight from the freezer. (Sprouted grain breads are also best stored in the freezer, removing slices as needed.) Date jam can be used as a 1:1 sugar substitute in many recipes, including cookies, cakes, muffins, puddings, frostings and dressings. Delicious as a pecan pie filling!
Dates are a nourishing whole-plant sweetener. Dates, cannellini beans and sprouted grains are high in fiber, minerals and B vitamins. Spices are anti-oxidant powerhouses, and combined, are believed to have a synergistic effect.
French Toast Ingredients:
1 can cannellini aquafaba
1/4 cup cannellinis
2 caramelly dates (e.g. barhis)
a few raw pecans/nuts
vanilla, seeds of 1 bean or a splash of extract
couple generous sprinkles of cinnamon
optional: small sprinkle of nutmeg, ginger, allspice, couple drops of almond extract
4-6 slices sprouted grain bread
Saffron Date “Jam” Ingredients:
1 cup caramelly dates (e.g. barhis), pits removed
generous pinch saffron
- For soak, in high speed blender, blend aquafaba, cannellinis, dates, raw pecans, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and optional spices, on high until very smooth.
2. Soak sprouted/whole grain bread in above bean mixture until saturated, turning once, to both sides are covered.
While bread is soaking, prepare the date jam.
3. In small/medium pot, on low heat, simmer pitted caramelly dates in just enough water to cover, with an optional generous pinch of saffron, and a splash/seeds of vanilla, and a pinch salt.
4. While simmering, mash with masher or fork, just until dates absorb water and become a spread.
5. For the French toast, heat non-stick skillet over low heat.
6. Remove excess bean mixture with rubber spatula or butter knife, and transfer soaked bread from soaking dish into heated non-stick skillet.
7. Using thin, hard, flat-edged spatula, flip the French toast only after the first side is golden brown. Brown second side.
8. Serve immediately with favorite toppings: saffron date “jam,” fresh fruit, raw nuts, raw nut-butter, plant-yogurt…