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No Sugar Baked French Toast

"French Toast"

And that's the first thoughts this morning. Food as usual and for the longest time I have not had any of it or even a real sugar free one so I decided it was time to play Chef. I wanted a baked version since I didn't fancy any oily frying on a Monday morning when I only had limited time to prep brekkie and train. I also wanted something sweet without the need for sugar too.

A quick peep into the kitchen, I had all the ingredients I needed plus a lovely bunch of bananas that Daddy bought for me. Since the cook time was approximately 45 minutes, I could easily still train while it cooked without the need for any supervision - what I deem as Evelyn friendly dish.
10 minutes prep time, 45 minutes cook time. A deliciously sweet, easy and healthy French toast.

Unlike regular baked french toast, this was more like a lasagna in concept because I like having constant flavours in my baked french toast casserole. So I poured the egg-milk-banana mix over each layer of bread.
Bread - Egg Milk Mix - Repeat

Ingredients:
• 500ml whole milk
• 8 large eggs
• half loaf of overnight wholemeal bread (approximately 8 slices of regular bread)
•  8 ripe bananas
• 150g hazelnuts (or any nuts  or seeds you like)
• 30g pumpkin seed (optional and I added this for colour and to finish up my remaining stock of seeds)
• 2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
• nonstick cooking spray

Method:
• Whisk milk, eggs and cinnamon powder.
• Add mashed bananas to milk and egg mix.
• Spray baking dish with cooking spray. 
• Cube or tear bread.
• Layer baking dish with one layer of bread and liquid mix. 
• Continue until last layer which you can add remaining nuts (and seeds) before pouring the remaining egg-milk mix.
• Bake in oven uncovered at 180°C for 40 to 45 minutes. 
• Serve hot on its own or with any of your choice topping. It is good to be eaten on its own too.
Crisp outside and moist inside. Even flavours with every mouth since each layer here is milk-egg-cinnamon-banana-hazelnut

It is pretty magical to watch the contents puff up towards the end of the baking process. Of course the aroma is pretty crazy - I know it because I could smell it before I opened my front door. I basically left it to bake in the oven while I had a quick spin for the morning.

The recipe is kept sugar free, relying on only the natural sweetness of the bananas, milk and cinnamon. Of course if you have a sweeter tooth, by all means add the sugar that you want but you will also end up with a darker results.  Alternative, you can always top it with some icing sugar or maple syrup before serving. 

I have made a few other versions of this No Sugar Baked French Toast using coconut milk and almond milk. Fruits like strawberries, blueberries and peaches are also awesome alternatives but they are pretty costly in Malaysia.

Raisins and almonds are equally tasty. I do recall one Christmas holiday when I made this with some raisins that I soaked in rum overnight, slivered almonds and topped with toasted coconut flesh. A drizzle of rum was the perfect adult Christmas breakfast too!

Play with your favourite fruits and nuts. It can be any bread (Click for no knead bread recipe) too. What matters most is that the milk egg mix is sufficient to soak each and every piece of bread. Served hot with some fruits on the side or in my case I served it with some homemade kefir and grapes that are super sweet and cheap these time of the year (Yes, I prefer to work with seasonal fruits). This Baked French Toast casserole is a very forgiving dish!
Sugar free, no artificial sweeteners. Only the goodness of fruits and milk for that natural sweetness.

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