Since going vegan, it’s been hard to find a French toast recipe that I enjoyed, so I came up with my own. A fellow vegan blogger tipped me onto using ciabatta bread and it works best. If you don’t have orange extract on hand, use the zest of one orange and one tablespoon of the juice, or just leave it out.
Serves 2 – 4
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin, or 1 cup fresh pumpkin puree*
1 cup unsweetened almond or rice milk
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon arrowroot, dissolved in 1/2 cup rice milk
1 tablespoon flax meal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch sea salt
1 loaf ciabatta bread, cut in ½ inch slices
Oil spray, for pan
In a medium bowl whisk together first nine ingredients until well combined. Let sit for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a baking sheet with olive oil. Dip each piece of bread in the batter, brush off the excess, and then place on cookie sheet. Continue with the rest of the bread. Bake for eight minutes, flipping each piece at the halfway point.
Heat skillet with oil over medium flame. Place as many pieces of bread that will fit in skillet and fry each side until medium brown or darker, about two minutes on each side. Continue with the rest of bread, spraying your pan with oil as needed. Serve with vegan butter and maple syrup.
* To make pumpkin puree: Take a two-to four-pound pumpkin, cut off the stem, then cut in half. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits. Lay facedown in a casserole dish with 1 cup of water. Cover with foil. Bake pumpkin at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes, or until flesh is soft. Scoop out flesh from the skin and puree in a food processor until smooth. Refrigerate in airtight container up to one week, or freeze in a plastic bag up to three months.