Monday, April 23, 2012

Paleo Baked Apple Cinnamon French Toast

We hit the breakfast buffet almost every morning of our Dominican trip; it was fast, easy and everyone loved the fresh juices and fruits. Other than those two local treats, the spread offered up much what you'd expect from any buffet, and much of what frustrates me about eating breakfast away from home.

It was a carbohydrate bonanza: french toast, pancakes, rolls, donuts, buns, bagels and so on. Naturally, I stuck to my usual Paleo travel breakfast of some kind of egg, paired with some kind of vegetable and a little fruit. It's not that the bread and sweet stuff tempted me, but the smell *was* a bit haunting, and I found myself craving french toast for days.

In my own kitchen, I can make any number of healthier riffs on pancakes, muffins and the like. French toast is a trickier proposition, as it obviously requires bread. I honestly cannot recall the last bite of french toast I've had! It has easily been years.

Be forewarned that this recipe is obviously a bit of a treat; I'm not as stringent with carbs and sugar as some die-hard Paleo followers, but even for me this one is quite sweet and heavy. I served it up tonight alongside some bacon; it's wet and raw here, so the perfect evening for "breakfast for dinner."

The cinnamon raisin bread on its own is delicious. It came out with the consistency of banana bread and just the right amount of sweetness. You could easily omit the raisins and experiment with other flavors and mix-ins. I *did* find to get the middle thoroughly cooked the outside got a bit more brown than I'd like. Perhaps if I baked it for 40 minutes and let it sit the center would have come together a bit more, without causing the outer edge to overcook.

Grain-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread

½ cup coconut flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
5 eggs
½ cup melted coconut oil (could sub portion with olive oil and/or butter)
½ cup raw honey (could use raw agave or maple syrup)
1 tbs. vanilla
large handful raisins (I used a little under a cup)
½ cup raw walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl combine coconut flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. In a large bowl blend eggs, coconut oil, honey and vanilla.

Blend dry ingredients into wet, then fold in raisins and walnuts. Pour batter into a greased, standard-sized loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from pan and slicing.

I made the bread this morning, and then set to putting the dish together in the afternoon. This could easily sit overnight, but I only let the bread soak in the egg mixture for an hour. The results were decadent and delicious.

Baked Apple Cinnamon French Toast

1 cup palm sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
3-4 apples (peeled, cored and thinly sliced)
1 loaf Paleo bread, cut into thick slices
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups dairy-free milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond)
1 tbs. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon

Combine sugar, cinnamon and melted butter in a large bowl. Toss apple slices in mixture to coat. Evenly spread apples on bottom of a greased 9x13 baking dish.

Place bread in an even layer on top of apples. In bowl (can use same one) combine eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour this over the baking dish, being sure to thoroughly saturate each piece of bread.

Cover with foil and allow to soak for one hour or as long as overnight.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Remove foil and put back in oven for another 5 minutes.

I couldn't decide if it looked better served upside-down or right-side up, so I'll leave you to decide ;)

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