After our snowy Halloween the weather has stayed pretty cold and we even got a few inches of beautiful fluffy white snow for the kids to play in. We’re still enjoying the autumn flavors even though we kind of skipped it here in Central Indiana. French toast has always been a staple in our house but right now it’s Dairy free French toast. It’s quick I always keep my fridge and my pantry stocked with everything we need to make it, everyone eats it and the leftovers make for great freezer breakfasts we can heat up quickly on hectic mornings. This version adds in some fall spirit in the form of, what else, pumpkin and flavors of pie.
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What do we mean by dairy free?
If you see a dairy free recipe on Strangers on a Plain, it means nothing that’s made with animal milk, be it cow or sheep or goat is being used. So no real cheese, milk, butter or yogurt. Eggs aren’t actually a dairy item because they come from chickens and don’t contain any milk products. My dairy free recipes may or may not contain other animal products such as honey or, on occasion, gelatin. We do have some vegan recipes that are actually free of any animal products but this pumpkin french toast is just dairy free because eggs.
Why do we eat dairy free?
Short answer is we actually don’t. We are three for three on babies with milk protein allergies at birth. Eventually they grow out of it and graduate to a but for the first couple of years until they can start a dairy ladder and for the year plus I’m nursing, I’m off the good stuff. We’ve adapted a lot of recipes to make them work for everyone in our family because not only is making two separate meals an unwise use of time but it costs more money and we work hard to keep our food budget as low as possible while maintaining a relatively healthy diet.
- 1 loaf thick cut bread (I used a loaf of Texas toast for this but I’ve also made it which homemade wheat bread and it worked well)
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup milk (almond, cow’s, hemp, oat, soy)
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- nonstick spray or oil for your pan
- maple syrup, butter or vegan butter, and/or powdered sugar for topping
- In a medium bowl, mix together all the wet ingredients until well integrated. This eggs, milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and I also include the brown sugar because it clumps up if you mix it in at the same time as the spices. Ask me how I know.
- Add spices and whisk to combine.
- Pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish or pie dish.
- Preheat your pan or griddle over medium heat but be prepared to turn it down a little. Since this recipe has sugar in it, there’s an elevated risk of over-browning, aka burning, your food.
- Dip each piece of bread into the mixture and allow it to sit for like 15ish seconds before flipping. Dipped bread should be immediately transferred to a hot pan or it will disintegrate.
- Cook on one side until wonderfully browned, usually a few minutes, and then flip and cook on the other side.
- Top with maple syrup (don’t skip it this time, it goes really well with the spices), and eat.
To freeze, lay the pieces out on a baking sheet and place the whole thing in the freezer. Make sure the pieces aren’t touching. Once they are frozen, you can stack them in any freezer safe container. If you don’t have a freezer large enough to accommodate a baking sheet then you can place the french toast directly into your container and separate each layer with parchment or wax paper. To reheat you can use the microwave, toaster or toaster oven.