I worked evenings during my university days waitressing at this fabulous little place called the Tomato Cafe in Vancouver. It was a fluke that I ended up getting a job there, our dear family friend from Münich that we met one year camping made the connection.
I mean, I had no business waitressing in the first place to be honest, I’m not exactly coordinated and had my fair share of spills (sorry to any of you who may have been my customers and were on the receiving end of my clumsiness!). But it was such a fun place to work and completely fuelled my passion for healthy wholesome food done right.
One of my favourite dishes that they served was an apple bread pudding with a whiskey sauce. It was rich, dense, dotted with chunks of tart apple and drenched in the most decadent brown sugar whiskey sauce. Really, it was a slice of heaven. I always thought that if I could find a way to justify having it for breakfast my life would be complete.
I had the opportunity to partner with Almond Breeze on a series of posts, and figured that now was the time to try to make a healthier version of this bread pudding (perhaps sans the whiskey sauce) to make my breakfast dreams come true. It turns out that it wasn’t that difficult after all, and this French toast bake made me wonder how on earth I waited this many years to have my cake (ok not really a cake but..) and eat it too!
Many French toast recipes require you to soak everything overnight, which I can never seem to get around to for some reason. I love that this whips up in a matter of minutes and can be thrown into the oven for a no-think, no-fuss, no-dairy breakfast bake for a crowd. The Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla is my favourite Almond Breeze product and adds an extra hit of vanilla to the dish without the added sweetness.
Now, should you want to serve this for dessert with a scoop of your favourite ice cream (or ‘nice cream’), don’t let me stop you!
- 10 c. diced (1″ cubes) thick day-old whole wheat bread
- 2 1/2 c. diced (into 1/4″ pieces) peeled and cored apples (3 small or 2 large)*
- 1/2 c. raisins
- 4 c. Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla beverage
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 c. maple syrup
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 5 cage-free eggs, well-beaten
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. melted vegan margarine**
*I used Granny Smith but another variety such as Gala would also work
**I use Earth Balance. You can substitute butter if you wish but of course it will no longer be vegan!
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9″x13″ baking dish.
- In a large bowl, combine the bread, apples and raisins.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients over the bread mixture, stir gently to combine, and pour it into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown.
- Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup!
Thank you to Almond Breeze for sponsoring this post, all opinions are my own!