… A Sweet Breakfast for Your Sweets on Valentine’s Day!
Whether you’re celebrating a romantic Valentine’s Day with breakfast in bed, or you’re enjoying a relaxed morning with the paper (in digital format perhaps) and a cup of coffee, this gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate chip banana bread French toast will make your taste buds (or your sweetie’s buds) happy and your tummy completely satisfied. It’s a delicious mouthful – just like its name.
This banana bread recipe uses all the same ingredients as my gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate chip banana muffins recipe, you’ll simply be baking it in a loaf pan and adjusting the baking time and oven temp. If you want to make the French toast without the wait time for making the loaf, simply bake the bread the day before you wish to use it. It holds well and might actually produce a less fragile slice for dipping and flipping. Breakfast can be on the table in a matter of minutes this way. If you choose to plan farther in advance, know that the bread freezes well and can be defrosted on the counter or in the fridge overnight, so you can always have some on hand. You can even make the French toast and freeze the individual slices, then reheat them in the microwave, for a speedy-quick delicious and filling breakfast.
When serving, this French toast is good in its own right … softened bits of chocolate scattered throughout, sweet banana notes, the crispness on the edges from the egg/milk coating cooked to a golden brown. But add a shaving of vegan margarine melting on the warm surface, and a drizzling of warm pure maple syrup, and it transforms into something over-the-top delicious. I even like to add a slathering of homemade cashew butter, just to kick up the protein quotient. For a special Valentine’s Day treat, try slicing a few fresh strawberries over your warm French toast slices, then drizzle with chocolate ganache found in my Copycat Milano Cookies recipe (chocolate and strawberries can be very seductive, right?). If you wanted to go completely crazy, you could garnish with a dollop of non-dairy whipped cream, but I don’t think it’s needed.
While this recipe as written is not vegan, by using an egg substitute in the chocolate chip banana bread recipe instead of the 2 eggs, it easily becomes vegan banana bread. All other ingredients are vegan. Unfortunately, I don’t know how you’d make the vegan banana bread into vegan French toast though. I’d love to hear your suggestions. And you could use some of my serving suggestions at the end of the recipe for other vegan breakfast (or snack) ideas with the sliced loaf.
Making something special for a Valentine’s Day breakfast for your sweetie, or your kids (or even for yourself – time for pampering perhaps), shows you think they’re someone special – but the process doesn’t have to be difficult. Keeping it simple with my do-ahead suggestions mentioned above can turn your celebration into a celebration of a relaxed morning for you too. Always love that!
Happy Valentine’s Day from me to you – I’d make this for you, but honestly, that’s a lot of delivery service. Happy Heart Day!
Gluten-free Dairy-free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
(French Toast Recipe Below)
Prep time: 10 minutes for bread
Baking time: 45-65 minutes for bread
Oven temp: 350ºF
Rest time: 1 hour minimum
Makes: 1 9×5-inch loaf
Ingredients for Chocolate Chip Banana Bread:
2 cups (240g) gluten-free all-purpose flour – I use Authentic Foods Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend1
1 1/2 teaspoons guar gum
1 teaspoon baking powder – I use Clabber Girl
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips – I use Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips2
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar (regular white sugar)
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
2 eggs or egg-free substitute
1 cup mashed ripe banana
Directions for Chocolate Chip Banana Bread:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line pan with parchment paper, enough to cover bottom and sides.
Add flour to a bowl. Sift guar gum, salt, baking powder, and baking soda over the flour, but don’t sift the flour (this breaks up lumps, if any are present. Finding a pocket of baking powder or soda, albeit small, in a bite of baked goods isn’t tasty). Whisk all ingredients together.
Add chocolate chips and stir to distribute. Coating chocolate chips with flour helps keep them suspended in the batter while baking.
Blend, with a hand-held mixer or in a stand mixer, the brown sugar, white sugar, and oil until all sugar is moistened. The mixture will look like wet sand.
Add eggs and blend again to a creamy mixture, about 45 seconds on medium speed.
Stir mashed banana into mixture, using low speed, just until stirred in well.
Stir in flour/chocolate chip mixture, using low speed, until batter is well combined, scraping down sides of bowl to incorporate all flour. Fill prepared pan with batter.
Bake at 350º for 45-65 minutes, until golden brown and the top of the loaf bounces back when touched lightly, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Place loaf, still in pan, on a cooling rack and let rest for 10 minutes.
Remove loaf from pan and let rest on cooling rack to finish cooling.
Gluten-free Dairy-free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread French Toast
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 2-3 minutes per slice
Oven temp: 350ºF
Makes: 12-14 slices
Ingredients for French Toast:
1 9×5-inch loaf of Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, sliced into 1/2” – 5/8” slices
½ cup almond milk or dairy-free milk
½-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
½ teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
1 tablespoon oil or cooking spray
toppings of your choice
Directions for French Toast:
Preheat flat griddle or large, flat-bottomed pan on medium heat.
Combine eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla in a flat baking dish or pie plate. Whisk well.
Spray griddle and reduce heat to medium-low.
Dip slices, one at a time, into egg mixture, then place on hot griddle, spacing slices about 1 inch apart. Cook until golden brown on bottom side, then flip and continue cooking until golden brown on second side. Continue with all slices.
Serve immediately or transfer to a cooling rack.
Store room temperature French toast in an airtight container in the refrigerator for one day. Reheat in microwave for 20-30 seconds. For longer storage, place slices in a re-sealable bag and store in the freezer for up to three months. Easily defrost and heat by placing in the microwave for about 45-60 seconds. Do not refreeze French toast.
More delicious serving suggestions include:
Slather slice with non-dairy cream cheese … my favorite, by the way, is Daiya … add dried fruit if desired, then stack another slice of banana bread or French toast on top.
Lightly spread non-dairy margarine on one side of a banana bread slice, then turn butter-side down on a warm grill pan to toast. Great this way, or dollop a little apple butter on each grilled half for a tasty warm snack.
How do you like to serve your French toast?
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