WHO THAT, WHO THAT? T O A S T
(I’m sorry. Please continue reading. I just had to.)
French toast for lunch? Eggcellent. Eggcept this is eggless, because 100% sweet French toast is more fun–I’ve always considered eggs to be savoury! If it’s mixed into a batter like cake or muffin that is fine, but things like custard and traditional french toast are dubious because it is so eggy. So, giving in to the whims and wills of the atrociously sweet tooth I have like I always do, I decided to go with the banana French toast that has been gaining traction in the foodie world lately. A custard made of banana, plant based milk, cinnamon, vanilla and–just because y’know, sweet–some Maca powder from the guys at Organic Burst for that caramel flavor.
Maca powder is also known as Peruvian Ginseng and has been used in Peru for endurance, energy and hormonal balance for over 2000 years. Apparently it was taken by Inca warriors before going into battle to increase their strength and stamina, like a magical superpower snack–is that not the coolest thing ever?? Like y’know, just casually adding some WARRIOR SUPERPOWER FOOD into my meal. No biggie.
Organic Burst Maca powder blends four maca plant varieties, combining the benefits of each and making it particularly nutritious. It’s apparently known as an adaptogen–it helps maintain stamina and endurance (woah, SCIENCE) and it’s been scientifically shown to be a caffeine-free energiser, which is great because after adding a sprinkle of caramelly, sweet Maca to pancakes/oatmeal/this french toast I am literally bouncing with energy. Okay, perhaps not literally, because that would be rather freaky. But it kicks my famous couch potato lethargy to the curb in no time and I actually…get things…done! Wow!
The powder is certified organic too, which means no nasties–no harmful chemicals, pesticides or processing aids were used at any stage of farming or production, which is always great when it comes to things that will get down into your belly. And unff–the taste is simply amazing, which is so important. It has a golden, lightly malty sweetness with a certain rich maple flavor that gives it this roundness on your palate, and the slightest hint of cane sugar caramel. I use about 1 tsp when I have it for a breakfast/meal for myself, and more when it comes to bakes. Organic Burst is a simply lovely company that genuinely cares about it’s customers. They sent me this nice pack of beautiful powders and superfoods to play with–do check them out here, and keep your eyes peeled for more Maca creations and more creations of their products–plus a complete roundup post of everything they sent is coming up soon. In the meanwhile, you can lurk around on my instagram to see the different things I churn out of my kitchen using their incredibly versatile and super delicious Maca, Acai, Wheatgrass and Baobab. Plus it helps that the capsules they come in are SO PRETTY too. Aesthetic appeal. Just sayin’.
Okay! Back to the French toast.
PLOT TWIST: I know some french! Ooh, fancy. I actually used to be pretty good at it–I learnt it for 2 years through a Third Language program our Ministry of Education has founded, but after that math (grrr) became too much of an issue and I had to drop it. At least I have learnt enough to find a washroom if I ever find myself stranded in France, and order a baguette or a croissant. Not too bad #survivaltactics.
Is French toast actually french, though? This is one of the hallowed food questions I’ve always been wondering about since the dawn of time. The french way of making french toast (rich custard with cream, brioche) is known as pain perdu, which means lost bread…which is slightly confusing unless they’re referring to the way people will instantly get lost in the pillowy depths of buttery custard-soaked brioche. But I did RESEARCH (when I should actually be doing research for SCHOOL things but let us not digress, heh heh) and the ‘lost’ in pain perdu could also mean ‘wasted’–which refers to the common use of stale bread for French toast, as it sops up the custard better than fresh. So it’s kind of an oxymoron, because it is not wasting bread that would have been wasted. Are you confused yet? Okay, I’ll wrap it up–French toast isn’t actually ~french~ in origin, though–the earliest known reference to French toast is in the Apicius, a collection of Latin recipes dating to the 4th or 5th century. The mentions soaking in milk, but not egg, and gives it no special name, just aliter dulcia–“another sweet dish”. Ouch, what a snub–just another face lost in the crowd of choux pastry and laminated croissant dough. But yes, that is it for today’s history lesson. I hope you feel enriched now with French toast trivia.
So this recipe would be considered, I guess, one of the branches webbing from the original Apicius recipe of bread soaked in milk–this adds banana instead of egg. And oh, it is simply fantastic–the banana, although without the sort of quivering custardy bite that eggs give, lends a mellow creaminess and sweetness to the French toast, with the spice of cinnamon, subtle musky floral vanilla fragrance, and the malty caramel Maca. Together you get soft fluffy bread, dense with a creamy rich banana custard, speckled with a beautiful cinnamon brown. I topped it with chocolate tahini drizzle, crushed nuts, peanut butter and chocolate. And that fig is the first of a long, long wait–NOW I HAVE FIGS and by proxy the world. So sublime. I have missed biting into such lush, jammy and sweet figs.
Okay, that is enough blabber. Here is the recipe–hope you guys are doing well, wherever you are x
banana caramel french toast
You will need:
-2 slices/1 serving of bread, preferably stale
-1 large banana
-1/4 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp vanilla
-1 tsp maca powder
-1/4 cup plant based milk
Mash the banana in a wide dish till as smooth as possible. Add the cinnamon, vanilla, maca and milk and whisk. Dip the slices of bread into the custard and preheat your pan on low heat till a drop of water hisses immediately and evaporates upon contact, flipping the bread halfway through. Grease the pan with coconut oil/neutral oil and fry for about 3-5 minutes on each side or till golden brown and speckled. Serve warm.