With the weather cooling down all over the northern hemisphere, it’s time to warm up with some sweet, cinnamon-sprinkled French toast — it’s National French Toast Day.
Though National French Toast Day itself is a fairly recent development (and no one really seems to know who started it), the breakfast treat has dominated as a popular classic for centuries.
And we’re here today to celebrate…
What’s French Toast Have to Do With Plant-Based Eating?
Whether you call it French Toast, Gypsy Toast or Eggy Bread, the modern version of the ancient dish is usually made with bread soaked in an egg and milk batter, fried to a golden brown and then “dusted” with powdered sugar and cinnamon.
But believe it or not (and thankfully for those of us passionate about plant-based diets), French Toast has a long history of being prepared without eggs.
As early as 1660, the eggless French toast was featured in the The Accomplisht Cook cookbook; the recipe called for stale bread to be steeped in “claret, sack or any wine, with sugar and juyce of orange”.
Does French Toast Come From France?
Just like French Fries, French toast is not actually the invention of its country namesake.
In fact however, the dish is much older than that. One of the earliest references to the sweet treat can be traced back to the Roman Empire. In a 4th century Roman recipe book, the French Toast was referred to simply as Aliter Dulcia – or Another Sweet Dish.
Its popularity spread throughout Europe as the centuries marched on.
By the 16th century, because of its inexpensive, easy-to-come-by ingredients, French Toast had become known as the “Poor Knight’s Pudding”.
And while French toast doesn’t really come from France, the French do boast a version of their own called ‘Pain-Perdu” (translated as the Lost Bread) because it is made with leftover, stale bread that might otherwise be wasted or ‘lost’.
French Toast Day Doesn’t Have to Be an Eggy Affair
It’s really easy to do…
All you have to do is soak slices of your favorite whole grain bread in a delicious batter of almond or soy milk. Mix in a dash of vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg or orange juice for sweetness. And then fry or bake it on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for golden brown results.
You can even get creative with toppings and use all-natural maple syrup, chestnuts, berries, fruit slices, raisins, or peanut butter.
You could also use a little bit of dark chocolate with or without nuts, but remember to go easy.
To help you create the very best French Toast on the planet, here’s our favorite recipe.
Bon appetit to all!