For Chatelaine’s new video series, Vegan It! with Lauren Toyota, the former MuchMusic VJ and current YouTube star demonstrates how to create vegan versions of everyone’s favourite comfort classics — like BLTs and caesar salad — without elaborate recipes or compromising on taste. Find more of Lauren’s awesome recipes on her blog, her YouTube channel and her upcoming cookbook, Vegan Comfort Classics.
In this episode: Lauren makes sweet, eggy and crispy classic French toast.
Making it eggy: Vegan eggs sound like an oxymoron, but they exist (thanks to DIY faux egg mixtures), providing a substitute for people who eat plant-based when making baked goods and other sweet and savory dishes.
Lauren says a mixture of ground flax seed and water is a common egg alternative, but for her French toast batter, she uses a mixture of chickpea flour, nutritional yeast and unsweetened nut milk. Not only does chickpea flour have a yellowish (yolky) hue, it’s also packed with protein and coats the toast to crisp it up — just like an egg. The nutritional yeast also adds a bright yellow colour as well as a creamy flavour, which Lauren says is essential to her recipe.
Watch the entire Vegan It! series here
Making it crispy: Butter is obviously a no-no for Lauren, so she cooks her French toast in vegan butter instead of oil. (If your grocery store doesn’t carry vegan butter, margarine will do the trick.)
Making it sweet: While sweeteners like honey are off the table for vegans, maple syrup is the perfect option and L
auren loves this Canadian pantry staple. She not only drizzles it on top of her French toast, she also adds it directly into the batter.
Extras: Day-old challah and brioche make excellent French toast, but these loaves contain eggs and butter — two ingredients vegan diets prohibit. For this recipe, Lauren opts for thick-cut sour dough bread. Like challah and brioche, it brings additional flavour to the dish.
Classic French Toast Recipe
MAKES: 3 servings (6 slices)
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1⁄3 cup chickpea flour
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 slices sourdough bread
- 4 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter, for frying
- 2 cups fresh mixed berries, for serving
- 2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar, for serving
- Extra maple syrup, for serving
- Combine the non-dairy milk, chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, maple syrup, and salt in a wide, shallow dish.
- Place 2 slices of bread into the batter and allow the slices to sit in the batter while you heat up a non-stick pan over medium heat. Depending on the thickness and type of bread you’re using, you might want to soak for more or less time. The slices should be well coated on both sides but not overly soggy.
- Once your pan is hot add 1 tablespoon of the vegan butter and coat most of the surface of the pan in an even layer.
- Place 2 battered slices of the bread in the pan and cook on one side for approximately 3 minutes. Then flip and cook another 2 to 3 minutes on the other side. Continue frying 2 slices at a time if you’re making multiple servings.
- Serve with maple syrup, fresh berries, and a dusting of confectioners sugar if desired.