Saturday, October 29, 2011

Baked Pumpkin Pie French Toast

I never realized how much I like fall: the leaves changing color (not so much here in San Diego, but still!), the crisp air, pulling out the warm scarves and sweaters. It's so much fun! After living in New England for two years, I miss that real feeling of fall with the temperature dropping, the wind picking up, and cranking up the thermostat. (The snow...not so much.)  Of course, I couldn't forget about all the fall foods I love: pumpkin, squash, cranberries...but especially pumpkin. I could eat pumpkin all year long and be perfectly happy.

With that crispness in the air, I'm more inclined (like I'm sure many of you are) to eat "cozy" foods that warm and fill you up. Breakfast is a great time for this. Since Hubby and I don't have a lot of free weekend mornings (he works at a church and we're both up early on Sunday morning to go to church at 8:30), I jump at any chance we get to have a lazy breakfast. Last Saturday was our chance! :) We both love French toast (and Hubby makes a mean version of it), and since my recent trip to Costco left my pantry running over with canned pumpkin, I decided to go for it.

This French toast is prepared the night before and sits in the fridge overnight. In the morning, just preheat your oven, pop in the dish to bake, and by the time you rub the sleep out of your eyes and have the coffee made, it's ready.

Even better, I love that this recipe is healthy. It tastes totally decadent (it tastes like pumpkin pie filling if you close your eyes), but there isn't any weird stuff in it. Plus, leftovers! Hello, microwave French toast for the next 2 days :)

So, enjoy this recipe on a lazy weekend morning with your loved ones, some fresh coffee, and the newspaper. Oh, and please, stay in your jammies :)

Warm out of the oven...mmm!

Baked Pumpkin Pie French Toast
adapted from Stolen Moments Cooking - original recipe here

  • 6 small slices from a loaf of whole wheat bread (I used Nature's Own)
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 cups almond milk (or your choice of non-/low-fat milk)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (NOT packed)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • Optional garnishes: a few tbsp. of brown sugar and/or chopped nuts, sprinkled over the top after baking
  • Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange bread slices in a single layer (6 small slices should fit just right if you squish them a little bit)
  • In a bowl, combine pumpkin puree, egg whites, almond milk, brown sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk until smooth and fully combined. Pour evenly over the bread slices.
  • Refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.
  • In the morning, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Take the baking dish out of the fridge while the oven is preheating, so it can warm up a bit.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until set and lightly browned. Sprinkle garnishes over the top after taking out of the oven, if you wish.
  • This is also delicious with a drizzle of real maple syrup on top. I bet whipped cream would be good, too :)

Ready for breakfast!

Who gets the last bite?

Happy Halloween!

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