Recipe 9: Tropical Banana French Toast with a Coconut Mocktail

I was going to write that breakfast was my favorite meal of the day, but I realized I would be lying. Variety is actually my number one preference in food, because I love it all: sweet and savory, smooth and crunchy, fresh and baked, etc. My parents and I are planning on visiting Bergerac today, which is the capital city of Dordogne. However, the French happen to highly value their sieste between twelve and two in the afternoon, so we had to wait for a little while before shops and cafés would open up. No problem, of course, as this means I had seas of time to treat myself a little with a lovely breakfast this morning. I decided to go for a vegan, gluten-, and lactose-free banana French toast with a coconut creme, clementines, cherry jam, agave syrup, and a little morning mocktail, which is basically an alcohol-free cocktail.

There are no rules for this dish. You can use regular bread which is not gluten-free, you can use regular milk, you can use honey instead of agave syrup, etc. I do want to mention eggs really are not necessary because of the banana. You could also play around with the ingredients I used for plating (clementine, cherry jam, maple syrup, and coconut cream), though I have to admit they worked together perfectly, as it gave an amazing tropical-like flavor combination. You can get coconut creme from a can of (organic) coconut milk. Some non-organic versions contain additives that keep the coconut milk and coconut water combines, but this is not what you want. The creme is the thick white part.

 What do you need?
  • Banana - 1
  • Soy milk, almond milk, or any other sort of milk - 1/2-3/4 cup
  • Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
  • Vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp
  • Sunflower oil, coconut oil, or any other sort of neutral baking oil
  • Gluten-free bread, preferably a day of two old - 4 thick slices
  • Coconut creme - 2 tbsp
  • Agave syrup
  • Clementine
  • Cherry jam 
  • Mint - for decoration, absolutely optional
How to make it?
  • It is very important to mash the banana completely. It needs to be smooth, as you make both the toast batter and the mocktail with it. 
  • Now add the other ingredients for the French toast: cinnamon, vanilla extract, and milk. Mix together very well. In the meanwhile, grease a steel pan and put it on medium heat.
  • When all is ready to go, bake the toast. Dip each peace into the batter entirely, but very quickly as you do not want to soak the bread. Make sure you don't leave any crumbs in the banana mixture, because this is also the base for the drink. Bake the bread for about 4 minutes on each side.
  • Once all toast is on the stove, prepare the coconut cream. Put half of the banana mixture into a glass, and keep half in the bowl. Add both tablespoons of creme, and mix well. It is okay to keep some bigger pieces of coconut in there, but do as you like. Add some of the coconut creme to the mocktail, but keep most for the French toast.
  • You can start plating up now! Smear some creme on the right side, and drizzle some agave syrup next to it. Put the bread on top, but make sure you can still see the creme and syrup. Once the toast is plated up, drizzle some creme on top. Cut your clementine into little pieces, and divide over the plate. Keep one slice whole to decorate the mocktail with. Add little circles of jam to the plate, and top the toast with some mint leaves. 
  • If  you followed each step, you are now done! All you need to do is make a small cut into the last clementine slice, and put it on the side of the glass.

Voilà, a perfect gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan, vegetarian, and quite healthy dish! This is amazing to share with someone you love on a Sunday or Saturday morning, or just any time a day, really.



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