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This healthy french toast recipe is the perfect replacement for any basic, regular french toast recipe.
Did you know French toast isn’t actually French? Experts seem to agree that this recipe dates back to the Romans. French toast was actually born out of a desire to not waste food. This was an efficient way to use up stale bread.
If It’s Not French, Why Do We Call It French Toast?
There are two theories surrounding this mystery.
- The first is that the word “french” came from the old Irish word for “slice”. So this was literally, sliced bread.
- The second theory, is that when this dish came to America, we simply gave it the name “French” to make it sound more like a high class dish. Americans have always held French cuisine in high regard. So putting the word “French” in front of any dish makes it sound higher class. (source)
The jury is out as to which theory is actually correct.
What Is Healthy French Toast?
The term “healthy” is subjective. It means different things to different people. This recipe for french toast would be considered healthy for those with no dietary restrictions. Although, I will give you substitutes.
Is French Toast Good Or Bad For You?
French toast is definitely a decadent meal. It’s typically higher in fat because it’s fried in a pan. But healthier oils are always an option, so I tend to ignore that when I make french toast. After all, this isn’t something you’d want to make every single morning anyway. To make basic french toast healthy, it really comes down to your choice of specific ingredients. A good quality, whole grain bread, good quality whole milk, a heart-healthy oil, and organic, free-range eggs will always make for a healthier meal. After all, that’s what clean eating is really about. You can make all your favorites, you just have to make wise choices where the ingredients are concerned.
What Is The Best Bread To Use For French Toast?
The best bread to use for french toast is stale bread! Use bread that is about 2 to 3 days old. It will always give you the best texture.
What Is The Healthiest Bread?
The word healthy is very subjective from person to person. What’s healthy for one is not healthy for another. But personal issues, allergies, and sensitivities aside, one of the breads I enjoy the most is the Alvarado Street Bakery brand. They are available in many stores, so you just have to call around if you want it. (I was not paid to promote them. It’s just bread I like and recommend) Give it a try! I get mine at Whole Foods.
How Many Calories Are There In Healthy French Toast?
Keep in mind that this data can vary a bit based on the bread you use. But this particular recipe is just 193 calories for 2 slices of bread! That includes everything except the maple syrup or other toppings you add.
This recipe also has 27 grams of healthy carbs, 13 grams of protein, and just 3 grams of fat. Not too bad for a plate of French toast!
How To Keep Your French Toast From Getting Soggy
The main factor here is the use of fresh or stale bread. The fresher your bread is, the soggier it will be. And consequently, the more stale your bread is, the less soggy it will be. Keep in mind, however, this is stale bread. Not mold and moldy bread. There is a big difference between the two!
How Do I Keep My Healthy French Toast From Tasting Too Eggy?
For this, you’ll want to use room-temperature eggs. The colder the eggs are when you use them, the eggier your french toast will taste.
What’s The Best Type Of Bread To Use For French Toast?
Most people will use brioche bread, challah bread, sourdough bread, or even sandwich bread for making french toast. But beyond using stale bread, focus on using 100% whole grain bread to keep this healthy. If you are gluten-free, then use gluten-free bread. Opt for bread with no added sugar.
What's The Best Oil For Making Healthy French Toast?
A big consideration is the smoke point of the oil you want to use. You’ll be cooking this in a skillet, so the smoke point of the oil becomes important. The best oil you can use is avocado oil. It’s light in flavor and has a smoke point of 520 F.
Smoke points for other oils are:
- Coconut oil – 350 F.
- Grapeseed oil – 420 F.
- Sunflower oil – 450 F.
French Toast Recipe Substitutions
Can’t have one of the below french toast ingredients? Try these substitutions:
- Gluten free – Use gluten free bread.
- Dairy free – Use milk alternatives like almond or oat milk.
- Egg free – Use cornstarch or arrowroot powder.
- Maple free – Use honey or homemade syrup.
- Cinnamon free – Omit completely or use a favorite spice you prefer.
- Vanilla free – Try maple or orange extracts.
Healthy French Toast Toppings
The sky is pretty much the limit with french toast. If it’s sweet, it’ll probably pair well. But here are some suggestions:
- Fresh berries
- Nut butter
- Greek yogurt
- Any fresh fruit
- 100% fruit spread (jam)
- Cottage cheese
- Dark chocolate chips
- Maple syrup
- Healthy pancake syrup
½ cup egg whites – If you prefer to use whole eggs, feel free! Just break enough eggs into a measuring cup to reach half a cup.
½ cup milk – For dairy-free french toast, unsweetened almond milk or rice milk work best. But you can use almost anything. Only use coconut milk if you enjoy that particular flavor because the coconut flavor will be pronounced in this recipe.
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract – Use the real stuff. Vanilla flavoring is not the same and is usually filled with sugar among other unwanted ingredients.
6 slices whole-grain bread – No sugar added.
Maple syrup – Or honey for topping
How To Make Healthy French Toast?
Combine your egg whites, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk until well blended.
Soak your bread in the egg mixture, one slice at a time, until it’s partially saturated (Don’t let it get too soggy or it will be a drag to get it out of the bowl) Make sure you soak on both sides of each slice.
To keep things lower in fat, cook in a non-stick pan without any oil. Keep the heat low to medium-low so it doesn’t burn. Cook a bit longer than you would regular french toast to be sure the egg gets fully cooked at the lower temperature. Medium-high heat or even medium heat can be too hot for this. Low and slow is the key here.
Plate your food and top with your favorite French toast toppings!
How To Store Healthy French Toast
Store any leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Can You Freeze French Toast?
Absolutely! In fact, it freezes pretty well! Simply make your toast and then store it in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.
How To Reheat French Toast
You can easily rewarm leftover french toast in a toaster oven, air fryer, in a skillet, or in an oven on a cookie sheet.
- Toaster Oven – Rewarm on a low setting for about 2-3 minutes.
- Air Fryer – Preheat to 350 and air fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Skillet – Spritz with a light coat of oil and flip the bread frequently until warmed through.
- Oven – Place the slices on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and place in a preheated oven (350 F.) for about 10-12 minutes.
Thaw overnight in the fridge and then warm in a skillet with a light spritz of oil. Keep the heat low so as not to burn the already cooked slices.
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More Healthy French Toast Recipes
- French Toast Sticks
- Coconut French Toast
- Eggnog French Toast Casserole
- Apple French Toast Casserole
- Blueberry French Toast Casserole
- Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole
The Best Healthy French Toast Recipe Card
Healthy French Toast For A Clean Eating Plan
- ½ cup egg whites
- ½ cup milk (for non-dairy, unsweetened almond or rice work best)
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 6 slices whole grain bread (no sugar added)
- maple syrup or honey for topping
- Combine your egg whites, milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk until well blended.
- Soak your bread in the mixture, one slice at a time, until it's partially saturated (Don't let it get too soggy or it will be a drag to get it out of the bowl) Make sure you soak on both sides of each slice.
- To keep things lower in fat, cook in a non-stick pan without any oil. Keep the heat low to medium low so it doesn't burn. Cook a bit longer than you would regular french toast to be sure the egg gets cooked at the lower temperature.
- Plate your food and top with your favorite French toast toppings!
Recipe from the Gracious Pantry archives, originally published 3/6/10.