Banana French Toast-yummy!

Baking is a relaxing activity for many in my family, including me. You find out why people bake when you are chatting and finding out details about them. It could be sitting with friends or family members and as you are talking you start to understand the stress in their life and what makes them tick and how filling their home with sweet aromas can help them ease the pain.

I am pretty sure I have done this on many occasions and in fact I know my aunt, sister and mother have all done it as well. Baking is different, it’s not like going to the gym for a hard work out to relieve your stresses. Baking is carefully measuring, stirring and pouring to create a tasty treat to share.

My aunt has two grown daughters, one away at school and one at home at school and she has always baked and now they too enjoy baking. But I think that more often than not, they enjoy her baking much more. And she is happy to bake for their friends, their families and sometimes even team mates, boy friends or new aquaintances.

I’ve always known my aunt to be a kind hearted soul and a wonderful baker! So while we were away recently and I was intrigued to try a banana bread french toast off a breakfast menu. She was the one who encouraged me to make my own version. My mom and sister were agreeing and helping me with my plan of attack. My aunt reminded me of her favourite and most often used banana bread recipe, which happens to be mine! That was going to be my starting point. With a few changes of ingredients so that the banana bread wouldn’t be too moist and fall apart, I came up with my version of banana bread french toast.

I love this idea because not only do you end up having a great snack to enjoy with milk or tea but you can also enjoy it for breakfast or brunch again with a twist. So I had the best of both worlds my stress was relieved by baking and my passion was fed be creating a tasty new recipe! I hope it inspires you to de-stress and get creative in your kitchen too.

Banana Bread

This loaf has a soft vanilla flavour that keeps you coming back for more. Banana loaf is perfect for an afternoon snack or part of your morning breakfast. Warm it in the microwave for a fresh out of the oven taste then use it the next day for a very tasty french toast!

1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (175 mL) whole wheat flour

2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder

Pinch salt

1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, softened

3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla

2 very ripe bananas, mashed

3/4 cup (175 mL) sour cream

1/2 cup (125 mL) toasted chopped walnuts (optional)

In bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Stir in mashed bananas and sour cream. Add flour mixture to banana mixture and stir to moisten. Add walnuts, if using and stir to combine.

Scrape into 8 x 4 inch (1.5 L) loaf pan and bake in 350 F (180 C) oven for about 1 hour or until tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan on rack. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.

Makes 1 loaf, about 16 slices.

Tip: If you don’t have both all purpose and whole wheat flours simply use all of one in the recipe. Or try the nutri blend flour that has added bran to it and try something new with fibre.

Storage Options: Wrap loaf whole or in quarters in plastic wrap and in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Wrap loaf in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Banana Bread French Toast with Raspberry Maple Sauce

I was inspired by a special breakfast I had at The Cannery at the Pillar and Post in Niagara on the Lake to make this recipe. It was over morning coffee and breakfast with my mother, aunt and sister chatting about are wonderful Girls Night Out and how delicious food is when you are in good company!

2 eggs

1/4 cup (50 mL) milk

1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cinnamon

6 slices banana bread (about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick), see recipe above

Icing sugar (optional)

Raspberry Maple Sauce:

2 cups (500 mL) frozen raspberries

1/4 cup (50 mL) pure maple syrup

1 tsp (5 mL) cornstarch

Raspberry Maple Sauce: In saucepan, bring raspberries and maple syrup to a gentle boil over medium high heat, stirring often.

In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch with 1 tsp (5 mL) of water. Stir into raspberry mixture and return to the boil. Boil for 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat and keep warm.

In a shallow dish, whisk together eggs, milk and cinnamon. Dip banana bread slices into mixture to coat evenly. Place on lightly greased nonstick skillet or griddle over medium high heat and cook for about 3 minutes or until golden and turn over. Cook for about 4 minutes or until golden. Repeat with remaining banana bread and egg mixture.

Serve banana bread french toast with Raspberry Maple Sauce and dust with icing sugar if desired.

Makes 6 slices.

Tip: Be sure not to let the banana bread soak in the egg mixture too long, the bread will fall apart. A gentle quick dip to coat both sides is perfect.


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