Banana Coconut French Toast
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French Toast is one of our favorite camping breakfasts. It requires only a handful of ingredients, it is simple enough to make on a half cup of coffee, and has a fancy brunch special occasion feel to it.
Our only hangup is all the refrigerated ingredients: eggs, milk, and butter. If you’re traveling with a small cooler, or no cooler, all those perishables can be a deal-breaker. So we started exploring approaches. Turns out there is another way.
By using a banana in place of eggs and full-fat coconut milk in place of the milk, you can achieve the same French Toast effect but with a unique flavor.
We’ve had many people tell us this is now their preferred French toast. It’s so simple to make and all the ingredients can be stored at room temperature.
Why We Love It:
↠ Ingredients don’t need to be kept cold, freeing up space in your cooler.
↠ Very simple preparation; can be made with little to no coffee in your system.
↠ Banana and coconut bring a lot of flavor to the party
So if you’re looking to have a French toast brunch party on your next camping trip but don’t want to deal with all those perishable ingredients, then this recipe is for you!
How to make vegan French toast
If you are using a full loaf of bread, cut it into slices around ¾” thick (1). This should give you a properly browned outside while retaining a soft, custardy inside.
We make our batter in a square tupperware container because it easily accommodates the sliced bread. But you can use whatever bowl or container you have.
Start by mashing up the banana with a fork (2). A ripe or slightly over-ripe banana will work best. Mash until it turns into a liquidy puree. Then add in the can of full-fat coconut milk. If it’s cold, the coconut fat will harden into a solid cap at the top of the can. If we can feel that the can is pretty cold, we place it in the sun for a little bit to warm up.
Mix the banana and coconut milk together, then add the cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir thoroughly until well combined. If it’s a little chunky from bits of banana or solid chunks of coconut fat, that’s fine.
Start warming up your nonstick skillet over medium heat. We found there are enough fats in the coconut milk that you probably don’t need to add additional oil to the pan so long as you’re using non-stick.
One at a time, dunk your bread slices into the batter, allowing it to soak on each side for about 10 seconds, and then load them into the skillet (3). Only start the soaking process if you have room to immediately put it in the skillet, otherwise, it will become oversaturated.
As soon as one side becomes golden brown, flip, wait, remove, and repeat (4). Once the production line gets started, you can quickly start turning them out.
Optional but encouraged, top with coconut flakes, fresh berries, and a liberal amount of maple syrup.
↠ Non-stick skillet: We’ve successfully made this recipe on both a well-seasoned cast iron skillet and a non-stick skillet, but if you really want to minimize your risk of failure so early in the morning, we would suggest going with the non-stick. We love our GSI Bugaboo 10” skillet.
↠ Bread Knife: The key to good French toast is using good bread. We suggest buying a full loaf of bread from the bakery and cutting your own slices roughly ¾ inch thick. For that, it’s best to use a good bread knife.
↠ Slotted Spatula: If you want to keep your fingers clean when dunking your bread into the batter, it can be helpful to use a slotted spatula. This will allow excess batter to drip down and out, before transferring to the skillet.
More camping breakfasts
↠ Turmeric Tofu Scramble
↠ Cast Iron Frittata
↠ Cinnamon Apple Pancakes
↠ Dutch Oven Banana Bread
Banana Coconut French Toast
- 1 lb loaf crusty French bread, cut into ¾" slices
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- coconut oil
- warmed maple syrup
- fresh blueberries
- shredded coconut flakes
- In a container large enough to accommodate a slice or two of bread, mash the banana until it's smooth. Add the coconut milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt and whisk to combine. You want this batter to be as smooth as possible.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Dip a slice of bread into the batter and let it soak for a few seconds on each side. Let the excess drip off and then fry it in the skillet until golden and crispy on each side, about 3 minutes per side.
- Repeat with the rest of the bread, adding coconut oil to the skillet as needed.
- Serve with syrup, fresh blueberries, and shredded coconut. Enjoy!
Nutrition (Per Serving)
This post was updated on 5/1/2020
Yummy. This French toast recipe looks so good! Can’t wait to try it.
Very interesting! Loving the use of coconut milk, banana, and coconut flakes. Tropical, fresh flavors, indeed!
It can be a nice burst of flavor in the morning. Definitely not your standard diner-style French Toast.
I LOVE this! I’m a little obsessed with French Toast, and we never carry a cooler when we go camping. I just might try this!
The no-cooler aspect of this recipe might just be our favorite part.
This looks ridiculously delicious. Definitely kicks up camping breakfasts up a notch!
French toast is my favourite childhood dish. Love seeing peoples ideas on how to veganize it!
Veganized and de-cooler-fied!
I love the idea of vegan french toast! I’ve never tried it but it’ll definitely going to be on my to-make list. The little blue coffee jag (or whatever it’s called) is super cute! I have similar in orange.
The coffee jag (We’ve been calling it that little-sauce-pourer-thingy) was definitely one of our best Goodwill finds to date.
I’ve been looking for one of these tiny Enamel pots and didn’t know how to search for it. Coffee jag! Thanks 🙂
What a delicious breakfast. Great idea for camping. I love it!
Wow! Looks so delicious and also easy enough for a weekday morning! Love!!
If it’s easy enough to make camping, then it definitely easy enough for a busy weekday.
this is really looks nice and I would like to gonna try it…
I really like your Opinel;) Also, the recipe makes up for a great breakfast, thanks:)
We travel a lot and, although we aren’t big campers, I’m definitely going to try this recipe because it sounds so darn tasty! This is also great for anyone who is lactose intolerant.
Seems to be a wonderful recipe! I’ll try them over the weekend!
Its look very yummy. I definitely gonna try this one. Thanks for share.
look so delicious
Thanks for sharing… it is very helpful…
It’s looking yumm..
so yummy…making me hungry
wow looks so yummy and delicious, wanna try soon, being a food lover i can’t wait
Thank you for sharing! This is such a wonderful and delicious-looking recipe, I can’t wait to try it!
Big fail here :/ the flavor was really strong coconut but they stuck horribly to the pan even with coconut oil. I gave up after 3 pieces that were soft and failing to get toasty yet the pan had batter sticking terribly. I decided to try the batter in the oven so that’s in now. To be decided.
Mrs Spruill – so sorry to hear this one didn’t work! I’m thinking that maybe using a tradtional non-stick pan (vs a cast iron) might help the sticking issue. Thanks for the feedback!
Tried this morning at home – very tasty! Will be adding this to our camping (and home) recipe favorites.
We liked it so much that we did it again at home! All the tastes work together to make a truly unique breakfast treat. I can taste it as I write!
I served it with bacon and we realized that we were almost done eating it before we even touched the bacon.
As soon as I figured out that I was really just frying bread, the recipe made sense because three minutes per side (on my Tahoe stove in a cast iron pan) just wasn’t enough time to get it crispy on the outside. I experimented a bit and found that 1 1/4 inch slices of French bread worked best to give it that crispy crust and soft center.
Oh wow! We made this and it was delicious. I don’t think I will ever make French toast soaked in eggs again. Since using cast iron on the campfire, we also toasted the coconut and warmed the blueberries for on top! Also, surprisingly so much more filling then traditional.
So glad you enjoyed this, Robin! Toasting the coconut sounds like an excellent idea 🙂
Loved it. Can use cinnamon whiskey if you forget to bring cinnamon and vanilla along.
Non stick pan a must! My cast iron must not be seasoned properly because I had major sticking issues as well
We’re sorry to hear that! Yeah, using a non-stick skillet will definitely be easier. Nobody wants to deal with sticking french toast in the morning!
Love this recipe! We have made it 5 times in the last 2 weeks. Problems with sticking each time, but we have been experimenting with different breads and pans to see if we can get the crispiness we want without the sticking. Determines to get the right texture because the flavor is amazing.
Glad you enjoy it! What type of skillet have you been using? We have made this recipe on our well seasoned cast iron skillet as well as a 10″ GSI non-stick skillet. Both have worked well for us, but if we were making this for guest, we’d use the non-stick skillet is virtually fool-proof.