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.
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)
*Nutrition is an estimate based on information provided by a third-party nutrition calculator
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