Vegan French Toast with the Perfect Flavor and Texture

Over the years I've tried a lot of recipes for vegan French toast, all with varying degrees of success. It's hard to duplicate that thick texture that comes from a chicken egg and milk whipped together.

Vegan French Toast made with the Vegg egg replacer and topped with pure maple syrup and fresh fruit.

I've tried versions with tofu or mashed banana in place of the egg, some without any replacement at all, and then finally, with the Vegg vegan egg replacement. The mashed banana versions always stuck to the pan and caused a lot of curse words to be spewed before 10am on Sunday morning. The just-milk versions didn't have the right texture, and the Vegg was pretty spot on.

One of the keys to the perfect vegan French toast is the bread; you need something thick and crusty and even slightly stale. I've seen chefs make French toast with a thick slab of brioche, sourdough, banana bread, Irish soda bread, but the traditional is a slice of French baguette. You can, of course, use any kind of bread you have on hand, but it will truly come out better if your bread is thicker and staler than what you pull out of a bag in the fridge.

This was my first experience with Vegg, and I have to say, my first whiff of the contents in the bag was shocking. It really smells like eggs. Of course, it's a powder, so it's a dried up space age reminder of eggs, but eggs nonetheless.

Vegans have had egg substitutes for years, but Vegg is the first vegan egg yolk substitute, which opens up a whole new world of recipes to us that were harder to make. Think quiche, custard, Hollandaise sauce, frittata, egg noodles, eggnog, and traditional custardy ice cream.

You can find the new vegan egg yolk Vegg online at places like Vegan Essentials or on Amazon, and it will be more widely available in stores soon. Also, through 2014, 10% of their sales go to help Compassion Over Killing, an awesome vegan non-profit organization.

 

The Vegg Vegan Egg Yolk

The ingredients are nutritional yeast, sodium alginate, black salt, and beta carotene, so let's break down those ingredients...

Most vegans are pretty comfortable with nutritional yeast, yes? Sodium alginate is a seaweed extract that helps to thicken foods, which is where the Vegg magic comes from. I first learned about black salt from Isa Chandra Moskowitz in Vegan Brunch. It's derived from lava and is actually pink colored and blessed with a strong sulfur smell. I've been adding it to tofu scrambles for years, and it definitely gives your food the flavor of eggs. Beta carotene gives the Vegg the distinctive yellow color. Pretty straightforward ingredients, but as with all added sodium, you have to be careful about adding too much sodium alginate into your diet.

One of the crucial directions on the Vegg packet is that you cannot blend the mixture by hand. This must have to do with the sodium alginate-- it needs to be blended with liquid to get all those little particles completely mixed into every liquid particle so it can fully take on the flavor and texture of egg yolks.


Vegan French Toast Recipe

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tsp. Vegg powder
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1.5 cups nondairy milk (I used fresh homemade almond milk)
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil (or other oil), for cooking


Directions:

  • Warm a skillet or pan to medium heat.
  • In a blender or food processor, mix together the Vegg powder, water, and milk and blend until thoroughly combined, about 15-20 seconds.
Vegan French Toast batter made with the Vegg vegan egg yolk.
  • Pour the mixture into a flat bowl and whisk in the vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and maple syrup.
  • Cut your bread into 1 inch thick slices (or use precut bread) and dunk each slice into the milk mixture for at least 10 seconds on each side. You want the bread to completely soak up the liquid. This is why it's critical to have non-flimsy bread. I used Ezekial bread for these pictures and it was a bit too soft and thin for the perfect French toast texture, although quite a bit healthier than many of the traditional breads.
One of the keys to making perfect French toast is not to mess with the bread once you've placed it in the pan. Let it turn brown before flipping it over.
  • Melt the coconut oil in the pan. Place the slice of French toast on the skillet and do not move it. Don't flip it, don't turn the edges, don't mess with it in any way until you are 100% certain that the first side is browned. Then you can flip it, and wherever that piece lands, leave it face down until the second side is browned. You get into the most trouble with French toast when you lose your patience and start trying to investigate how well everything is cooking.
  • Serve with maple syrup and your favorite fruit. We've also decked these vegan French toast treats out in fresh jam and even coconut cream whipped cream.

 

If You Like This, You Might Like...

Books with great vegan French toast recipes:

Vegan Pancake Recipe

Vegan Pancakes

Cafe Blossom in NYC serves an Eggs Benedict made with smoked tofu and Hollandaise sauce.

Cafe Blossom's Eggs Benedict


Done with Vegan French Toast? Return to Vegan Breakfast

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