This skinny vegan pumpkin French toast topped with pecans and a lovely chai coconut whipped cream will make you love those chilly fall mornings!
You thought I was done with pumpkin recipes for the year? Well I’m not, and I’m proudly back today with a wonderful comfort recipe to enjoy for breakfast or brunch: some delicious French toasts bursting with seasonal flavors, such as pumpkin, toasted pecans, and maple syrup. If like me it’s hard for you to get up in the morning because of the darkness these last days, I just gave you a good excuse to put a foot out of the bed with a bright smile on your face!
Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day, and while I have seen my dad eating the same breakfast (toasts-butter-coffee… very French!) every single day for my entire life, I like to change mine every single day, make it fun, colorful, seasonal, and original. I am mostly productive in the morning and my day always starts better if I have had a lovely breakfast, whether healthy or comforting. Are you with me in this crazy habit of mine?
Alongside with pancakes, French toasts are my perfect breakfast/brunch for weekend slow mornings… Something to enjoy with my other half or with friends. A few French toast recipes you might like include:
- Classic French Toast
- Chocolate & Marshmallow French Toast Roll-Ups
- Savory French Toast (I am crazy about this recipe with a balsamic onion jam)
And here I am today with a new seasonal version featuring pumpkin. And yes, it tastes like pumpkin pie. How cool is that? Pumpkin is rather healthy and low in calories, while pumpkin pie spices are actually good to boost your metabolism. In one bite, you’ve got the best of November already from breakfast.
Turn my French toasts vegan was for me a new challenge. Eggs are a core ingredient in French toasts, so it’s not easy to simply skip them to get a similar result. Also, the addition of pumpkin puree makes it even more tricky as it brings some additional moistness to the French toast. Here I used some vegetable milk, almond milk to be exact, that you could replace with full-fat coconut milk if you wish. However, I wouldn’t go for soy, oat, or rice milk, that I find too light in texture.
In order to compensate the extra moistness, I simply add a little bit of flour, to thicken the batter a little. When soaking your French toast slices in the batter, try not to soak them too long, otherwise they will simply break in pieces. I usually lift them carefully with a turner spatula, draining the extra batter over the shallow dish, before cooking the slices in a medium-hot frying pan on both sides, until golden brown. Allow the bread to cook completely on one side before flipping it over.
The choice of bread can also help to get a better result. Whenever I make French toast, I usually go for brioche over white bread, as I find it so, so much better – no doubt I’m French here! Whether you use brioche or bread, try to choose them slightly stale, as it will prevent the bread from becoming too soggy when dipped in the pumpkin mixture. For instance, buy it a couple of days before you plan to make French toast.
If you carefully follow the instructions above, you will insure to get a great result with your vegan pumpkin French toast. Do not expect the exact same texture as your regular French toast though, because the recipe is completely different and will for sure be softer. I usually like to toast my pecans in the frying pan with some margarine for just a few seconds before adding them to the French toast. Toasting them help to release their warm and nutty flavor.
Last but not least, I topped these pumpkin French toasts with a vegan chai whipped cream. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I have been obsessed with chai spices over the last few years… and I am crazy about this easy chai whipped cream made out of coconut milk. Just remember to go for full-fat coconut milk, and try to keep the can in the fridge before using it, so that the dense part – the one you want to use – is detached from the liquid part. You can prepare your whipped cream in advance and keep it in the fridge. When it comes to the whipped cream leftovers, you can use them to top a fruit salad for instance.
- 8 slices white bread or brioche*
- 1 cup (225g) pumpkin puree
- 1 cup (250 ml) almond milk, unsweetened
- 2 tsp pumpkin spice + ½ tsp cinnamon**
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 can full fat coconut milk, solid part only***
- ¼ cup (30g) confectioners' sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 1 pinch ground clove
- Maple syrup
- 1 tsp margarine
- For the chai whipped cream: whisk together the dense coconut cream, confectioners' sugar, and spices with an electric mixer until creamy. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together pumpkin puree, milk, spices, sugar, flour, and vanilla extract.
- Heat a non stick skillet over low-medium heat. Grease pan with vegetable oil or cooking spray.
- Dip both sides of each bread slice into the pumpkin mixture.
- Transfer slices to the hot skillet and cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side is golden brown. Repeat with remaining slices of bread.
- Once the skillet is empty, melt one teaspoon of margarine and quickly toast the pecans.
- Serve French toast together with pecans, chai whipped cream and maple syrup on top.
** or make your own spice mix: 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1½ teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground clove.
*** in order to extract the solid part of the coconut milk, place the can in the fridge overnight (or one hour in the freezer). When opening the can, the solid part will be detached from the liquid one. Keep the solid part only and use the liquid part to make a smoothie for instance.