Bread does not often enter our house. There. I said it. (Sorry Rich.) But every now and then, I surprise my husband with a crusty loaf of whole grain bread. My theory on bread is quite simple: Always buy local, artisan bread that is worth the calories. If I’m going to consume 150 calories per 2 oz serving, it better be worth it. (Have you weighed out 2 oz of bread lately? Here’s a hint – your average sandwich from any deli is probably 4 servings of bread.) My favorite local bakeries are Wealthy Street Bakery and Nantucket Baking Co.
Today’s recipe was inspired by a recent episode on comfort foods by one of my favorite Food Goddesses, Nigella Lawson. (Thank you Cooking Channel and Food Network for bringing her back!) When tweaking recipes, I often rely on low calorie enhancers such as spices and herbs. My comfy cozy french toast gets a major flavor boost from fresh ginger and warm cinnamon. I always keep peeled ginger root in my freezer in a little ziploc bag. When you need it, just take it out of the freezer and grate it with a microplane. It lasts for months! When Summer ends, I keep a bag of unsweeteneed berries in the freezer to throw in my morning oatmeal or a batch of muffins. As a healthier alternative to maple syrup, I’ve used them to form a sweet and tangy compote. (Note to Self: Must ask brother in law for more maple syrup from his home in Traverse City.) Any type of berry works for this recipe. Only have blueberries? No problem. By taking just a few minutes to cook down any combination of berries with a few easy flavorings, you are well on your way to a healthy and delicious Sunday morning favorite.
Your family is waiting.
French Toast with Warm Berry Compote
- In a small sauce pot, combine berries, water, ginger, cinnamon and stevia.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until half of the liquid is absorbed.
- Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in a shallow pie pan.
- Soak bread in the egg mixture for 1-2 minutes per side, allowing the bread to become a sponge and soak up lots of flavorful liquid.
- Heat griddle or large frying pan to medium. (Do not heat any higher - the goal is to slowly toast the bread so that the french toast cooks all the way through. If you heat too high, too fast, you'll end up with charred outside and raw inside.)
- Add bread to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side (or until browned.)
- Serve with warm berry compote and garnish with sifted powdered sugar.