Banana oat baked french toast

This single serve baked French toast is spiked with the delicious combination of bananas and oats! It’s vegan, refined sugar free, easily made gluten-free, and packed with fiber and plant-based protein. A healthy and delicious breakfast! 
I’m not really a big French toast fan.
I realize that’s probably not the best way to start a post that’s kind of all about French toast, but it’s true. I’m not crazy about it.

I think it’s mostly a texture thing. Maybe I’ve just never had a good quality slice of French toast, or maybe I have and that’s just the way it’s supposed to be, but I’ve always found French toast to be either too soggy or too rubbery — not exactly the sort of textures I gravitate towards.
This bake straight up tastes like banana bread. Seriously. Banana bread or a banana nut butter sandwich. I know French toast is generally made with eggs, but I found the eggy taste to be a little overpowering when I tried it that way, so I swapped it out with half a banana and definitely like that version a lot more. It also means that this bake is vegan and safe for people with egg allergies. Hooray!

Ingredients
  • 1/2 medium-sized ripe banana, mashed (50 g or 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) unsweetened almond milk*
  • 1 Tbsp (16 g) nut butter** (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 slice of hearty bread, cubed***
  • 1/4 cup (20 g) quick oats

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C) and lightly grease an individually-sized oven-safe dish. Set aside.
  2. Combine banana, almond milk, nut butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a large shallow bowl, mixing until fully combined. Pour bread cubes into the mixture and use a fork to lightly press down so that they absorb most of the liquid. Add oats and gently stir until everything is evenly incorporated. If the mix seems too dry, add a splash of extra milk.
  3. Transfer mixture to your prepared dish, adding a few slices of banana on top if desired. Bake for 20 minutes, until the bake has set and the top has turned golden brown.
  4. Remove from oven and top with toppings of choice or simply enjoy as is!
Notes
* Depending on how thick and/or hearty your bread is, you may have to add a splash of extra milk.
** I used almond, but feel free to use whichever nut butter you prefer. Or, you can also leave it out completely.
*** I tried this with a few different types of bread, and each worked fine. Heartier breads produce a slightly drier bake, as do breads that are slightly older. If you need this to be gluten free, use gluten free bread and certified GF oats.

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