Monday, January 3, 2011

Orange Pecan French Toast

I was talking with my mom on the phone a few weeks ago, discussing what I should bring for Christmas. I offered to bring baked French toast but she was thinking more along the lines of a breakfast casserole. So I agreed and made a breakfast casserole instead. Well my husband overheard this conversation and I watched his eyes light up with sheer joy at the thought of Baked French Toast. I then watched his face turn to utter disappointment at the thought of a breakfast casserole instead. I decided to treat him to French Toast Casserole when we were doing our little family of three breakfast and presents on Christmas Eve.

The recipe that I use for Baked French Toast is ridiculously rich and sinful. I think it might call for at least 2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of brown sugar - really not worthy of being on my healthy food blog. So the night before I our breakfast, I went to make our Baked French Toast and realized that I had used up all of the brown sugar earlier in the afternoon making Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. Whoops! I didn't want to leave Paul disappointed, so I searched the internet for a baked French toast recipe which did not require brown sugar.

I came across this recipe for Pecan French Toast on It actually looked pretty healthy (or at least WAY healthier than my original recipe). As posted, each serving provides:
533 calories
32.3 g fat
48.5 g carbohydrate
2.8 g fiber
13.6 g protein

I didn't make too many changes as I still wanted this to be a treat for Paul. The only substitution that I made was I left out the butter and simply sprayed the top with non-stick butter flavored spray instead. You could also substitute whole grain bread, egg substitute or low-calorie OJ if you were looking for additional ways to healthify this recipe.

Overall, it was a hit! Definitely a different baked French toast, but tasty nonetheless!

Orange Pecan French Toast - BETTER

4 eggs
2/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 pound Italian bread, cubed
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 Tbsp grated orange zest

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, orange juice, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract. Place bread slices in a tightly spaced single layer in the bottom of a flat dish or baking pan. Pour milk mixture over bread, cover and refrigerate overnight, turning once.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Spray casserole dish or jelly roll with butter-flavored nonstick spray. Arrange soaked bread slices in a single layer on pan. Sprinkle evenly with orange peel and pecans.

Bake in preheated oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Check during last 10 minutes of baking time to avoid burning.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving provides:
398 calories
17.1 g fat
48.5 g carbohydrate
2.8 g fiber
13.5 g protein

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