We love breakfast in our house. It’s one of the only meals of the day where you can pretty much eat dessert and it’s socially acceptable. Try eating donuts or pancakes every night for dinner and see how many raised eyebrows you get. But breakfast? Eating sugar is practically encouraged. Now don’t get me wrong, we do enjoy a deliciously sweet breakfast on occasion, but we don’t eat it every day. Although I could.
Every once and a while I like to make a breakfast treat, one that I know the kids will get excited about, but still made with whole foods and natural ingredients. This yummy concoction is a meld of breakfast and dessert—french toast meets apple crisp. It’s moist chunks of bread and tender cinnamon-y apples topped with a crispy oat & nut topping. There’s something about the warm flavors which make it a perfect fall-time breakfast, although I dare say it would be delicious anytime of the year!
I begin by cooking sliced apples in an oven-proof skillet. This allows it to go from stove to oven without dirtying extra dishes, however, if you do not have an oven proof skillet you can easily transfer the mixture to a baking dish for the oven part. I used a mixture of gala and granny smith apples. Gala apples are sweet where granny smith are tart. It really depends on your taste. The gala apples made the french toast sweet enough to not really need maple syrup. If you’re a maple syrup drizzling fan, like me, you may prefer tartness of the granny smith apples to balance out the sweetness of the syrup, especially if you’re already using a sweet bread.
After the apples are tender, add cubed bread pieces and pour in the egg mixture. I used gluten-free sliced bread, but you can use any bread that you’d like. Whole grain, cinnamon-raisin, challah, brioche, or Hawaiian bread, would be good choices if you’re looking for flavor and don’t need it to be gluten-free.
Next, sprinkle the oat topping all over the apple and french toast mixture. This crumble is made by blending rolled oats, coconut sugar, and nuts with butter or coconut oil. It adds a nice crunch crust, which compliments the apples and french toast.
We drizzled a little pure maple syrup on top, but depending on the apples you use, you may not even need it. However you eat it, this recipe is sure to please. It even has my family’s stamp of approval on it! Let me know how you like it!
- 1 tablespoon ghee/butter or coconut oil
- 3 apples peeled, cored, and sliced (I used gala and granny smith)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 5 cups of cubed bread (I used gf sliced bread, but challah, brioche, or hawaiian bread would be delicious too)
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used gluten free all-purpose flour)
- 1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/4 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, chopped pecans or walnuts
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (brown sugar will also work)
- 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter or coconut oil
- In an oven proof skillet, melt ghee, butter, or coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add peeled, sliced apples and sauté for 4-5 minutes to tenderize. Mix in maple syrup, cinnamon & nutmeg, stirring to coat the apples evenly. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until apples are al dente (tender but have a firm bite.) They will continue to cook in the oven so you don't want them to over cook or they could turn to mush. Remove from heat while you prepare the other ingredients. Preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with flour. Whisk in milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine oats, nuts, and sugar. Using your fingers or a fork, cut in butter or coconut oil until the fat is fully distributed and mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
- Add bread cubes into the skillet with the apples and gently combine the two together. If you don't have an oven-proof skillet, transfer the apples into a greased baking dish before adding the bread. Pour in the egg mixture and press the bread cubes down into the egg to coat. Sprinkle the crumble topping all over the top of the bread and apples. Put the skillet into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until topping is golden-brown and french toast is firm to the touch. Coconut sugar can burn easily, so cover the top of the pan with a sheet of foil towards the end of baking if you notice this happening. When it has finished baking, remove the pan from the oven and cool slightly. Serve warm.