As a mom of 3, all under the age of 5, finding meals that everyone likes is challenging, especially with young kiddos. And when you have three of them, every minute of the day counts. I found this recipe on Pinterest, made a few adjustments for our tastes, and it turned out to be a hit! I was able to prepare it all the night before, and then just pop it in the oven the next morning, done just in time for everyone to sit down and eat. Needless to say, I’ll be using it quite a lot this fall. So prepare yourselves…
Pumpkin French Toast Bake
- 6 cups 1-inch bread cubes (any kind, however, I found pumpkin bagels to work best. See why in instructions.)
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk**
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cups pumpkin puree***
- 4 Tbs. brown sugar
- Additional 4 Tbs. brown sugar (optional)
- stevia or sugar
- Cut bread into 1-inch squares. I recommend using pumpkin bagels if you are using pumpkin puree. The extra pumpkin flavor in the bagels makes up for the milder flavor of the puree, and the thickness of the bagel gives the dish extra “fluffiness”. It also gives a denser substance for the liquid to soak into. Use just enough to fill a pre-greased baking dish about 1/2 over the edge.
- In large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, puree, brown sugar and p.p. spice until well combined. For a more health-concious mom, use unsweetened vanilla almond or rice milk. I personally loved what the tad bit of extra vanilla flavor did for the dish, and am a firm believer in using other dairy products when possible. (If you are concerned about the calcium levels, purchase one that is calcium enriched.). Pour over bread until all is well soaked. Cover with saran wrap and let sit overnight. VERY QUICK PREP TIME!! It really only took me about ten minutes.
- In the morning, preheat your oven to 350. Uncover, and top with brown sugar, and cinnamon and sugar. I used raw stevia instead of sugar, but you choose. Bake 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown or totally dry. Serve with maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey.
You can also use pumpkin butter in place of the pumpkin puree. You will have a more concentrated pumpkin flavor, and won’t need as much vanilla, p.p. spice or brown sugar. I used the puree just because I already had it in my cupboard for the holidays, and it’s much less expensive than pumpkin butter. Either way, this is a fantastic dish for you busy moms out there, and for the holiday season, it’s a fantastic way to get your pumpkin fix!!