This healthy French toast is a simple breakfast recipe with just six ingredients, easily made gluten-free and dairy-free! Make a double batch and freeze for delicious meal prep for a quick, family-friendly, busy weekday breakfast.
French toast is one of those idyllic slow weekend breakfasts – but it often can be sickeningly sweet, coated with powdered sugar, and dripping with maple syrup and butter. I’ve even seen some decadent versions topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup!
This healthy French toast is a family-friendly, delicious breakfast, but has a few healthier swaps – including options to make both gluten-free and dairy-free (or both!). Perfect to fuel a fun, busy day as an active family!
Why Healthy French Toast Tastes SO Good
It has that delicious soft, eggy inside with a crisp, freshly grilled exterior. Cozy flavors like vanilla and cinnamon pair well with the flavors of the bread you choose (nutty whole grain, a sweet whole grain cinnamon raisin, or the slight sour hints of sourdough).
And while you certainly can use a nonstick spray, I love cooking mine in a little butter for a decadent, rich flavor despite the lighter egg mixture.
Why It’s So Easy to Make
If you’ve never made French toast before, it may seem a little intimidating, but it’s actually quite simple. You just need a bowl, a whisk (or even a fork), a griddle, and a spatula. Ten minutes later, you’ve got a delicious breakfast ready to top and enjoy as you please.
How to Make This Recipe
- Melt butter or coconut oil a large skillet or griddle over medium heat.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon.
- Gently dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture. Flip the bread and lightly press, ensuring the bread absorbs the egg mixture. Place on the hot griddle or pan.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes, flip, then cook the other side an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from pan. Serve and enjoy!
How to Make Gluten-Free French Toast
Simple! Follow the recipe below, but just ensure you use a gluten-free bread. There are MANY gluten-free bread options on the market, so if there is one you use and love, use that! If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend Walmart’s Sam’s Choice multi grain gluten-free bread. It’s the softest gluten-free bread I’ve ever tried and I love the texture from the seeds!
Side note, I know Walmart doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to healthy eats, but I have to say that my small town store has greatly been expanding their healthy foods selection, offering many name brand health food items at great prices. I regularly use their Walmart Grocery Pick Up app for my groceries (free pick up!) and it is so convenient and saves a lot of money. If you’d like to try, this referral link will give us both $10 off a Walmart Grocery order when you place your first order.
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How to Make Dairy-Free French Toast
To make it dairy-free, use your favorite milk alternative. I often make this with unsweetened almond milk, but any milk or milk alternative will work. (Except canned coconut milk – it is significantly thicker, so I wouldn’t recommend it!) Then use coconut oil, or your preferred plant-based/ non-dairy butter substitute to cook it.
Note that the type of milk used can greatly affect the nutrition information for the recipe. Something like a sweetened soy milk is going to have more calories, added sugar, and more protein, compared to something like an unsweetened almond milk. Just use the best milk for your wants and needs.
Which bread is best?
It comes down to personal preference. Many enjoy a thicker-cut challah bread, which certainly can be delicious!
For a healthier option, I prefer using a whole grain (or gluten-free whole grain) bread. Things like whole grains and seeds in the bread can add fiber, more nutrients, and can also create a deeper flavor profile with slight hints of nuttiness.
Sourdough is also an excellent healthier bread option. The fermentation process that sourdough bread goes through can make it easier to digest, and can contribute to a slightly lower glycemic index, compared to many other breads.
Healthy Topping Ideas
French toast toppings can be classic (butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar), or can be a fun place to add more flavor, variety, texture, and nutrition to your meal. Some favorite healthy toppings include:
- Fresh fruit
- Thawed frozen fruit (the juices add so much flavor!)
- Easy chia jam
- Stewed or cooked fruit
- Cranberry sauce
- Nut or seed butter (try pumpkin seed butter)
- Shredded or flaky coconut (unsweetened)
- Apple butter (HIGHLY recommend my salted caramel honeycrisp apple butter)
Can you meal prep French toast?
Yes! You can make a double (or even a triple) batch to feed a crowd or set aside for yourself for a couple days of breakfast.
If you’re prepping more than a couple days in advance, I recommend freezing. It’s super easy to freeze, and I find it very convenient to pop a slice or two in the toaster for a quick breakfast for me or my family.
How to Make Freezer French Toast
Place cooked French toast slices on a wire baking rack or a baking sheet in a single layer (no overlap or slices touching). Put in the freezer for one hour to flash freeze, then transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe bag or storage container. Be sure to label with the date you made it, for food safety! Return to the freezer and eat within three months.
To reheat, I recommend placing one or two slices in a toaster on the “frozen toast” setting, then enjoying as usual.
Is this recipe healthy?
This recipe provides a balance of macronutrients and variety of micronutrients, and can 100% fit into a balanced, healthy diet. It can also easily be adapted to fit into many dietary lifestyles (gluten-free, dairy-free, high fiber, etc.). Vanilla extract and cinnamon provide flavor and sweetness, without any added sugar to the custard mixture.
Know, too, that “healthy” is subjective. The foods that help one maintain their health may or may not work for you – and that’s okay! Honor the body you have. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I suggest eating a variety of nourishing foods that help you feel good and achieve or maintain your health, balanced with the foods you love. Remember – an election isn’t won with every vote, but the majority. Your health is the same way – the overall dietary pattern is what matters most.
More Healthy Breakfast Recipes
Healthy French Toast
Healthy French toast is a simple breakfast recipe with just six ingredients. easily made gluten-free and dairy-free! Make a double batch and flash freeze it for a quick family-friendly busy weekday breakfast.
- 8 slices bread (whole grain, gluten-free, or sourdough)
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk of choice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp butter (coconut oil for dairy free)
Melt butter or coconut oil a large skillet or griddle over medium heat.
In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Gently dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture. Flip the bread and lightly press, ensuring the bread absorbs the egg mixture. Place on the hot griddle or pan.
Cook for 3-4 minutes, carefully flip, then cook the other side an additional 3-4 minutes.
Remove from pan. Serve and enjoy with your favorite French toast toppings (fruit, yogurt, butter, real maple syrup, etc.)
TO FREEZE: Place cooked French toast slices on a wire baking rack or a baking sheet in a single layer (no overlap, no slices touching). Place in the freezer for one hour to flash freeze, then transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe bag or storage container. Be sure to label with the date! Return to freezer and eat within 3 months. To reheat, I recommend placing one or two slices in a toaster on the "frozen toast" setting, then enjoying as usual.
Nutrition information is for two slices of French toast.
Note that nutrition information will vary based on type of bread and milk used.