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Guilt-free French Toast
A Healthy Breakfast Doesn't Have To Be Tasteless
Want to indulge in a comforting breakfast that satisfies your hunger and your sweet tooth without making you tired or completely sabotaging your diet? If so, then this is the recipe for you. French toast is one of those comforting classic breakfast dishes that are typically loaded with empty carbohydrates, cholesterol, and saturated fat. This recipe replaces those empty carbohydrates with quality carbohydrates, e.g., 100% whole grain sprouted bread, fresh berries, honey and pure maple syrup, and protein and fiber.
Sprouted Whole Grain Bread
Whole grain sprouted bread is low in calories and fat, and high in fiber and protein which can help the body feel satisfied longer. According to Ruth Frenchman, a registered dietitian in Burbank California and spokeswoman for the American Dietetics Association, sprouted-grain breads made from a variety of grains and legumes can provide a complete set of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Sprouted-grain breads are also a good source of whole grains because they are made from the whole kernel of the seed, thereby increasing the amount of fiber, vitamins and protein. Fiber and protein also helps slow down the absorption rate of carbohydrates, which will help to keep your blood sugar level more even throughout the day, helping to control cravings and that dreaded crash some experience after eating meals high in simple carbohydrates and sugars .
You may be saying to yourself, wait a minute, honey and maple syrup contain more calories than sugar, but raw, organic honey and pure maple syrup contain more than just natural sugary goodness.
Why raw honey over commercial or regular types of honey? Raw honey comes either directly from the hive or from the extractor and has not been pasteurized (heated to 70 degrees Celsius or more, followed by rapid cooling) or processed in any way. The pasteurization process alters the nutritional properties of honey, thus reducing the benefits. Raw Honey has a variety of positive and nutritional health benefits, however, according to the Journal Of The American College Of Nutrition, those benefits are most effective when consumed in high doses (50-80g per serving). Although you may not be consuming honey in high doses, a good reason to consider using honey over sugar, particularly the floral variety, is that honey has a lower glycemic index (55) than sugar (60-65). This means that the absorption and digestion rate of honey is slower, allowing for a more gradual release of sugars into the blood stream and since the taste is sweeter, you'll probably use less of it than you would sugar. The glycemic index value will vary depending upon the botanical source of the honey, with floral honeys being on the lower end, except for the extremely common commercial honey variety, clover. Clover honey has a GI value of 69, which is considered high. There are more than 300 types of honey available in the US. The lighter colored honeys usually have a milder flavor than the darker amber hued. Because there are no legal requirements for claiming and labeling honey as "raw", it's best to check out your local farmers markets for the best selections of honey varieties and forms (honey comb, spreadable cream, or liquid).
Benefits of Raw Honey
- contains small amounts of proteins, enzymes, amino acids, minerals, vitamins and trace elements, such as iodide
- boosts digestive system
- helps metabolize cholesterol and fatty acids, which are major factors in causing obesity
- provides carbohydrates in the form of fructose, glucose and oligo-saccharides, can help control blood sugar due to slower burn-off rate than sugar, ensuring endurance and energy (used by performance athletes)
100% Pure Maple Syrup
A U.S. researcher from the University of Rhode Island has found 34 new beneficial compounds in maple syrup, five of which have never been seen in nature. Several of these newly found compounds contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to combat cancer, diabetes and bacterial illnesses. Preliminary research has also shown that 20 compounds found in maple syrup play a vital role in human health. Maple syrup has been found to be
- an excellent source of manganese; 13 grams of maple syrup contain about 22% of the 2 milligrams of the daily value recommended by the USFDA
- a good source of zinc; 13 grams of maple syrup contain about 3.7% of the 15 milligrams of the daily value recommended by the USFDA and other trace minerals
One Nutritional Caveat
Balance is essential; do not over indulge in these natural sweeteners, but know that you can enjoy them in moderation while feeling good about your choices. Also, make sure to balance out your meals for the remainder of the day with proteins, fruits and vegetables because almost half of your daily carbohydrate requirement will be consumed at breakfast in the form of bread, fruit and natural sweeteners. Remember that carbohydrates are not a bad thing; we need them for energy production, but make sure that your carbohydrate choices come from whole grains and whole, unprocessed foods.
- 2 slices sprouted 100% whole grain bread, such as Ezekiel 4:9
- non-stick cooking spray, such as Spectrum Organic Olive Spray Oil
- 1 organic egg, white only
- 1/2 cup organic fat-free milk
- 1/2 tablespoon raw organic honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup fresh blueberries, organic when possible
- 1/3 cup fresh blackberries, organic when possible
- 1/3 cup sliced strawberries, organic when possible
- In a wide, shallow dish, e.g., a Pyrex 9" pie dish, beat egg white, milk, honey, spices, and vanilla extract
- Wash all berries and set aside to drain, or dry gently with a paper towel
- Preheat non-stick skillet or cast iron skillet on medium high, then spray with non-stick cooking oil (do not use non-stick cooking oil on non-stick skillets; it destroys the non-stick finish over time. Opt for extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil)
- Dip each slice of bread in the egg mixture for about 30 seconds on each side.
- Cook toast on each side until nicely browned; about 2 minutes each side.
- Serve with maple syrup and fresh berries
When Fresh Berries Aren't Available
You can still enjoy this yummy triple-berry french toast recipe when the summer months have rolled away and taken the fresh berries along with them. Organic frozen berries are your next best bet; you can use a mixture of berries or just one kind if you're feeling a little less adventurous.
Measure out the berries and put them in a small sauce pan with lid on. Have the heat source on simmer. This will produce a natural type of "sauce" if you will, as the berries slowly thaw out in the pan. You can then add your maple syrup to the pan, letting it cool slightly to thicken. Finally, pour over your french toast and bon appetit!
|Serving size: 1|
|Calories from Fat||9|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 1 g||2%|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 87 g||29%|
|Sugar 48 g|
|Fiber 11 g||44%|
|Protein 17 g||34%|
|Cholesterol 2 mg||1%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Additional Nutritional Information