If there is one thing I hate, it’s waste. Food waste is the worst. Re-purposing food is a big part of my life because let’s face it, not everything works out the way I hoped it would. That brings me to muffins. Now that Eve is eating solid food she seems to enjoy feeding herself rather than being spoon-fed. So, last week I made her a batch of super-healthy protein muffins - with whole wheat flour, chia seeds, eggs, almond flour, all kinds of good stuff. She loved them. Great.
What I didn’t anticipate was the mess she would make with them! Muffin crumbs everywhere. Everywhere but in her mouth or tummy I suspect. Since I put so much love and nutrition into them I didn’t want to see them go to waste - sucked up in my vacuum or in the garbage after I finally got sick of vacuuming. On a mission to save them, I came up with the idea of making baked french toast, basically bread pudding, with protein muffins instead of bread. It was so easy to do, I just cut up the muffins and soaked them in my standard combination of liquid ingredients for french toast. I threw the whole thing in the fridge overnight and, in the morning, baked it at 350F until it was cooked through. Let me tell you...it was a winner. With the whole family. Nothing wasted, and BONUS, all of those eggs = even more protein for my growing little ones.
Even though I came up with this recipe out of necessity, I would definitely make it again. Sometimes the humblest of dishes are the most comforting. Bread pudding was created for the same reason, to make use of stale bread. Despite it’s humble roots, these days, bread pudding makes an appearance at even the fanciest restaurants. But I love what it represents.
Baked French Toast: Made with Muffins
Baked French Toast (the breakfast way of saying “Bread Pudding”) is a great dish to make if you are having people over for brunch. You can follow the recipe below using muffins, bread, even croissants. If you aren't cooking for kids, add a little Bailey’s to the mix and it would be great for your St. Patrick’s day spread.
⅓ cup half and half or milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-3 tablespoons maple syrup (depending on the sweetness of your muffins)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Cinnamon and coarse sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 350F.
Add first 5 ingredients to a baking dish and whisk until fully combined
Cut muffins into small pieces and add to egg mixture tossing with your hands or a large spoon and making sure all of the muffin pieces are covered in egg mixture.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and coarse sugar and bake about 40 minutes or until cooked through (start checking for doneness around the 30 minute mark).