This beauty is currently at the tippy tip of my list of slow cooker favorites. The first time I made it, I dug in for lunch with piles of berries. I was at it again the next morning for breakfast with a mound of Greek yogurt. Three times was a charm for snack the following day with a cup of tea and peach slices. It’s warm, nourishing, delicious.
Naturally the recipe comes from Jane and Meg, my partners in crime in all things crock pot. I shared several weeks ago that I’d be doing a regular slow cooker feature highlighting one of the recipes from their blog, the Zen of Slow Cooking.
So here’s our second installation: So Good Slow Cooker Maple French Toast. It’s easy to pull together and with its whole grain bread and generous volume of eggs and milk, delivers more nutritionally than your typical French toast. The chopped dates in the recipe add natural sweetness and an appealing texture to the mix.
I prefer whole grain bread here, since it adds fiber, nutrients, and thus, staying power. I recommend a good, crusty bread, perhaps from your favorite bakery, that isn’t too dense on the inside. For my first batch, I used the leftovers in my bread basket, which included a multi-grain loaf as well as a whole wheat one studded with pecans and raisins.
If you’ve got a gluten or dairy intolerance, the recipe can easily be made with gluten-free bread and with nut, seed, or soy milk instead of cow’s milk.
The result is a seriously tasty French toast casserole that is crusty across the top and tender underneath. It’s excellent to make for a crowd and reheats well the next day. Serve with your favorite seasonal fresh fruit along with maple syrup, jam, and/or yogurt on the side.
Slow Cooker Maple French Toast
Olive oil or other favorite cooking oil
6 cups crusty whole grain bread (cut into 1-inch cubes)
3/4 cup pitted, chopped dates (or other favorite dried fruit such as raisins or chopped dried apricots)
3 1/2 cups low fat milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Lightly coat the inside of your slow cooker with olive oil.
Put the cubed bread into the slow cooker. Sprinkle the chopped dates over the bread.
Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk until blended. Add the milk, maple syrup, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
Pour the egg mixture over the bread and dunk the bread into the eggs to coat it a bit. The bread will bob back to the surface.
Put on the slow cooker lid, turn to high, and cook for 2 1/2 hours.
Serve with generous amounts of your favorite fresh fruit along with maple syrup, jam and/or plain yogurt.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
This recipe is adapted from the Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole recipe on the blog the Zen of Slow Cooking. Follow this this link to watch a video of the recipe coming together in the Zen kitchen.