Gene Baur, the cofounder and president of Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, knows that the key to happiness lies in aligning your beliefs with your actions. In his new book Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, he and Gene Stone, author of Forks Over Knives, explore the deeply transformative experience of visiting the sanctuary and its profound effects on people’s lives. The book covers the basic tenets of Farm Sanctuary life – such as eating in harmony with your values, connecting with nature wherever you are, and reducing stress – and offers readers simple ways to incorporate these principles into their lives.
Living the Farm Sanctuary Life also teaches readers how to cook and eat the Farm Sanctuary way, with 100 extraordinarily delicious recipes selected by some of the organization’s greatest fans–chefs and celebrities such as Chef AJ, Chloe Coscarelli, Emily Deschanel, Moby – and me! Following is the Fabulous French Toast recipe I developed for the book!
Coupled with heartwarming stories of the animals that Farm Sanctuary has saved over the years, as well as advice and ideas from some of the organization’s biggest supporters, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life is an inspiring, practical book for readers looking to improve their whole lives and the lives of those around them – both two- and four-legged.
Fabulous French Toast
French toast–it’s not just for Sunday breakfast, and it sure doesn’t need to be made with the typical cholesterol-loaded egg-based custard or refined bread. This nutritious, delicious vegan version got enthusiastic thumbs-up from my granddaughters Georgia and Cecile, as well as their parents. Another plus: It is very quick and easy to make, using just a few pantry staples. Some of the ingredients may be unfamiliar to nonvegans, but all are easy to find.
I use sprouted wheat bread, but any bread, including gluten-free, is fine. The recipe makes enough of the intentionally thick custard for four average-to-large slices of bread. Make a double batch, if you prefer. Definitely try the Chocolate and Banana French Toast Sandwiches variation that follows, to serve as dessert or for a special brunch!
Makes 2 servings, Time to make: 40 to 45 minutes
- 1 cup almond milk, coconut milk beverage, or soy milk
- 1/2 teaspoon guar gum
- 3 tablespoons pure grade B or dark amber maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons nutritional yeast powder or 3/4 teaspoon flakes, optional but recommended
- 2 teaspoons ground black or white chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon Pinch of fine sea salt
- 4 thick slices bread (any bread of your choice)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, vegan buttery spread, or mild-tasting extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed
In a blender, combine the milk and guar gum. Blend on high for 1 minute. The milk will be thick. Add the maple syrup, nutritional yeast (if using), chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt. Blend on high for 2 minutes if using a standard blender or 1 minute if using a high-speed blender. Taste the custard. There should be no crunch of chia. If you taste any crunch, allow the custard to rest for 5 minutes and blend for another minute.
Pour the custard (you will have about 1 cup) into a 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Press the bread into the custard. Wait 5 minutes and then turn each slice over with a wide spatula. Spoon some of the custard over the top of the bread. Allow the bread to soak for another 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the bread, turning the slices over another time.
When you are ready to cook, put the oil or spread (or a combination) onto a griddle or heavy-bottom pan. Heat over medium heat until the fat begins to sizzle. Place as many slices on the griddle as will fit without touching. Cook for 5 minutes on each side, turning the slices with a wide spatula. Increase the heat and flip again if necessary to get a darker color. Serve warm with maple syrup or confectioners’ sugar.
Chocolate and Banana French Toast Sandwiches Variation
Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped vegan chocolate on 2 slices of the cooked French toast. Chop 1 banana and divide between the 2 slices, placing it on top of the chocolate. Top each with a second slice. Press down with a spatula. Cut each sandwich in half or into quarters, and serve warm from the pan, with or without a drizzle of maple syrup or confectioners’ sugar.
From Living the Farm Sanctuary Life by Gene Baur (Rodale, 2015). Reprinted with permission.
I have a copy of Living the Farm Sanctuary Life for one lucky winner. Follow the instructions below to enter. U.S. residents only, please. Contest ends at midnight on July 14th. Good luck!