Heading into month two of sharing my Dairy-Free 3-Book Journey with you, I’m pretty proud of what I’ve accomplished in the past four weeks. I took the pressure off and allowed a solid week to get re-organized with what needs to be written and the recipes that must be created and perfected. I decided to dive into recipe creation with a strong focus on getting most of the baked goodies done before the summer heat hits. The accomplishments also resulted in a spin-off recipe for personal-sized Maple French Toast Casseroles, which I’m going to share with you today!
All in all, I managed to create, fully test (numerous tests in my kitchen plus outside testing), and finalize about a dozen recipes, including the following:
- Double Chocolate Scones with Vanilla Glaze (a true crowd-pleaser!)
- Hollandaise Sauce (includes insanely rich “just” dairy-free & vegan versions)
- Light Buttery Spread (great for toast, potatoes, and coating!)
- Peanut Butter Chips (a new & improved surprise recipe)
- Homemade “Nutrigrain” Bars (yes, seriously! Sans milk and more wholesome)
- Chunky Monkey Muffins (these have become our go-to morning treat)
- 4-Ingredient Baking Powder Biscuits (too easy, too good, just like mom’s)
- Sultry Southwestern Baked Risotto (no stirring, no fuss, and no sacrifice)
- Chocolate-Dipped Crispy Cups (a healthier sweet treat that kids and adults loved)
- Chicken Pot Crumble (better than traditional and with a vegan option to boot!)
- Tostacos (technically a no-bake recipe, but I wanted to bake my own tostadas)
- and… Maple Baked French Toast Sticks… the inspiration for these Mini Maple French Toast Casseroles!
These personal-sized maple French toast casseroles can be made on the spot or in advance. You can chill them unbaked, or stash a couple baked ones in your fridge for reheating on demand.
As pictured above and below, these maple French toast casseroles are gluten-free (I used Little Northern Bakehouse Millet & Chia Bread), but of course they work wonderfully with wheat bread, too! Day old or lightly stale bread is the way to go, which is why gluten-free is easy with this recipe. I did find that the gluten-free bread crumbled a bit when wet, but since it all bakes up together, there is no loss. Wheat bread gave me chunkier, yet equally tender and moist results.
I also created a vegan version of these maple French toast casseroles, and let me tell you, it was no easy feat! Many vegan versions that I’ve spotted online looked flat and dense. I wanted moist, lightly risen and just plain delicious. My vegan variation tastes different from my “just dairy-free” original, but it is no less amazing. In fact, we liked both equally.
My goal in creating recipes and adapting them to fit other diets is never straight mimicry, rather, it’s to create good food for all to enjoy, plain and simple. Does the recipe work? Can almost anyone make it? Are the results delicious? If “yes, yes, and yes”, then we have a Go Dairy Free, Alisa-approved winner!
Dairy-Free Three Book Journey: Month 2 Goal
On my next 3-Book Journey Post (roughly just 30 days from today!), I hope to finalize the last 39 recipes in book #2! Many are in the testing phases, so I actually think this goal could be realistic without sacrificing a bit of quality. Then, I will be able to dedicate the summer to some much needed dairy-free research for covering health, allergies, and more!
In addition to my monthly posts on this journey, and recipes like these Mini Maple French Toast Casseroles, you can follow more of my project and several others on Twitter, via the hashtags #Inspired and #LoveMySilk. This series was made possible by Silk, and I’m every so grateful for their dairy-free support!
Special Diet Notes: Mini Maple French Toast Casseroles
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally egg-free, optionally gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
For nut-free maple French toast casseroles, use a milk beverage that is “safe” for your needs. I like the taste of almond milk in this recipe, but you will get equally good results with soy milk or coconut milk beverage, for examples.
- 8 slices gluten-free or wheat-based bread, about 8 to 10 ounces (I tested with Little Northern Bakehouse and Silver Hills Bakery)
- 4 eggs (see below for egg-free / vegan version)
- ⅔ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk beverage (I used Silk Almond - see post above for nut-free options)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus additional for serving (I used NOW Foods Grade B)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, maple and salt. Add bread cubes and gently toss to completely coat.
- Fill 4 greased ramekins with the bread cubes, gently pressing down as needed. If there is any leftover liquid in your bowl, drizzle it atop the bread cubes.
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF, letting the bread cubes sit and soak while the oven preheats.
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, depending on how deep your ramekins are (shallower ones will cook more quickly), how moist or dry you like your French Toast, and how well the bread soaks up that liquid!
- Serve with pure maple syrup for drizzling.
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This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.