Craving something fun and delicious for breakfast. Then look no further than the breakfast classic, French toast.
What better way to start the morning than to make French toast topped with fresh strawberries and blueberries? Perhaps you’d prefer fresh blackberries and banana slices as delicious toppings. And why not add a touch of cinnamon and pure maple syrup to spruce up the flavor. Indeed, there are a variety of tasty toppings to contemplate. But, whatever topping you choose, know this fried-bread dish is considered a “gather” food and a great way to bring a smile to everyone at the breakfast table.
This was the mood I observed in my kids on a recent Sunday morning when I casually mentioned my plan to prepare this breakfast favorite. It was interesting to see how two school-age boys and one toddler, behaving as if they needed five cups of caffeinated coffee to wake up, suddenly become wide-eyed upon hearing the words “French toast.” I certainly felt content knowing the joy it would bring them and knowing the joy I’d feel chewing bites of flavorful fried bread and fruits.
Now that I whetted your appetite, I should note the downside of French toast. Yes! There’s a downside. And it’s this.
As appetizing as this delectable morning dish might be, it’s considered to be high in calories, despite the fresh fruits. Perhaps not much of a surprise to many. I was surprised, however, to learn French toast is considered a higher-calorie breakfast item compared to its long-time, breakfast rival, pancakes.
According to an online article by Dana Angelo White, a registered dietitian and contributing writer to the Food Network, French toast can push 800 calories and 30 grams of fat, especially when coated in creamy custard before being pan-fried in butter and then drenched in maple syrup. These are eye-popping numbers when we consider that the recommended daily consumption is between 350 to 400 calories for breakfast according to LivingStrong.com.
White suggests using healthier ingredients, such as thinly sliced, whole-grain bread, low-fat milk, and fresh fruits and cinnamon in place of the syrup. The result is a meal that remains satisfying to your palate while being good to your waistline. And substituting low-calorie, low-fat ingredients makes this breakfast-bread staple a health-promoting winner over its circular, flat-dough counterpart.
Another noteworthy highlight of using healthier ingredients in French toast is the benefit of starting the day with a balanced meal. Stable sugar levels and hunger hormones, improved memory, improved academic or work performance, enhanced test-taking skills, and increased physical activity are among the benefits of a healthy breakfast according to Jessica Levinson, a nutrition expert and author who specializes in culinary nutrition. It’s for a good reason breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, especially when it provides proper nourishment.
So it’s pleasing to know French qualifies as a balanced meal with the right nutritional constituents. But just in case you’re among those craving the calorie-rich ingredients, I wouldn’t recommend making this a daily morning meal. Rather, consider it a tasty treat worth having once in a while.
In the meantime, try out this healthy, French toast recipe from wellness blogger, Davida Lederle. Then, help yourself to a plate of wholesome French toast and take delight in each bite.
Bon appétit !
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