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Friday, December 20, 2013

An alternative to goop

Sweet Potato Overnight French Toast
Photo and text by LISA KELLY,

I like to keep things fresh each holiday and bring something new to the table to impress family and friends. And since my mom always used to make a non-vegan version of overnight French toast all the time, I wanted to come up with a new variation.

And thus, this sweet-potato version was born.

I first wanted to make the regular version, but when I tried to cook it on the stove top, the bread couldn't handle the thick batter and basically made goop in the pan. Really delicious goop, but not very presentable for a holiday brunch.

I figured a layered casserole would be easier and more refined, so I poured the batter over the bread, let it sit, topped it with some yummy walnuts and called it a day. The results were incredible, and I am so happy to have shared it with my equally incredible family.

Sweet Potato Overnight French Toast

10 slices oatmeal bread (or any heartier organic bread; don’t use white bread)
2 cups sweet potato puree (pumpkin if you prefer)
2 cups almond milk
4 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla
Half tsp nutmeg
Quarter tsp cloves

Walnut topping

1 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup organic brown sugar
4 tbsp Earth Balance or coconut oil

In a food processor, pulse sweet potato, almond milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and cloves until thinned out.

In a greased 13-x-9 baking pan, layer down half of the bread slices (had to cut some a little to make them all fit) and pour half the batter over the bread slices. Layer the rest of the bread slices on top, and then cover with remaining batter.

For the topping, bring all ingredients to a boil, then cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring continuously, until it starts to thicken a little, not a lot. Pour evenly over bread slices, cover and let refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight (overnight preferred).

After it has settled, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Lisa Kelly is the founder and personal chef at The Vegan Pact.