Don’t be basic. Don’t post a Pumpkin Spice recipe. Don’t. Be. #BASIC.
Too late. Whoops! Temps drop, booties come out…cinnamon and nutmeg can’t be far behind. Oh, lets be real, Pumpkin Spice came back around while we were still in jorts and flip flops! Embrace it. It’s a good thing. French toast gets a bad rap for being indulgent- but it’s actually a healthy balance of carbs and protein unless you drown it in syrup or fry it in butter. Kind of like putting an egg white on toast…and why not give it a seasonal twist? Cinnamon has antioxidant powers!
Inspiration: I woke up last Saturday craving French toast, so decided to give it the Instant Pot go. I threw in some blackberries and vanilla protein powder, and topped it with Greek yogurt and Thai basil. (I’m just now realizing just how multicultural that dish came out!) It was delish, and it got me thinking about making something for the weekdays- single serve French toast minis!
The first try, I baked these in ramekins (they exploded in the best way) and added a little protein powder boost. I used PEScience Protein 4 Oats, which is formulated to add to oatmeal. The Maple Brown Sugar flavor is perfect for this recipe! I used eggbeaters to keep the calorie and fat content down, but you can use whole eggs if you prefer. I tried it both with Pumpkin Spiced English Muffins and Arnold’s Italian bread. The English muffins were too dense, but the Italian bread created a super fluffy texture! They were good… but I can do better 😉
The first go ’round I relied on the Pumpkin Spice seasoning for flavor, and then got thinking I could bump up the nutrition content by using ACTUAL PUMPKIN. (ok, I really just forgot to get pumpkin at the store the first time) In the words of food blogger superstar, Nikki Miller-Ka, “I’m 100% convinced y’all don’t actually like pumpkin. You like cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, ginger, allspice and cloves mixed together.” Ha. With that thought in the back of my mind, I had myself a little experiment. (This is what happens when and INFP bakes. We hole up in the kitchen and try out ALL the variables) I roasted Pumpkin, Delicata squash, and Golden Nugget squash, and it turns out Nikki is right- pumpkin is bitter. Golden Nugget Squash, on the other hand, is delicious and tastes like you think pumpkin does. In the mix it goes.
One more small tweak, I subbed out sourdough bread for the other two options. Sourdough really is the king of French toast, and it brings a touch more protein with it. I really do like both versions, the Italian and Sourdough. Sourdough will produce a more dense, springy casserole, while the Italian bread creates a softer, fluffier version. Either one is a great choice, but for these, since I want to be able to grab them in the morning, I chose the more dense of the two. 248 calories, 28g carbs, 4g fat, and 26g of protein. That’s a solid start to your day!
So here it is- PSL (Pumpkin and Latte on the side) French Toast Mini Casseroles AKA giant muffins. On MY Fitness Pal: “Pumpkin Spiced French Toast Mini Casserole” by Elevate Strong
Pumpkin Spiced French Toast Casserole Minis
Tired of eggs for breakfast? These individual French toast casserole minis are perfect for a quick & healthy grab and go breakfast. I've added a protein boost with PEScience Protein 4 Oats whey/casein blend. It's designed for oatmeal, but I borrowed the flavor for this fall treat! Bake ahead and re-heat in the microwave or toaster.
- 100 grams Golden Nugget Squash my substitute canned pumpkin
- 2 1/2 cups 2% Fairlife DHA Omega-3 Milk
- 230 grams Egg Beaters
- 80 grams PEScience Protein 4 Oats, Maple Brown Sugar
- 1 TBSP Pumpkin Pie Seasoning
- 3 tsp Swerve Sweetener (may omit or substitute to taste preference)
- 5 slices Pepperidge Farm Sourdough Bread
Preheat your oven to 425. Quarter the Golden Nugget squash and scrape out the seeds. Place face up on a baking pan and roast for 20-30 minutes, or until soft. Allow to cool. (You may substitute canned pumpkin for this step to save time)
Combine all of the ingredients except the bread in a large bowl. Blend well using a hand held immersion blender. (A stand blender also works well.)
Tear the sliced bread into small pieces and add to the egg mixture. Stir well to coat each piece and allow to soak for 30 minutes.
While the mixture is soaking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spoon the mixture evenly into 6 jumbo muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. When the timer goes off, turn the oven off and open the oven door. Allow the casseroles to rest in the oven for 5 minutes before removing.
My Fitness Pal users: Look up "Elevate Strong" on MFP and "Pumpkin Spiced French Toast Mini Casserole" to enter a single serving. You're welcome!