Mother's Day Breakfast - Feel Good French Toast
This is my wife’s first Mother’s Day as a mother.
We recently adopted a three-year-old little person to share our life and teach us all of the parenting lessons that are impossible to learn beforehand. Prior to this year, it was up to me to prepare the traditional Mother’s Day breakfast-in-bed for my own mom, and while this kid seems ready to take the reigns on her new duties, she may not have sufficient cooking skills to make something worthy of my wife’s very forgiving taste buds. So it’s up to me to try and create a recipe that not only tastes good, but also the bulk of which can be crafted by a three-year-old's hands.
As I already have about a full month of parenting experience, I think I am well-qualified to give parenting advice regarding almost anything, including partnering up with a three-year old to prepare a meal from scratch for mom. We are going for the semi-traditional vegan French Toast from scratch and a cup of black coffee.
In honor of mom, this meal will align with her personal values:
(1) Treating animals humanely
(2) Workers’ rights
(3) Environmental Protection, and
(4) Gender rights
make the bread
In order to make French toast, we first need bread. I can think of only one bread recipe easy enough for a three-year old to make: New York Times No Knead Bread. It requires only three ingredients and no kneading (hence the name) … just a lot of time and patience. (Side note: It’s actually not the best bread for French toast, but making almost any other is probably somewhat beyond the ability of the average three-year old.)
Water: From the tap (My wife also values being practical.)
Wheat Bread Flour: King Arthur Flour
Yeast: Bob’s Red Mill
King Arthur Flour Company is a Certified B-Corp. B-Corps are companies that are certified as meeting fairly strenuous third party standards regarding social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. King Arthur Flour Company rated especially high for corporate governance and how they treat their workers.
Bob’s Red Mill is well-known as an employee owned and operated business. Bob’s Red Mill also attempts to use organic and non-GMO inputs when possible which are generally better for the environment than their conventional counterparts.
french toast with values baked in
This recipe has just seven ingredients: Coconut milk, a banana, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, sea salt, bread, and maple syrup.
I created this recipe when I decided to write this blog. While my wife isn’t a vegan, she does care about treating animals humanely, so I thought a vegan recipe would represent this well. I also wanted something that would be fun for a three-year old to make.
Bread - For the bread, you can either go with a homemade version or a store bought version.
Store Bought Bread: Rudi’s Bread (Hain Celestial)
Rudi’s organic breads are organic and pretty tasty. In general, organic/non-GMO products are better for the environment. Hain Celestial, the parent company of Rudy’s received a perfect score (100) on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2018 Equality Index for LGBTQIA company policies.
Whole Foods Organic Fair Trade Ceylon Cinnamon (Whole Foods) – Buying organic and Fair Trade Certified cinnamon ensures farmers in the supply chain have received fair compensation and production methods are sustainable.
Nielsen-Massey Organic Fairtrade Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract (Nielsen-Massey) – Fair Trade Certified by FLOCERT. Farming vanilla is very labor intensive. Farmers have been known to be poorly compensated for their efforts. Farming vanilla beans has also caused massive deforestation in Madagascar. This makes buying fair trade vanilla products important from both environmental sustainability and workers’ rights perspectives.
Whole Foods bananas (Amazon) - Many local grocery stores and grocery store chains carry fair trade bananas, most notably Whole Foods whose conventional banana is certified by the Rainforest Alliance.
Organic Maple Syrup - Whether or not a maple syrup is organic is probably the biggest factor regarding a maple syrup’s social or environmental impact. The requirements for taking care of land, preventing pesticide runoff, and ensuring the sustainability of future crops is much greater than that of conventional maple syrup.
365 Organic Coconut Milk (Whole Foods) – It is debatable as to whether conventional coconuts are worse than organic ones from a health perspective. What is less controversial is the amount of pesticides used on conventionally grown coconuts, which is significant
Market Pantry Sea Salt (Target) – Target has a strong resume for supporting progressive causes, especially gender equality. Target is a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Partner and scored a perfect 100 on the HRC’s 2018 Equality Index. Target is also a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
and the Family Equality Council.
Equal Exchange Mind, Body, and Soul Organic Coffee (Equal Exchange) - There are quite a few coffees that have been certified by a reputable Fair Trade endorser. One example that I feel is pretty tasty is Equal Exchange Mind, Body, and Soul Organic Coffee. All products sold and distributed by Equal Exchange are Fair Trade Certified.
let's do it
Gather the ingredients:
- 1 - ripe banana
- 3 TB - coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp – cinnamon
- ½ tsp – vanilla extract
- ½ tsp - maple syrup
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 slices - bread
- More maple syrup as necessary.
- Have child mash banana with potato masher until smooth.
- Put mashed banana, coconut milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and salt into mixing bowl.
- Have child whisk ingredients in mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Put whisked ingredients into bowl with bottom wide enough to where slices of bread can lay flat.
- Have child dip bread on both sides in whisked ingredients until there is a nice layer on both sides of the bread.
- Heat non-stick pan on stove on medium to medium-high heat
- When sufficiently hot, put bread on stove. When the bottom of the bread has brown, crispy lines, flip bread. When other side also has crispy, brown lines remove from stove.
- Add additional maple syrup as necessary.
Both mom and kid thought this recipe was pretty tasty. It also didn’t make too big of a mess.