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03
Apr 15

Caramel French Toast Bake

1Sugar-Free-French-Toast-Natural-Sweet-Recipes-940x1419

You can see we are settling back into a naturally sweetened life just fine and dandy. We’re really hitting things off with this French Toast Bake.

I’ve had this recipe on my mind for a long time… But I didn’t want to post it right before our sugar-free challenge… or too soon after. I wasn’t trying to make things difficult for anyone and I was following the reintroduction phase. Sometimes though, a blogger must make sacrifices for the greater good. The right thing to do was share this French Toast Bake!! Why? Because you absolutely needed to know about this delicious, naturally sweet breakfast or brunch in time for Easter. With this bake around, it will be easy to stay naturally sweet among the candy eggs and chocolate! Consider this your healthy Easter candy basket because it’s just that good.

SugarFree Healthy French Toast Bake Breakfast

Let’s just take a look at this beauty. Does it even look healthy?! Does it even look easy? It totally is! Gorgeous caramel, candied bananas and thick cinnamon seasoned bread come together almost effortlessly. These are things dreams are made of. I should also mention the really beautiful thing about this dish is that you can really use any kind of bread and the recipe is easy to adapt. I used a honey-sweetened spelt flour bread that my grocery store carries but if you have fresh wheat bread on hand or just bought a large loaf at the bakery, use those slices up. Let’s keep it simple.

Healthy French Toast Bake Sugar Free

Heatlhy SugarFree French Toast Recipe

I love adding bananas to this dish solely for the caramel texture they take on. The banana bits soak up the sweet liquid and are transformed into decadent caramel morsels scattered throughout this dish. Coupled with fresh fruit or a generous dusting of natural sweeteners, this contains the very best of spring flavors.

Do we have you convinced? Now it’s your turn! Go make this toast bake and make your Easter a very happy one!

SugarFree French Toast Bake

Naturally Sweet Caramel French Toast Bake (can be dairy-free & gluten-free)
Print Recipe

1/2 Loaf Bread of choice
1/2 cup Organic Butter or Earth Balance Butter
1 cup Coconut Sugar or 3/4 cup Coconut Sugar & ¼ cup Xylitol
4 Organic Eggs
1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Almond Milk
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Banana, thickly sliced and quartered

Melt butter and sugar together in the microwave or stovetop until melted and smooth. Beat vigorously until combined and the mixture looks like a caramel. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla and spices.

Butter a 9-inch or 10-inch casserole dish or pie dish. Pour 1/3 of the butter sugar mixture on the bottom of the pan. Layer bread in the pan. Pour another 1/3 of the butter/sugar mixture over the slices. Sprinkle with 3/4 of the banana slices.  Pour about 1/2 of the egg mixture over that layer. Top with another layer of bread. Pour the remaining sugar butter mixture over toast, banana bits and add the remaining egg/milk mixture to the pan. The bread should be almost covered and moist, but not soaking. Sprinkle with the remaining banana bites. Gently press down on any dry corners or gently swirl pan a bit to get all the bread moist.

Cover pan with foil. And allow dish to sit at room temperature while the oven preheats to 350 degrees. If you use a hearty wheat bread or have extra thick slices of bread, you can allow it to sit in the fridge for 30-45 minutes. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until middle toasts are nice and hot and all egg is cooked through. You can cook uncovered for about 5 minutes to get a crisper top. Cut into and enjoy with pure maple syrup, applesauce, whipped cream, fresh berries, powdered xylitol or all of the above!

This dish can be assembled up to 12 hours before baking and if you’re serving a crowd, double recipe. Cold leftovers are ridiculously addicting. Happy Easter!!!

Serves 6

For more Naturally Sweet Easter Recipes:
Orange Strawberry Shortcake
Honey Caramels
Spring Crepe Cake
Vegan Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


31
Mar 15

Sugar-Free Challenge Review

We did it! A full month of no sugar. Oh goodness.

Let’s break this sugar-free challenge down!  In the last month, we’re estimating we’ve been through:

56 eggs, 43 bananas, 24 zucchinis, 19 avocados, 17 new recipes, 9 heads of cauliflower, 7 pounds of kale and spinach, 3 whole pineapples, 3 pounds of almond meal, and 2 bushels of sweet potatoes. Roughly.

Sugar-Free Eating Challenge

We had a hard time figuring out what we wanted to share with you in our challenge review.  Now we’re at the fun part where we get to talk about the positives and improvements!  Why is that hard?  We weren’t sure where to start or what to share.  Do we get super personal?  Do we share way too much?  Do we post pictures of us in our “workout” clothes, half dressed and flaunting our “rockin'” bods?

We’ll spare you the bikini photos. The fact is, our stories are different than yours.  Our goals were different than yours.  Improvements and changes will be different and we don’t want to compare our small successes with yours.  However you chose to participate in our sugar-free challenge, the benefits that we gave our bodies may not be seen or even felt the same but we know going sugar-free is an amazing investment in our health.

Natural Candida Cookie Recipes

We will share a few personal benefits from this month so as to help anyone who is interested in a sugar detox or clean eating plan.  Please know that if your benefits are not the same as ours, the month was not a failure! You may have felt even better than what we experienced, and that is amazing!  If you are waiting to see some of these benefits, then perhaps you may want to consider keeping up a healthy eating challenge another month or turning to your Doctor for further help.

How did we benefit from a sugar cleanse?

We experienced:

Feeling happier.. for no reason at all!

Healthier skin.

Established habits of eating veggies and drinking more water.

A desire to workout and be more active.

Stronger muscles.

Eating as much as we wanted and actually losing a bit of weight.

Less sweet cravings.  (Though this did not kill all thoughts of food, like these Vegan Chocolate Chip Pancakes, but these cravings were controllable and did not consume our thoughts).  We also experienced craving changes around our female cycles, but cravings were much weaker than in times past!

And the best benefit of all: more confidence!  We had more confidence in our food choices, in our discipline, in our stronger bodies and in our commitment to ourselves and to our health.

This challenge is just what we needed to get back to health and refocus on our goals.  The end goal is health and if we desire health, we must feed our bodies well. How do we know if we’re feeding our individual bodies well?

We are finished with the challenge, but now is the Reintroduction Phase.  If you just omitted sugar this month or are doing the full candida diet, this phase may not apply to you.  If you were cutting out other foods such as gluten, dairy or grains, as well as sugars, this step is an exciting one. We can begin introducing certain foods, one at a time back into our diet to see how we are affected by them.  The Whole30 program has a great article about reintroducing foods that totally applies here. Try to slowly add certain foods back into your diet to see how any of them affect you personally.  This is an important step if you started this challenge with questions about how specific foods or sweeteners impact your health.  We hope you will find the answers you’re looking for!

Thank you so much for following along with our Sugar-Free March!  We want you all to enjoy the best health you can and we trust that this challenge benefited us in more ways than we realize.

Please share with us what you liked about this challenge!  How have YOU benefited from eating sugar-free this month?

 


27
Mar 15

Gluten-Free Veggie Quiche Bites

I’m at the race track this weekend. My husband races at the Larry H. Miller Motorsports Park in Toole, Utah. There is absolutely nothing else in Toole besides the track, but during race season, it’s my hubby’s favorite spot in Utah.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Quiche1

This weekend at the track is a big deal for 3 reasons.

1 – This is the first race event of the season.

2 – My husband is driving his new and improved Corvette for the first time since intense modifications.

3 – I came prepared with delicious quiche bites to keep me company.

Healthy-Quiche-Bites

Quiche just gets me every time. Cute bite-sized quiche sends me over the moon. We all know why: each and every bite contains a buttery crust. I love them, adore them, and could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Quiches that contains veggies and cheese and a yummy savory filling are the best. They are delicious but they also remind me of coveted weekends at my Grandma’s house. My cousin and I (who are only about 6 months apart) would beg our parents to let us sleepover at Grandma’s almost every weekend. We’d stay up until 2, 3, 4 in the morning listening to The Dixie Chicks, sew unexplainable items with fabric scrapes and buttons from our Grandma’s sewing room and raid the freezer for quiche bites and ice cream. We’d go to bed full and sleep until noon the next day. Let me tell you, that was the life at 13!

Gluten-Free-Quiche2Quiche allows you to be a little adventurous sometimes. In another sense, they have versatility. They can be made with assorted mushrooms to satisfy carnivores (it totally does look like meat!) or stuffed with other healthy veggies and spices. They can also be made gluten-free and dairy-free, like this recipe! We have stated over and over that we made a goal to eat more veggies. Are you tired of raw spinach and baked carrots and sautéed green beans yet? Nothing succeeds at making vegetables so darn delicious as quiche. Healthy and nourishing. Delicious and filling. Tasty hot or cold.  Eat them for fun at two in the morning, at the racetrack or maybe on your Easter breakfast table. The extra work making individual crusts is worth it and the taste satisfies like nothing else!

PS: Remember these tasty Candida Killing Cinnamon Cookies? We’ve finally updated the pictures for those cookies and for good reason! They are one of the most controversial recipes on our entire site (who knew candida cookies were a passionate topic?) and a top 10 pinned NSR item on Pinterest! Check them out!

Gluten-Free Veggie Quiche Bites (vegetarian, dairy-free)
Print Recipe

Crust:
1 1/4 cups Gluten-Free Flour Mix
7 Tablespoons ice cold Coconut Oil or Earth Balance Butter
1/4 teaspoon Sea or Pink Salt
3-5 Tablespoons Ice Cold Water, as needed

Filling:
3 Large Eggs
1/3 cup Almond Milk
3 Tablespoons finely Chopped Spinach or Kale
3 Tablespoons finely Chopped Fresh Basil
1/4 cup chopped Mushrooms
1/4 cup finely Diced Tomatoes
3 Tablespoons chopped Onion
3 Tablespoons Almond Cheese
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
1/4 teaspoon Pink Salt

Line a mini muffin pan with liners or generously spray with coconut oil.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt with a whisk. Add the chilled coconut oil and cut it into the flour. Add a teaspoon of cold water during the cutting in, until the dough is moist but looks like pea sized chunks. Scoop out the dough into about 2 teaspoon sized balls. Using your finger, shape dough inside muffin pan. Place pan in the fridge while you make the filling.

In a mixing bowl, combine all the egg filling mixtures until well incorporated. Fill dough cups with egg and veggie mixture. Bake at 350 for 16-20 minutes.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Quiche Bites