How To Make French Toast Healthy
If you’re not into the sometimes soggy consistency of French toast, this post is for you. I recently got an air fryer and I’m air frying absolutely everything. So far I’ve made cauliflower bites and I’m making tofu on the regular. The consistency is fantastic – no deep fryer needed. So, today, I want to break down what an air fryer is, how it works, and how you can make absolutely everything in it…including how to make French toast healthy, which is a 5-minute recipe.
Regular vs Air Fryer French Toast
You know the drill on French toast…take your bread (stale or firm is best), dip it in egg/milk/cinnamon mixture then put it in a pan to cook until brown on both sides. One problem with the pan is that it sometimes doesn’t get the heat that it needs to truly cook the bread through before it gets too browned on the outside.
French toast is designed to have a soft on the inside/crisp on the outside consistency but there have definitely been times that I’ve made it and it’s not crisp at all…rather a bit soft/soggy in the inside. I actually don’t mind this but my husband absolutely isn’t into it, so this French toast recipe is for him. And it’s for you, if you love crisp French toast! Plus I’ll show you how to make French toast healthy.
How Air Fryers Work
Every time I cook in my air fryer, I’m kind of amazed. It cooks so quickly and achieves a crisp texture that’s so hard to get anywhere outside of deep fat frying. I absolutely love the fact that I can cook all my food with less fat in the preparation and get a dryer texture in a short period of time. This is how they work:
- Surprise! They’re not actually ‘frying’. Rather, food is cooked with really hot air. This is sort of like a convection oven if you’re familiar.
- As long as the temperature achieved is over 320 degrees F, the foods that you want to crisp (say, traditional fried foods like breaded or starchy foods – tots, fries, meat tenders, cheese sticks) will absolutely crisp and brown.
- While you can’t cook foods that are coated/dipped like battered onion rings (it would make a huge mess), you can absolutely cook foods that do have a lighter coating including this French toast recipe or buffalo cauliflower bites.
- You completely eliminate oil! There’s no re-using oil, worrying about how hot it’s getting, or having it soak into your food. Again, you’ll always hear me say that many types of food can fit into a healthy diet – that could include some fried foods – but to me, cooking in a healthier way is always attractive.
What to Cook in an Air Fryer
You’ll see a lot of recipes for air fryers that include traditional “fried foods” – so chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, Buffalo-coated everything, and a lot of meats. Obviously, I’m interested in the healthier-types of food or lighter spins on classic ‘bar food’ so I’ve really enjoyed getting more creative.
If you need some ideas, a colleague of mine, Dana Angelo White wrote a really great book about healthy, vegan air fryer recipes so make sure to check it out. I highly recommend her work.
How to Make French Toast Healthy in the Air Fryer
Let’s talk French toast! This is a 5-minute recipe but I did want to give you some pointers and pro-tips on how to switch over to the air fryer preparation and also how to make some substitutions with the recipe. Next time you wake up on a busy weekend, this recipe can be made in minutes and it’s light and crispy so anyone afraid of the ‘sog’ will enjoy it a lot.
Prepping the French Toast
The preparation takes just a moment. My favorite way to soak my bread is in a large ceramic pan or pie plate. Sometimes a plate is too shallow and the liquid will spill over the side. Simply soak the bread on both sides briefly, remove any excess batter and place it on a greased air fryer sheet.
If you don’t grease the sheet, the bread WILL stick to it, just FYI.
Pop it in the Air Fryer
The rest is so easy! Depending on how big your airy fryer is (mine is a huge 15.5 quart), work in batches, cooking the toast on one side for 3 minutes then flipping and doing another 2-3 minutes on the other side. It cooks quickly so keep an eye on how brown they’re getting. Mine turned out pretty crispy!
Toppings and Substitutions
I love using some real maple syrup because on it’s own, French toast has no sweetness. Jam or powdered sugar are other good options. Here in the Pacific Northwest, berries are king so if you can get your hands on some fresh blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries or even huckleberries, you’ll add color, flavor, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Make this recipe vegan or egg-free by using egg replacement instead of the real eggs. Remove the dairy easily by using unsweetened soy or oat milk.
If you’re not into cinnamon, consider swapping in some clove or ground nutmeg instead (or in addition to!)
More breakfasts for you!
I’m all about the healthy, easy breakfast. Here’s a couple recipes that you definitely need:
- Coconut, blueberry oat bake
- Banana Ginger Oats
- Frozen Green Tea Breakfast Cups
- Wild Blueberry Vanilla Matcha Smoothie
How to Make French Toast HealthyAir fry your French toast for a quick, healthy breakfast without any sogginess on the inside.Print Pin RateServings: 4 peopleCalories: 286kcal
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2/3 cup dairy or non-dairy milk (soy or oat)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 12 slices French or Italian bread
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 cup fresh blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries
- If your air fryer needs to be preheated, start the preheat process, aiming for 350 degrees. Lightly grease your air fry rack so that the toast doesn't stick to it.
- Place the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large plate, platter or even pie dish. Mix well with a whisk or fork until its combined.
- Dip your bread into the mixture, letting it sit for 5-10 seconds before flipping and soaking the other side. Let any extra batter drip off each piece before placing it on the prepared rack.
- Air fry the French toast for 3 minutes at 350 degrees. Flip the pieces and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side. Depending on how big your air fryer is, you may need to do this in two batches.
- Top your French toast with maple syrup and fresh berries.
NutritionServing: 1g | Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 10.6g | Fat: 5.3g | Saturated Fat: 1.3g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 419mg | Fiber: 2.6g | Sugar: 19gTried this recipe?Mention @champagnenutrition
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
Thanks for visiting! If you’re like me: obsessed with eating, wine, going out and traveling, you’re in the right place. Champagne Nutrition® LLC is a Registered Dietitian-run concierge virtual practice helping clients look and feel better. On this blog, you’ll ﬁnd cocktails, mocktails, and plant-based recipes that are easy to make quickly at home and pack for leftovers on your adventures.