Dairy Free, Gluten Free French Toast Casserole

Due to health reasons, I have to avoid dairy and gluten from now on. It has been almost a week and for the first few days, I was at a loss on what to eat, lol. Hopefully, things will get a bit easier as I get used to this new way of life.

The hardest thing about being dairy free is giving up cheese while going gluten free, I’m not even sure what that means yet. My first venture to eating GF is avoiding non GF foods and trying a couple of common GF products like breads and crackers. The first gluten free bread I bought was from Costco – Franz Gluten Free 7 Grain Bread. Compared to regular wheat breads, the texture is actually pretty decent but I thought the bread just tastes bland. I don’t like eating it as is, as a toast with spread, or as a sandwich bread because regardless of any additions – the bread is simply flavorless (I wonder if my opinion would change as my taste buds get used to GF). I ended up tossing 3/4 of the first loaf but I still have a second unopened loaf, lol.

Today, I decided to turn that second loaf into a French toast casserole. Finally, I managed to inject a slight flavor into the bread and the sweet-tart cranberry sauce helps immensely! 😂 Keith had two helpings, even though he doesn’t have to avoid dairy or gluten. I guess that’s a good start! Enjoy.

1 (1 pound 4 ounces) loaf GF bread
7 eggs*
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups soy or almond milk (either sweetened or unsweetened is fine)

*Bought our eggs from a local farm – they range from large to extra large in size.

Preheat oven to 350F. Arrange bread slices in a 9” x 13” baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, honey, salt, vanilla, and milk. Pour over bread and use a spoon or fork to press down the bread slices, making sure they are all moistened. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (casserole will be puffed up and slightly golden brown). Remove from the oven. Serve warm with cranberry sauce and a bit of maple syrup (if desire).

Cranberry Sauce (recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen)
Place 1 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Pick over and rinse 1 (12 ounce) bag cranberries, then pour/stir into the saucepan. Cook cranberries until they pop and thickened, stirring mixture frequently. Serve warm with French toast casserole.

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