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Food Factor: Fruity French Toast Casserole

by Ms. Natasha Haynes, MSU Extension Service


Using up extra bread has never been so tasty! Whether you want to make something special for your family’s weekend breakfast or you are entertaining company, this Fruity French Toast Casserole is loaded with flavor.


I love incorporating fresh seasonal fruits, such as blueberries and strawberries, into this recipe. But you can also use canned or frozen fruits, which you can often find on sale. By choosing a healthy whole-grain bread, you’re starting your day with a hearty serving of fiber that will see you through a busy morning. And you can use leftover whole wheat rolls or hamburger buns, which helps you avoid food waste and save money.


Fruity French Toast Casserole

Ingredients:

- 8 cups bread cubes (try whole-grain bread)

- 2 cups fruit, sliced or chopped, fresh, frozen, or canned

- 4 eggs, slightly beaten

- 1 cup milk

- 2 teaspoons vanilla

- 1/4 cup sugar


For topping

- 1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened

- 1/4 cup sugar

- 1/2 cup flour (all-purpose or whole-wheat)


Wash your hands with soap and water.


Lightly oil or spray an 8-by-8-inch baking dish or 2-quart casserole. Add bread cubes and fruit.


In a medium bowl, blend eggs, milk, vanilla, and quarter cup sugar. Pour over bread cubes and fruit. Stir gently to wet all bread with egg mixture.


Cover and refrigerate until all liquid is absorbed (about 30 minutes), or overnight.


About 30 minutes before baking, remove the casserole from the refrigerator. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.


Make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the softened margarine, ¼ cup sugar, and flour with a fork until crumbly.


Uncover the casserole and sprinkle the topping over the fruit. Bake until completely set and starting to brown (160 degrees F in the center), about 35 to 40 minutes. If you chilled the dish overnight, you will need to bake longer. Serve warm.


Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.


Variations:

  • For the fruit, try peaches, pears, berries, or diced apples.

  • Lightly sprinkle with cinnamon or other spices such as nutmeg, ground cloves, allspice, or cardamom at the end of step 2.

  • Try topping servings with a spoonful of yogurt.

Thanks to our friends at Oregon State University Extension’s Food Hero program for this delicious recipe!


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