Meh about waffles? Let’s be honest: French toast is the ultimate brunch. The eggy exterior and warm hint of cinnamon make this breakfast staple an absolute winner. Could there be a better way to use up leftover bread? We think not.
But—like most classic breakfast foods—it’s not exactly the healthiest choice. Soaking refined carbs in custard, sauteing it in a pool of butter, and dousing everything in sweet maple syrup isn’t exactly the high-protein power breakfast you feel like you should be eating. And then there’s the fact that you basically feel famished again an hour, thanks to all those empty carbs.
Here’s the secret to making French toast an easier sell on your healthy conscience. Choose your bread carefully. You can use any style you want—sandwich bread, baguettes, rustic loaves—but look for whole wheat bread.
Front-of-package labels can be misleading, so check the ingredients list. A true whole wheat bread should list “wheat flour” or “whole wheat flour” as the very first ingredient.
By sticking to a complex carbohydrate, your French toast will have more protein and fiber, which can help you stay full longer and steady blood sugar levels.
A great whole wheat bread can help make a healthy French toast without that cardboard-y flavor and texture. Other swaps to healthify this brunch recipe are using an egg replacer and choosing low-fat or nondairy milk.
Oh, and don’t forget portion control. Stick to two slices, and fill your plate with other sides, like fresh fruit or veggies.