Lately, I’m busy. Especially busy. Super especially busy. Like 80-hours-a-week busy. I’ve taken on a more traditional job at an amazing new agency called Neon Canvas, and I’m still working with most of my freelance clients. Considering I had a full-time freelance load before accepting the agency position… well, you do the math. Things will calm down soon once I’ve finished up a few projects, but for now? I’m busy. Super especially busy. What does that mean? It means French toast casserole, duh. I make a huge batch of white-bread-brown-sugar-lots-and-lots-of-butter French toast casserole before most breakfast and brunch events I host, because it’s super easy, so delicious, and everyone loves it. So a healthy take on this breakfast favorite seemed to fit the bill these days. It’s way harder to run out of the house having forgotten to eat that way. Pinky promise. I wanted to use blueberries, because, I mean, am I the only one who waits around impatiently each year for blueberry season to come around? And these tiny berries are packed with good stuff to offset all the happy hour frappes you’re sucking down at 3:15 each afternoon (ahem). I used a loaf of SAAA-WHEAT® eureka!® Organic Bread–it’s loaded with super flavorful nuts and seeds and serves as a powerhouse base for the dish. I highly recommend it if you can find it, but any 100% whole-wheat loaf will work! Of course, overnight is best for this erm, healthy overnight French toast casserole, but you could probably get by with a minimum of 4 hours soaking. You want to make sure all of the bread is totally soaked with the egg-milk mixture, otherwise you’ll have some crunchy–and maybe not in a good way–bread on the top layer. Also.. can we talk about this maple-cream cheese glaze? I mean, holy! It’s only two ingredients (you guessed ’em!) but just the right amount of sweet, just the right amount of tang, and still pretty durn healthy, if you ask me. I mean, it’s not a cold-pressed kale juice, but it’s also whole and unprocessed. Make this when you’re busy. Make this for Christmas morning! Make this just because you like your family.
Healthy Overnight French Toast Casserole with Blueberries and Maple-Cream Cheese Glaze
- 1 loaf whole wheat bread , minus heels and 2 additional pieces, preferably SAAA-WHEAT® eureka!® Organic Bread
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 8 eggs
- 2 1/4 cups milk
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Maple-cream cheese glaze
- 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- Real maple syrup , to serve, optional
Grease a 9x13" pan with butter or spray with cooking spray. Cut bread into 1" pieces and spread evenly in prepared pan. Top evenly with blueberries. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Whisk until very smooth and pour over bread. Press bread down with fingers to make sure all of bread is saturated. Add a bit more milk, if needed. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
The next morning, preheat the oven to 350º. Remove pan from fridge. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
Meanwhile, make maple-cream cheese glaze. Whisk together cream cheese and maple syrup until very smooth and set aside. To serve, drizzle glaze on top of warm French toast casserole. Top with real maple syrup, too, if desired!
My recipe was inspired by this “unbelievable blueberry French toast” from Sally’s Baking Addiction, but healthified!
Do you have a go-to recipe for days that are just super especially busy? Share it with me in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!
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