French toast is one of those breakfasts we usually put in the not-so-healthy category. When covered in powdered sugar and syrup, it’s something you want to enjoy in moderation. But, registered dietitian Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, created a high-protein french toast that’s a perfect way to start any day.
“Breakfast usually gets the short end of the stick in the protein department when many people choose cereal, oatmeal, toast, bagels, or other carbohydrate-rich choices,” says Harris-Pincus, author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club. “Americans, for the most part, consume adequate total protein, the challenge is that we do not distribute it properly. We can only absorb and utilize approximately 25 to 35 grams of protein at a time (4 to 5 ounces) to use for muscle growth and repair, the rest can be used for some other body processes but most of it is just a source of extra calories.” She says it’s important to space your protein intake throughout the day instead of trying to get it all from a big piece of steak or chicken at dinner.
Traditionally, French toast uses just eggs and milk, but Harris-Pincus added Greek yogurt to her recipe. “By subbing in a container of Greek yogurt, the protein content is amped up,” she says. “Each slice of bread contributes 2 to 3 grams as well. The total protein per serving is over 20 grams which hits the mark.” This amount of protein isn’t just good for muscle growth and repair—she says it will also help you stay fuller longer.
To top the French toast, Harris-Pincus likes to use extra Greek yogurt and strawberries. “It provides creaminess and sweetness so syrup isn’t necessary,” she says. But, if you like syrup, she suggests using high-fiber, low-carb syrups like Pyure Organic ($9) or ChocZero ($10), or a drizzle of pure maple syrup, sorghum syrup, or honey if you prefer the real thing. “You can also microwave fresh or frozen fruit for a few minutes until it is bubbly and resembles a sauce. Add a little extra sweetener in if you like before pouring it over the French toast,” she says.
Harris-Pincus originally posted this recipe on her site, NutritionStarringYOU.com, but was kind enough to let us share it with us in full. Not only delicious and nutrient-dense, this recipe is also super simple. And if strawberries aren’t your jam, feel free to sub in your fruit of choice. Keep reading for the full recipe.
Strawberry Vanilla High-Protein French Toast
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 5.3-ounce container vanilla Greek yogurt, divided
6 slices light whole wheat bread
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1. Beat eggs in a medium bowl.
2. Whisk in 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt and cinnamon.
3. Heat a griddle or sauté pan on medium to medium-high heat and coat with a nonstick spray like coconut oil spray.
4. One at a time, dip both sides of the bread into egg mixture and place in pan, flipping once lightly browned.
5. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
6. When ready to serve, stack three slices of French toast, top with half of remaining yogurt and half of the strawberries. Add a touch of maple syrup and cinnamon if desired.
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