This post was sponsored by So Delicious Dairy Free, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the partnerships that allow Brewing Happiness to grow and exist. xoxo.
Vegan Hazelnut French Toast Sticks
These Vegan Hazelnut French Toast Sticks are by far the most delicious dairy-free french toast sticks you'll ever eat. Plus, hazelnuts! #winning
- 1/2 loaf whole wheat or multigrain bread, unsliced
- 1 cup So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Hazelnut Creamer
- 2 heaping tablespoons flaxseed meal
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/3 cup raw hazelnuts
- maple syrup
- banana slices
- frozen raspberries
In a wide bowl whisk together your So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Hazelnut Creamer, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Place in the fridge for 5 minutes, to let it thicken.
Meanwhile, chop your raw hazelnuts and dry toast them on the stove over medium-low heat, just until browned and aromatic. Take off the heat and set aside.
Slice your bread into 1" thick "sticks" and place them on a plate. Then heat a skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon coconut oil.
Dip your breadsticks into the hazelnut batter, making sure it is well covered. Place each battered stick into your skillet and cook on each side until browned. This should take a couple of minutes on each side. Do this until all of your french toast sticks are browned and delicious looking.
Top your french toast sticks with toasted hazelnuts, fruit of your choice, and maple syrup.
There was a time, about a year into running this blog – things had started to pick up and I was getting serious about it all – but my mental health hadn’t caught up with me. I was still painfully prying my disordered eating mentality away from my daily life. I was seeing a specialized therapist (often). And I was trying my best to be “normal.”
And I remember sitting on my therapist’s couch, crying (more like sobbing), because I just wanted to be normal. I just wanted to feel normal. I wanted to eat and act and think like a normal person. I no longer wanted to be a girl who’s entire life was engulfed by what or when I ate. I was also in the throws of the worst of my compulsive binge eating (a direct result of years of restriction). Daily life felt like a battle.
So I showed up at my therapist’s office that day, raw with emotion, and full of food that I felt guilty for eating. She turned to me and asked me one question, a question that stopped me in my tracks. What is normal eating? I sat on that couch – stunned. I wiped my tears away and softly replied, “I have no idea.” I had been in unhealthy mental cycles for so long I had no concept of what normal even was.
I think this is something that can happen on a less dramatic scale. To all of us. Everyday. For instance, today I made two batches of french toast sticks. That was all I ate for the majority of the day. And there is a time in my life where I would feel disgusted by that. I would feel guilty – decide not to eat dinner and plan my workout for the next day. But now I have come to know that some days you just eat two batches of (really delicious) Vegan Hazelnut French Toast, and some days you eat salads. It’s all okay. It all balances out, if you let it.
There is a great quote from Ellyn Satter about “normal eating” that I go back to time and time again when my mind starts to wander. I thought I’d share it incase you have a day where you need a good reminder as well…
“Normal eating is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it -not just stop eating because you think you should. Normal eating is being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food. Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good. Normal eating is mostly three meals a day, or four or five, or it can be choosing to munch along the way. It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful. Normal eating is overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. And it can be undereating at times and wishing you had more. Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating. Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.
In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, your proximity to food and your feelings.”
This definition of normal eating is where the heart of “celebrate health-ier”comes. It’s that middle ground where you get to experience life and enjoy it, while also being kind to your body. It’s knowing that making french toast sticks with So Delicious Dairy Free Creamer and whole wheat bread is a health-ier way to eat french toast already, so you might as well celebrate it. (Plus, it’s really stinking delicious.) I mean, who can resist hazelnuts?!?
Some days are just going to be Vegan Hazelnut French Toast Stick days. There is nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t make you anything but absolutely, positively NORMAL. (In the best way.) It makes you someone who cares about your body and your happiness at the same time. It makes you human. And that’s really all we are here to do, right? Be good humans. Yeah, so enjoy your french toast sticks and revel in how amazingly normal you are. xo
RECIPE NOTES: My brother in law, who rarely rates food above a “fine”, gave this french toast raving reviews. It’s the best french toast he’s ever had, and he had no idea it was vegan. So you should make it. Plus, adding So Delicious Dairy Free Creamer to anything makes it better. So obviously this makes the best french toast.