Keeping a stash of healthy breakfast foods in the freezer is my secret to stress-free mornings. I read somewhere that you shouldn’t feed toddlers the same food more than 3 days in a row, with the exception of fruits and vegetables, because that repetition encourages picky eating—I think this totally makes sense, so I try to feed Little Pea something different for breakfast each day of the week. I don’t know how I could do it without relying on freezer cooking!
Every other Sunday, I make a breakfast food that can be frozen for later. Some of our freezer staples are mini pancakes, baked oatmeal squares, healthy breakfast muffins, mini quiches, and these Baked Banana French Toast Sticks. Since I’m constantly replenishing our supply of food in the freezer, we never run out. Because most of these foods are grain-based, I round-out breakfasts with fresh fruit and whole milk yogurt.
These French toast sticks are just barely sweet, thanks to the addition of ripe banana. You can add sweetener to the batter if you like, but I don’t think it needs it, particularly if your kids are going to be dipping these. When I have these myself (and I do, because they are good!), I dip them in maple syrup, but Little Pea likes them with applesauce, low sugar jam, or yogurt.
You can use pre-sliced store-bought bread for these sticks, but I find that the slices are too thin to hold up well. I usually buy an unsliced loaf from the bakery and cut it into thick slices, then cut those slices into strips. The result is a little bit imperfect, but uneven slices still result in tasty French toast. If you have a bakery that will slice your bread into thick slices, that’s even better!
Serves 4 sticks
Yields 8 to 10 servings
Make these French toast sticks for breakfast on the weekend and freeze the leftovers for hectic weekday mornings.
15 minPrep Time
25 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
- 8 to 10 ounces French or whole grain bread, cut into 1-inch thick strips
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 small ripe banana
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the bread in a large baking dish. Combine the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth; pour the milk mixture over the bread.
- Toss the bread to coat and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to soak in the batter. (Usually I let the bread soak for the time it takes to preheat the oven.)
- Transfer the strips of bread to the prepared baking sheet. You can crowd them pretty close, so you should only need one sheet. If you have leftover batter, you can spoon some of it over the bread.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then flip the strips over and bake for 10-12 minutes more, until the egg is set and the strips are just beginning to brown.
- If you're freezing these for later, after they cool a bit, take the parchment paper off the baking sheet with the French toast strips still on it and carefully transfer it to another baking sheet. (You don't want to put a hot baking sheet in the freezer because it will heat up everything around it!) Put the baking sheet in the freezer for about 2 hours, or until the strips are frozen through. Place the frozen strips in a zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- To reheat the strips, you can microwave them for 30-45 seconds until warmed through or bake them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350ºF.