If you’re like me, despite your best efforts, you occasionally (or often) end up with a few overripe bananas. I used to just store them in the freezer for “future” banana bread. It was my attempt to avoid food waste. But in reality, I end up making banana bread once a year, and I was running out of freezer space for sad solo bananas!
Well, let me introduce you to this Easy Banana French Toast. A more timely solution to the overlooked banana challenge. This recipe let’s overripe bananas shine with less time and sugar than baking a banana bread. It’s a full flavor french toast that brings out the sweetness of the banana without being overpowering. I love that it comes together in 15 minutes, which makes it doable for a workday or weekend breakfast or even dessert if you top the slices, with chocolate, ice cream or both. Live your best life.
Why It Works
One day I was thinking about bananas (as I often do, ha) and how people love banana pancakes because the bananas caramelize in the pan. I figured, why not try and create that same caramelized banana experience in a french toast batter. I gave it a try and it worked, so here we are!
Well spotted bananas are sweeter and softer. This means more banana sugars in the batter to caramelized in the skillet bringing even more flavor. The cinnamon and vanilla amp up the sweetness without adding sugar. You can use any milk of your choosing which means a lot of flexibility.
Bread wise, you can use whatever your have. Stale bread, of course, works great. I tried the recipe with very old whole grain sandwich bread in my fridge and also artisan sourdough I had in my freezer. I preferred the thicker sour dough french toast, because it soaked up more of the batter. So in the recipe I suggested soaking dense bread in the batter for longer which will help ensure its fully frenched before toasting.
Easy Banana French Toast
Got ripe bananas and 15 minutes? This simple french toast recipe uses the natural sugars in bananas to create caramel-y goodness
A serving is two thinner sandwich slices or 1 thick “artisanal-style” slice of bread. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to feed more people.
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp milk (cow, almond, oat, soy)
- ¼ tsp (2 pinches) cinnamon
- ½ tsp (splash) vanilla extract
- pinch of fine salt
- 2-4 slices of bread (depends on how big they are)
- butter or oil (avocado or canola) to grease the pan
- frying pan or griddle
- medium bowl
- spatula (to turn french toast)
- measuring spoons
- Peel the banana and mash it in the bowl with a fork. Add the egg, pinch of salt, ¼ tsp cinnamon and ½ tsp vanilla and mix well. Whisk in the 2 Tbsp of milk.
- Set the skillet on medium heat. Add a pat of butter or about 1 tsp of oil to the pan. Dip a slice of bread at a time into the batter and fully soak it on both sides (if you’re using dense bread, give it about 30 secs in the batter so it can absorb the batter).
- Shake off the excess batter into the bowl and place the slice in the skillet pressing the slice down with your spatula for a few seconds to make sure the surface has good contact with the pan.
- Cook each french toast for 2-3 minutes or until the 1st side is medium brown. If it’s cooking much quicker than this, turn the heat down. Then flip it and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Enjoy!
Some ideas for serving: Cover with maple syrup or honey; sprinkle with crushed nuts; top with chocolate sauce or Nutella