I have been waiting to share today’s recipe with you for almost an entire week, and anyone who knows me well knows that patience is not necessarily one of my virtues.
I love this new recipe for Baked Challah Eggnog French Toast for many reasons:
1 – It is topped with a delicious Cranberry Strawberry Compote that takes the festive dish to another level
2 – It has just enough eggnog flavor to be sweet and tasty, without being too overpowering.
3 – It combines 2 great foods from different religious customs: us Jewish people eat “Challah” bread on Shabbat and special holidays, and of course, the entire world drinks copious amounts of eggnog to celebrate Christmas (or make lots of holiday family time a bit more tolerable). Indeed, it’s a Chrismukkah miracle dish!
Baked french toast is one of my favorite dishes to make when I have friends over for brunch or guests in the house. There’s nothing quite like waking up to the aromatic scent of maple syrup and baked bread. Well, add to that the scent of nutmeg, cinnamon and cranberries, plop it on top of sweet egg bread, doused in eggnog, and you’ve got yourself a pretty irresistible breakfast. In the spirit of Sometimes Healthy, I used lowfat ingredients as well. Merry Christmas!
And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Sometimes Healthy Friday without a little workout to take into your ridiculously busy pre-holiday weekend. Over the past week, I’ve had the pleasure of knocking off a lot of my workouts with my best friend, Becca. She seems to like my workouts, and I love having company when I work out! The other day, she mentioned to me that she really enjoys my workouts but doesn’t think she would want to do them on her own. As a working mother of two, she’s one busy woman, and while she does a great job of squeezing in that 45 minutes to an hour to work out, when she does, she wants to do what she likes! So, my dear friend Becca S. (BS ya’ll), this workout is for you. I know you like your cardio, so I kept this circuit workout to 15 minutes, so that you can squeeze in at least 30 minutes of straight cardio!
Let’s start with the long-awaited recipe.
- 1 loaf Challah Bread
- 1 1/2 cups Egg Beaters
- 2 cups lowfat eggnog
- 1/2 cup fat free half and half
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 TBSP vanilla extract
- 1 TBSP ground nutmeg
- 1 TBSP cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 bag fresh cranberries
- 2 cups strawberries, diced
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 TBSP cinnamon
- 1/2 TBSP nutmeg
- Slice Challah Bread into 15 slices, about 1 inch thick.
- Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and arrange slices in 2 rows, overlapping.
- In a large bowl, combine the Egg Beaters, eggnog, half and half, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and whisk until blended.
- Pour mixture over bread, ensuring all pieces of bread are covered evenly; spoon mixture between slices as well.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight (2 -3 hours will be sufficient).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees the next morning, and bake for 45 minutes, until french toast is set and slightly golden.
- While french toast is cooking (or the night before), pour cranberries, water, sugar, lemon juice and spices in a medium saucepan and cook on medium high until cranberries begin to burst.
- Stir cranberry mixture and add in diced strawberries.
- Cook on medium to medium-high, stirring occasionally, until fruit is cooked down but still a little chunky, about 10 - 12 minutes
- Remove from stove and serve warm or, if prepping the night before, cover and keep in refrigerator.
- It is not necessary to steep bread overnight; if making early in the morning, 2-3 hours should be sufficient.
We actually didn’t have any maple syrup on-hand, but this french toast definitely would have tasted delicious doused in sugary syrup. If you’re not an eggnog fan, not to worry. The flavor is very subtle – just enough to compliment the sweet taste of the egg Challah bread.
Let’s also talk for one minute about that Cranberry Strawberry Compote. The strawberries add a lot of sweetness to take away any bitterness from the cranberries. The sauce is actually quite delicious on its own, but I would strongly suggest covering your french toast with it!
As I mentioned on the recipe, if you don’t have the time to let the bread steep overnight, 2-3 hours should suffice. Just make sure the bread has absorbed the liquid before you place in the oven. Here’s a quick look at how it went down in the kitchen, for those that are curious!
And, now for the workout. As mentioned above, this workout is dedicated to Becca S. (BS). I know that she likes workouts that incorporate lots of weights and cardio, so hopefully this puppy will do the trick. Simply set that interval timer to 1 minute increments, and let ‘er rip!
Here is an explanation of any of the moves you might be unfamiliar with:
That’s going to do it for me on this Sometimes Healthy Friday. Have a great weekend, and enjoy all those holiday parties! Might I suggest you make this french toast for any lucky guests and then bust out the BS workout?