French Toast Nuggets Stuffed with Lemon Ricotta

French Toast Nuggets Stuffed with Lemon Ricotta

I feel bad posting this recipe this week. With the new documentary FED UP having hit theatres last week, my timing on a maple syrup-laden breakfast isn’t so perfect. Although the Katie Couric narrated film puts the spotlight on the oceans of added sugar we don’t know about in everything from pasta sauce to baby formala and less on the sweeteners we do, it still makes you feel a little out-to-lunch promoting a dish for kids that relies on a good pour of sweetener. I mean, you can’t eat French toast without syrup, right?

Ricotta French Toast 54509-1

SPC was created because, as new moms, Ceri and I quickly learned busy was an understatement for parents. We’re only half kidding when we crack a joke about not having enough time to wash our hair. It’s why we’ve devoted ourselves to creating family recipes that are healthy and, more importantly, easy because, to be totally honest, we struggle with the time crunch of our own days. (Shameless plug: Have you seen our book How to Feed a Family by Random House? It’s full of easy recipes.) I really love this quote from Indigo CEO and FED UP producer Heather Reisman that I read in a CBC news article about the movie: “I’m a working mom. We’re traveling. I certainly know what it’s like to be busy. But I’m still able to cook from scratch for my family. Once you do it it becomes incredibly easy. You need to get over the mental hurdle.” Don’t you think that’s true? Everything seems way harder until you get used to doing it. Gosh, it’s what I preach to my daughter all the time–practice makes perfect. Well, actually, I never say perfect since it doesn’t exist, especially not in parenting. But if you put in the effort, eventually the work seems less difficult.

Whenever I’m trying to get our eating back on track, the first thing I tackle is snacks since they’re such a big thing in our house. A batch of muffins on the weekend goes a long way in terms of snacks for the week. Lately I’ve gotten out of the routine of regular baking so I’m going to cut down on the sugar in our home by doing more of it again. In fact, leave us a comment on this post about something you want to do to help your family eat less sugar and you could be one of five readers to win the hard cover edition of the latest book titled, The Diet Fix from Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa and the founder and medical director of the Bariatric Medical Institute – dedicated to non-surgical weight management. Dr. Freedhoff has been a major supporter of FED UP, and you can see the movie trailer here.

Another obvious supporter of FED UP has been Couric. In fact, the other night, I answered a Tweet she sent asking followers to go sugar free with her. I quickly jumped on the bandwagon and then promptly forgot the next morning when I squeezed honey into my Muesli. However, I remembered my oath later that same day when I didn’t pop a leftover chocolate Easter egg into my mouth at 10pm. Baby steps.

So, back to breakfast. I’m still going give you this French toast recipe because it’s something you make–It’s not some frozen, pre-packaged French toast square you pop into the microwave. The dish uses whole grains, has the bonus of blueberries and the filling offers enough sweetness that syrup isn’t required. Although, you can bail on the filling. You know, to save time.

 

French Toast Nuggets Stuffed with Lemon Ricotta

Ingredients

  • For the French Toast:
  • 1 multi-grain baguette loaf
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon all spice
  • butter
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • For the Ricotta Filling:
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Method

Slice baguette into 1-inch pieces and then cut a pocket horizontally through the side into the centre of the slice.

In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and all spice.

In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, zest, juice and sugar.

Using a teaspoon, fill the pocket of each slice of baguette then place pieces into a 8x8 inch baking pan and pour the egg mixture over the bread.

Allow the bread to soak for 10 minutes.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat then lay down your soaked baguette pieces. Allow each side to cook until golden brown, about 3 to 5 min­utes each side. Repeat until you've completed all the slices.

Serve with maple syrup

 

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39 Comments

  1. Dana
    May 15, 19:09 Reply

    Looking forward to seeing the documentary. Hoping to win a copy of Yoni’s book too.

    -SK Dietitian

  2. Tricia
    May 15, 19:13 Reply

    We’ve bought a bread-maker and are grinding whole grains to make our own bread. We are using the fresh bread to replace boxed cereal for breakfast. It is high in protein from Kamut, Spelt, and Hard Red Wheat.

  3. Caitlin RD
    May 15, 19:14 Reply

    This looks delish! My little guy will love it. Also hoping to win Yoni’s book.

  4. Judith
    May 15, 19:21 Reply

    Wow! Sounds so yummy…and easy! MAKING our own food rather than buying it is such an important step towards healthy living. Thank you for the recipe! And thank you Dr. Freedhoff for the link;-)

  5. Kathleen Lalande
    May 15, 19:26 Reply

    This recipe looks amazing. I can’t wait to see the film and read Dr. Freedhoff’s book.

  6. Kim
    May 15, 19:26 Reply

    Once upon a time, I was under the misconception it was not only faster, but cheaper to buy prepared and processed foods. I could not have been more wrong. Plus, how the ingredients were affecting our overall health, I know I had to make a change. I found eating fresh and from scratch can be so easy, quick and not a burden on your wallet. Plus, you control the sugar and crap that goes into your meals. Bonus, I feel much healthier for it, too.
    I cannot wait to see, ‘Fed Up’. As much as I have learned over time, I am sure I will be in for a few surprises.
    Recipe looks delicious. I may have to try it this long weekend. 🙂

  7. Josh
    May 15, 19:33 Reply

    Food “made” always tastes better than pre-packaged food. I like this recipe and I’ll give it a try as a Sunday morning treat!

  8. Stephanie
    May 15, 19:35 Reply

    We’ve gone pretty much sugar-free in our house, making allowances for treats on special occasions. My kids are HUGE yogurt eaters, so instead of buying it, I’ve been making my own (super easy!) and just sweetening theirs a little with all-fruit. I feel like if we cut out all the sugar in savory things like spaghetti sauce and chicken broth (why the h3!! is there sugar in chicken broth, anyway??), then we can spend it judiciously on yummy things like stuffed french toast with maple syrup!

  9. Andrea Williams
    May 15, 19:35 Reply

    Looks amazing–can’t wait to try it, especially the ricotta, which is a nice change!

  10. Hannah B.
    May 15, 19:36 Reply

    Fed Up was very well done! I highly recommend it. Hoping to win Dr. Freedhoffs book, it’s been on my Goodreads reading list for a while now!

  11. Gay Cook
    May 15, 19:43 Reply

    When ever I can I reduce the amount of sugar called for in a recipe, a recipe to me is a guide so may family had baking that was less sweet but it was what we were used to, an acquired taste 🙂
    Can’t wait to read the Diet Fix, been a fan of Weighty Matters for awhile.

  12. Lesley
    May 15, 19:46 Reply

    I think this will be a wonderful meal for me to prep for my parents!

    I also hope I can win Yoni’s book so I can learn more about how to take better care of myself

  13. Shannon
    May 15, 19:47 Reply

    Can’t wait to see the movie and read the book. French toast this weekend sounds great too. Homemade of course with fruit.

  14. supersu
    May 15, 19:48 Reply

    i am thankful for movies like fed up and books like the diet fix.

    i wish i could say i will never eat sugar again – but i KNOW that is not realistic.
    following good advice and making changes one at a time might be achievable though!

    can hardly wait to see the movie, and read the book

    cheers

  15. Paul
    May 15, 19:57 Reply

    Looks fattening as all gt out!

  16. Jennifer
    May 15, 19:59 Reply

    I am trying to bake all of our bread from scratch to cut down on added salt and sugars and preservatives. This shouldn’t seem too hard to do as I have a bread maker but it can be a challenge to get around to it some days. I just found your site, I love it! I would love to get my hands on a copy of The Diet Fix!

  17. Julia Lévy
    May 15, 20:05 Reply

    I love french toast! I have it very often, its basically the only way for me to have protein in the morning, as prescribed by Dr. Freedhoff. I have read the book from the library, now lets hope I get to have a copy of my own!

  18. Kristen
    May 15, 20:21 Reply

    Oh my…trying this one day soon, hopefully while enjoying a new book!!

  19. Kerry
    May 15, 20:24 Reply

    I think that ricotta is high in protein, which means you would need less to feel full. That must offset the maple syrup, right?

  20. Sarah
    May 15, 20:31 Reply

    I love making pancakes or French toast on the weekends and freezing leftovers to pop in the toaster for my little guy during the week. We love pumpkin pancakes and lemon ricotta pancakes (made from scratch). This French toast will be a nice addition!

  21. Janice Vaillancourt
    May 15, 20:34 Reply

    I’ve stopped snacking and now eat three healthy meals each day. It’s definitely ways easier to eat less sugar.

  22. Sue
    May 15, 21:12 Reply

    Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I am usually in a rush, so I’m always on the lookout for quick and tasty brekkie recipe. This one looks like some of it can be partially prepped the night before to save time in the morning. I avoid sugar where I can, but I think it’s perfectly ok to have a little treat once in a while. Bring on the maple syrup!!

  23. Laura
    May 15, 21:24 Reply

    Yummm. Yoni let’s get a copy of your book!

  24. Lyse
    May 15, 21:29 Reply

    That looks like a good recipe for breakfast on a special day. We aim to avoid sugar but I think that maple syrup once in a while is a good thing! Blueberries are really good too. I’m definitely interested in reading Dr. Freedhoff’s book.

  25. Isabelle
    May 15, 21:53 Reply

    It looks delicious ! I love maple syrup !

  26. Joan Koontz
    May 15, 22:23 Reply

    Saw the movie today – awesome! And have read Yonis book which I found at my library. Great stuff – I’d love to have my own copy!

  27. Amy
    May 16, 02:01 Reply

    To cut down on sugar consumption, I make it a point to buy fruit juice sparingly, and to make homemade baked goodies whenever I can, almost always reducing the amount of sugar in the recipe by half.

    I have discovered that plain yogurt flavoured with fruit compote is a better solution to the fruit flavoured yogurts or the YOP style drinks.

    Breakfast is as simple as spending 5 minutes the night before putting 1C steel-cut oats in 1L of water in a container immersed in water in the crock pot. Put it on LOW overnight, and the next morning we have oatmeal which is eaten with granola or dried fruit or a small dash of maple syrup.

    And yes, I would love to have a copy of Dr Freedhoff’s book!

  28. Leanna
    May 16, 04:11 Reply

    Sounds yummy! I’m going to check into your book! Also hoping to win Yoni’s book!

  29. Tom McDonald
    May 16, 11:53 Reply

    A little sugar never hurt anyone, total calories matter for weight loss, quality food for health, adjust and enjoy.

  30. Dima
    May 16, 18:27 Reply

    Great blog..
    I would love to get a free copy of the Diet Fix because I am a dietetic intern who happens to be a mother of 2 beautiful girls. I know owning the Diet Fix will be a great asset for my career.. I am counting my pennies at this point (I currently go to Chapters and read it there whenever I have a chance).

  31. Renee
    May 24, 00:29 Reply

    I’d love to win Yoni’s book. So far my biggest makeover for cutting down sugar for my family is switching us all to plain yogurt in the morning and adding our own fruit, or making my own steel cut oats instead of the very sugar-laden instant stuff we had been eating. Not sure what is next, just trying slowly evolve things since the rest of the family isn’t too receptive to the changes.

  32. www.mbtukstore.com
    June 25, 10:36 Reply

    i had previously tried french toast stuffed with blue berries but lemon ricotta is also attractive. thanks for sharing the recipe Ceri 🙂

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