This Sunday, like all Sundays, we left church inspired with rumbling bellies. With the first week of October behind us, we walked with much chagrin and judgment beneath the sun laboring hard, hot, and high in the early afternoon sun. We wanted chill, to be warmed by flannels and socks, to need to hug and rub hands, to feel cold. Isn’t that the way Octobers go, preparing you as they do for the cold settling down of the Holidays?
This hasn’t been the way, these days, for us. We’re hot, habitually, and somehow it feels silly to fill yourself up on all things pumpkin when the temperature screams peaches and watermelon.
What do you eat, when it is one hundred and two degrees, the calendar page is on October, but all the air still feels like August and you’re sweaty at eight in the morning?
I had this dream of pumpkin waffles, or pancakes; I get all into the pumpkin craze and am the supermarket’s dream autumn shopper. But, as we dragged ourselves from the church to the grocery store, I felt less and less like spending an hour over the griddle pancaking it. Waffles felt too involved, too.
Have I ever told you how I love toast? It’s a thing for me. It’s been a real, serious thing for me for quite a long time. As a kid we ate buttery broiled toast dripping with cloyingly sweet grape jelly for breakfast. Cinnamon toast was something special for my brother and me. We’d butter up our toast real good, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over it, and put it under the broiler to toast. The butter made the bread gooey, the non-buttered parts toasted and brown, and the cinnamon sugar sprinkle created a crackly sugar crust we loved to bite through. The cinnamon and butter kept things balanced—slightly salty and spicy.
Toast is and has always been my jam. Pun intended, thank you.
I thought about toast, as we were trudging through the grocery store, trying to quickly grab something quick for dinner. I could eat toast, but E, the kids; I knew they wanted something special. It had been a while since we had a fancy Sunday breakfast. We were long overdue for pancakes or biscuits. The same way we are long overdue for a cold, cold spell to stick around and beat back this heat, this perpetual summer.
French Toast? Perfect. Ever feel like you’re just in the mood for syrup? Maple syrup? Like the pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, or spoon is just the deliverer of syrup. Like when you just want peanut butter, so the sandwich is the server.
I really wanted syrup and I’m not sure I can act as I did as a child, and eat syrup sandwiches when there was no pancakes or no one willing to make any.
Last Friday I got my first Young Living order, and I purposely added oils for baking. Some citrus oils, but some warm, spicy ones made their way into my order, too. French toast felt like the perfect first food to try baking with essential oils.
Isn’t French toast the perfect simple fancy food? They can be quite impressive, but pull much less work from you than pancakes. Not too much more work than grilled cheese, and if you set things up right, the oven can do most or all of the work. (Though, I’m a bit too worrisome to bake my French toast; I feel that’s leaving too much for the oven to get right.). But, I was right, fancy and uncomplicated French Toast was just right for our lazy Sunday afternoon.
What better way to start using essential oils in cooking than with a sweet, spiced French toast brunch?
I’m new to Young Living, but have been using oils since the mid 90s when my grandfather started giving us oregano oil in water when we were sick. One of the most exciting things for me, in joining YL, is learning to incorporate GRAS (FDA Generally Regarded As Safe) essential oils into my baking, and cooking. In fact, this desire to expand my use of essential oils to cooking is what drove me to join Young Living. As a gardener, I love the care and detail applied to their plants. The fruits of a garden is only, ever, as good as the soil, the seeds, the nutrients applied to the plants. If we are what we eat, we also are what our plants eat. If the soil is not rich, if the seeds and plants are not grown in the most favorable conditions, if the plant is not well cared for, kept free from stress, well then the quality of the plants’ fruits decreases. And, we're talking about your food, here.
I did some quick research on industry standards for using essential oils in cooking, and jumped right into adapting my French toast recipe, and I’m so excited to share it with you. (I know a number folks worry about using EOs for consumption, and rightfully so, all oils are not created equally. But, there is a well documented practice of using a few, safe EOs for cooking. So, rest assured.)
*If you don’t have Young Living’s nutmeg essential oil, my advice is not to replace it with another companies’ essential oil. All EOs are not made the same, and you have to be really careful with consuming essential oils; they must be food-grade and produced for consumption to be safe.
Now back to our French toast. Perfectly spiced and sweet, I don’t think you can ever go wrong with nutmeg in October, even if its 102 degrees outside and your body is all hot and sweaty, so why not infuse your French toast with nutmeg essential oil, and make it special.
Friends, I feel like this recipe is so easy, I almost feel a bit ridiculous writing it up for you. But, if you haven’t made French toast, you’ll be happy to see how easy it is. And maybe, just maybe you’ll think I’m a bit of a kitchen, brunch-cooking rock star. (E and the kids think I am.)
Nutmeg Infused French Toast
1 c. Almond Milk
1/4 -1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 -1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cardamom
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-2 drops of Young Living Nutmeg Essential oil (EO)
8-10 slices of Texas toast, or another thick bread
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees; line a cookie sheet with foil. Heat a buttered skillet or griddle over medium heat.
2. In a large bowl, beat milk, eggs, spices, extract, and EO.
3. Place a slice of bread in the milk/egg mixture, turning it over so that the mixture evenly coats both sides of the bread, and the bread is able to “soak up” the mixture.
4. Place the coated slices in the skillet and cook until brown on each side. Place the browned toast on the cookie sheet and keep warm in the oven while you cook all the slices.
5. Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and warmed, real maple syrup. Enjoy!
- The spices can be replaced with Young Living EOs (1-2 drops of each, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom). I only have nutmeg (this month), but next month will purchase and add the other two.
- Yes, using the oil and the freshly grated nutmeg was a good idea. I have to admit I have an obsession with nutmeg that is slightly abnormal, but I found the two played very nice together. There was a great depth of flavor.
- I keep my French toast in a warmed oven because I’m a bit paranoid about cooking egg products all the way through. Unless I use pasteurized eggs, I’m overly cautious about my family consuming raw eggs. If you don’t have these silly fears, feel free to skip the oven-warming step, or lower your oven temp.
- If you can, let your bread get a bit stale. Sit out on the counter for about an hour, or toast it slightly in a warm oven; it will absorb more of the milk/egg custard and you’ll really be jazzed about the results.
I'm wishing you many wonderful French toast mornings! I know pancakes and waffles are great, too, but there is something a bit simple, a bit fancy and glitter about French toast. It has powdered sugar and is shaped like triangles, I mean, that's really cute food to me. And the essential oil, well that just ups the fancy and the healthy.
Blessings & Good Eats!