Breakfast, it's my favorite meal of the day. No seriously, I could eat it ANY time. We judge our restaurants based on how good their lattes are. That's how serious we are about breakfast. (For those of you who are curious, the best latte out there is made by Aroma Coffee & Tea in North Hollywood. Hands down.)
However, I digress. American style breakfasts we often associate with delicious things like waffles, pancakes, french toast. Trying to come up with recipes that aren't straight up eggs and bacon every day that are clean and healthy for us can present a bit of a challenge. In to the rescue comes the Apple Bumpkin Breakfast Bake, originally posted on the blog of "The Foodie & The Family". I like to pull this recipe out on special occasions like when the parents are visiting. Kinda like a "Look ma, I DO know how to cook and eat healthy. And yes, we ALWAYS sit at the dining room table for meals. We would NEVER eat in the living room in front of the TV like wild animals!" kind of recipe. A custardy egg concoction with a lower layer of tart apples topped with toasted nuts, this recipe is delicious straight out of the oven, cold out of the fridge or reheated in the microwave. Although the original recipe claims to serve 12, it seems to only stretch to serve 8 in our house because it's that good.
With all that being said, let's start by talking about some of the ingredient choices I made along with a recipe change here and there.
- Vanilla Bean Powder vs Extract: The majority of extracts you find out there are made by infusing alcohol with the desired ingredient. For example, slice open a vanilla bean and allow it to soak in a container of vodka, rum or whiskey and your end result after 4 months is extract. However, for those of you trying to be super strict about eating clean, then alcohol is out. (Frankly 1/6 tsp of booze per serving is not going to kill you.) An excellent clean substitute for extract is vanilla bean powder, or ground up vanilla bean. However much extract is called for, replace that with half the amount of powder. You get the same great flavor plus the fancy flecks of vanilla to make your dish seem extra special.
- Apples: I used three granny smith as they are tart and taste great when baking. You can always mix up your choice of apples and see how it changes the taste. Jazz or honeycrisp apples are excellent choices. While the recipe calls for you to core and peel the apples, I leave the skin on for added texture and chop them up. (After washing of course.)
- Sweetness: I would suggest using either three bananas, or two bananas and maple syrup. Or if you're making this as a dessert type dish, you could go with three bananas and 1/4c of maple syrup. However, if you're attempting the Whole Life Challenge on the strictest level, maple syrup with not be allowed. Three bananas make it sweet enough. If you pick maple syrup, go with Grade B. To the best of my understanding, Grade A is made earlier in the season and hence lighter in flavor. Grade B is made later in the season and hence is richer in flavor and nutrients.
- Adding In Coconut Flour: When making this dish, there have been some occasions where the bottom can be a bit runny. Make sure you let the it sit for 5-10min after removing from the oven to soak up the liquid before cutting in. Another thing you can do to mitigate this is add in 1/4c coconut flour to your mix. This will help everything set much better so you can get nice pretty slices.
Enough talk, let's get cooking! (See what I did there?)
- 1 TBS coconut oil
- 3 tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2" chunks
- 2-3 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 12 large eggs
- 14 ounce can pumpkin puree
- 14 ounce can full fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (optional)
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 tsp vanilla bean powder)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 3/4 cup ribbon coconut (Or coconut chips, flakes, whatever, you get the idea)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 9x13" baking pan or glass dish well with coconut oil. Toss chopped apples into the pan, spreading evenly over the bottom.
In a large bowl, mash bananas.
Whisk or blend in eggs, pumpkin puree, coconut milk, maple syrup (if using), coconut flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Combine well.
Pour over apples in pan and sprinkle the top with a mix of sliced almonds and ribbon coconut.
Bake uncovered for 45minutes; until set. After pulling from oven, let sit for 5-10min. Cut into 12 pieces and serve hot or refrigerate to serve cold.
- Calories - 276
- Carbs - 22
- Fat - 18
- Protein - 9
- Sodium - 132
- Sugar - 10
- Calories - 414
- Carbs - 33
- Fat - 28
- Protein - 13
- Sodium - 199
- Sugar - 16
If you want to add in a little more protein, cook up a couple slices of nitrate/sugar free dry rubbed bacon. Garrett Valley just recently started being carried by Sprouts which is paleo friendly. Best part, 4g of protein per slice!