What do you do with a freezer bag full of leftover bread heels in the freezer, overripe bananas, and even some butternut squash puree? (Don’t cast a skeptical eye at the squash…just look at all the ways you can use it to sneak in extra nutrition.) Well, in our house, you make baked french toast!
This time my 8-year-old daughter noticed the leftovers and asked if it was time to create a new french toast recipe. Gah, I love that kid! So, we spent yesterday afternoon developing Banana Pecan Baked French Toast. It sat in the fridge overnight, which is the key to all the flavors perfectly combining.
Then, I popped it in the oven this morning, along with some bacon, and then blended up Nathan’s Everyday Smoothie. All of this while big fat snow flakes fell outside our window in mid-March. Crazy and lovely mid-Missouri.
We didn’t have the pecans to throw on top this time, unfortunately. My kids aren’t crazy about nuts anyway. But they will be amazing, and next time I’ll be sure to add them on top. Hear me say, don’t skip the pecans.
- 8-9 cups whole grain bread, torn into small pieces
- 2 cups milk
- ¾ cup butternut squash or pumpkin puree
- 2 medium overripe bananas
- 8 large eggs
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Optional: ½ cup chopped pecans
- Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Place the bread pieces in the pan.
- In a blender, add milk, butternut squash puree, bananas, eggs, butter, syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Blend until pureed. Pour over the bread.
- Top the casserole with pecans, cover, and set in the refrigerator overnight. (Freezer meal instructions begin here.)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the egg mixture is set and top is golden.
To Freeze: Put together the casserole through Step 3. Cover tightly with a lid, plastic wrap, and/or foil, pressing out any air. Freeze.
To Prepare: Thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. Bake as directed. If it's still partially frozen when you bake it, you may have to bake longer. Cover with foil if the top starts to brown too much.