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October 01, 2022
Protein shakes are great for a post-workout meal, but they shouldn't be your only go-to source of high protein. Too often, lifters get stuck in a shake-drinking rut, trying to hit their protein goals.
But what if we told you that there is a different, more delicious way to get a healthy dose of protein? Rather than having shakes on repeat, you could instead start your mornings off with a delicious stack of high protein French toast.
If your mouth isn't watering yet, it will be soon! We're about to explain how you can increase the protein in your french toast to turn it into anabolic French toast.
Time to learn how to make a serious muscle-building healthy breakfast!
We love breakfast. Whether it's a hearty bulking breakfast or diet-friendly morning fare, it's one of our favorite meals of the day.
However, the typical American breakfast cuisine is very carb heavy. Of course, you can eat an egg and some Canadian bacon, but a lot of our breakfasts usually lack protein, making it harder, depending on how much protein per day you're targeting, to hit your daily goals.
French toast is an absolutely delicious breakfast food item. The basic version consists of dipping a slice of white bread or wheat bread into an egg mixture (liquid egg whites or whole eggs), which is then pan-fried until golden brown. Afterward, it can be served with an assortment of toppings and syrup.
French toast has a relatively low amount of protein in its original format. One slice will provide 6-8 grams of protein, primarily from the egg mixture.
If you eat two slices, it will contain about15 grams of protein on average. While 15 grams is better than none, that's not going to make a dent in most people's protein goals, which is why French toast rarely makes the cut for muscle-building meal plans.
Fortunately, there are many ways to increase your French toast mixture protein content.
All the ingredients you need for good French toast can be found at your local grocery store. And many of these are basic kitchen staples you already have on hand.
As you can see, there are a variety of different ingredients that can be used when making French toast.
The key to creating a protein-packed version of French toast is to manipulate these ingredients.
When adding extra protein to your French toast, you want to make changes to the ingredients used to create high-protein French toast. The more protein you can pile on to your stack of French toast, the more your delicious breakfast will help with muscle recovery following your time in the gym.
We're going to go through some of the variables of classic French toast you can change.
If you use normal bread, like basic white or wheat bread, for your French toast, you're only adding 3-4 grams of protein per slice. That's not going to cut it.
Instead, choose a higher quality bread with a high protein content. You can find some options, like Seeded's walnut bread, which packs 9 grams per slice. There's also Dave's Killer Powerseed Bread, with 5 grams of protein per slice.
Now, we now that in and of itself isn't a lot, but it's about accumulation. Plus, thicker bread actually works better for French toast as it can absorb more of the egg mixture.
By letting the bread soak in more of the liquid mixture of egg white, you get added protein. And when you've just finished up a gym routine and are deciding what to eat after a workout, you want as much added protein as you can get.
To be clear, we love egg yolk, so we're not suggesting removing whole eggs from your diet. It's an amazing part of the egg that can increase hormone levels¹.
However, we want to up the protein using the egg whites in our French toast.
Therefore, when making your French toast batter, use a 1:3 or even 1:4 ratio of yolk to white. Because whole eggs have both, use one whole egg and 2-3 egg whites. Also, if you're looking for ways to meal prep, you can pre-make the egg mixture and keep it in the fridge until you're ready to whip up a stack of French toast.
Any good whole milk or high-protein milk will do. If you must go dairy free, use soy milk. While we like unsweetened almond milk in some situations, its protein content is minimal.
As mentioned, the cool thing with French Toast is you can easily add toppings for flavor and protein. An obvious choice is to add an assortment of nuts. Whether you choose walnuts or pecans, or a different nut entirely, nuts will add protein, flavor, and crunch.
While nuts aren't necessarily high in protein compared to meat, they can definitely add to the total protein while providing an array of nutrients.
Here is a list of nuts and legumes with the highest protein content.
We love peanut butter. And we really love high protein peanut butter.
Thankfully, there has been a rise in these products, making it a very easy trick to create a high protein breakfast.
Nuts'N'More is a popular peanut butter with various flavors that packs 9+ grams of protein per serving. Other options include PB2 Performance Protein at 20g, PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter, a low calorie version serving 6g at 90 calories, and Skippy at 10g.
Looking for a nut butter spread alternative that is also high in protein? We say go crazy and top your French toast with Greek yogurt and fruit.
The above tricks should get the protein content pretty high, but it can go higher easily. That's done by choosing one of the best protein powders and including it in your mix.
To do this, you'll simply add protein into the batter.
Casein vs. whey: Which to choose? While we love casein, it does not work well with various aspects of baking and cooking. In this case, casein can be extremely thick and turn the liquid into a paste.
We suggest using whey. It works well and is actually the most popular form of protein powder used in baking.
Taste is highly personal, so it's hard to say. That said, basic flavors seem to work best.
Of all the flavors, vanilla protein powder tends to work best due to its sweetness. Plus, the vanilla flavor works well with the other French toast flavors.
Therefore, you may want to try a whey vanilla protein powder first and go from there. There are also great vanilla-flavored lactose free protein powders, for those looking for that option.
As long as you promise not to tell anyone, we'll share a trick to instantly increase your protein. Ready for this?
Make a protein spread.
A homemade protein spread is extremely easy to make and only requires two ingredients: protein powder and milk.
When it comes to drinking protein shakes, step one is always determining when the best time to drink a protein shake is. Step two is making the shake, which generally involves using a large amount of liquid to mix with it. This makes sense as you want it to be a liquid.
However, if you want to make a spread for your French toast, you must use less liquid. This will create a thicker consistency that allows you to spread it on anything you want.
Here's how to make a high protein spread for your French toast.
Keep in mind that this protein spread will be highly concentrated with protein, so you won't be able to apply a thick amount across the entire piece of French toast.
Everyone is in a different spot in their fitness journey and has different dietary needs. As such, we will go through some variables to consider to alter your nutrition serving.
We'll first start with weight loss. While French toast may never be at the top of the best foods list when you're following a cutting workout and diet plan, there are definitely some things you can do to keep the calories lower.
Pure maple syrup and butter can add a lot of unnecessary calories. Cutting both out will reduce the total calorie count of your French toast.
Peanut butter can also be high. Therefore, use sugar-free syrup and other low-calorie options if you use them at all.
Bread can be pretty high in calories, especially the thick type used with French toast. One way to cut down is to use low carb bread.
Kiss My Keto makes a great product with 6g of protein and only 70 calories.
The issue with nuts is the protein-to-calorie ratio is relatively low.
For example, 100g of peanuts gives you 25g at 550 calories! Using a basic protein powder, you can get the same amount of protein with only 120-130 calories.
Therefore, you can use some nuts for flavor but use protein powder to up the protein content. Searching for the perfect protein to use? Whether you're partial to hemp protein powder or pea protein powder, there is a delicious variation out there for you!
If you're in grow mode and following a bulking workout and diet plan, your anabolic french toast recipe will be much easier. In fact, you can more or less do as you please as long as you're hitting your calories.
That said, this doesn't give you the license to eat whatever you want with your protein French toast recipe. We would still advise minimizing the use of butter and pure syrup. You don't want your dietary choices to waste the efforts you're putting in on that 7-day workout split.
There are a ton of healthy recipes out there. We're sure they're all good and will get the job done. Nevertheless, we think our french toast protein recipe below is truly as anabolic as it gets.
Below is an exact recipe for high protein French toast, but you can personalize it as you see fit using all the information we went over above.
Pro tip: Pair your anabolic french toast with protein coffee for the ultimate high protein breakfast meal.
Prep time: 3-5 min
Cook time: 5-10 min
Serving Size: 2
Main Ingredients (and macros):
Optional Ingredients (and macros):
Note: We listed the macros for each ingredient in parentheses in case you decide to remove some ingredients from this list when making your french toast and you want to recalculate the total macros yourself. Moreover, you can see which ingredients are the most beneficial for a high protein french toast recipe.
The following nutritional facts for our recipe includes both the main ingredients and optional ingredients...
Calories: 914 (457)
Carbs: 109.3g (54.5g)
Fats: 22.6g (11.3g)
Protein: 70g (35g) - for reference, standard French toasts has 15g 2 slice serving.
STEP 1: Create Your Mixture
In a small bowl, use a whisk to mix your ingredients. Be sure to get rid of all clumps so the consistency can soak into the bread.
Ingredients from above to include in the mixture:
STEP 2: Preheat A Skillet Over Medium Heat
Preheat your skillet over medium heat.
If you use a cooking spray, lightly spray a coat over the skillet. Or, if you use butter or margarine, spread a light coat.
As your pan starts to heat up, move on to step 3...
STEP 3: Place Bread In The Mixture
Place a slice of bread into the mixture. Use a utensil to submerge the bread to ensure it absorbs a maximal amount of mixture.
Martha Stewert recommends soaking a piece of bread for 10 minutes...per side! We're not sure about spending 20 minutes per slice, but you want to ensure maximal absorption.
To fully absorb the mix, 30-60 seconds is likely sufficient. Just make sure the egg white mixture soaks into all the bread.
STEP 4: Pan Fry The Soaked Bread
Take a slice out and place it on the hot skillet. When you cook your French toast, you want to cook one side completely and then the next. In other words, there's no flipping back and forth.
The total cook time can take 4-8 minutes, depending on the thickness, with the time favoring the first side. For example, you may fry the first side for 3 minutes and the second side for 2 minutes.
STEP 5: Make Protein Powder Spread
While your french toast is on the pan, you can create your protein powder spread, which we went over how to do above.
Make sure not to burn your toast when doing this. The spread mix can wait. Set a timer so you don't forget to flip the slice when the time is ready.
STEP 6: Final Touches for Your High Protein French Toast
This is when you add the final touches:
Good Alternative Ingredient Options:
While the above provides an ideal anabolic recipe, here are some good alternatives to make it even more protein rich...
Below is a pic of the above recipe. Save it (and share it) for when you are ready to cook!
One common concern with creating high protein french toast is whether frying it will degrade the protein. If you're going to go through all the work to prepare protein French toast, you want to make sure you're actually getting enough protein to support your muscle hypertrophy goals.
The good news is that while heat technically can degrade your protein, it's not a huge deal.
One of the most telling studies comes from 1978, in which researchers took an assortment of frozen and fresh protein products and used various cooking methods to bring them up to 82 degrees Celsius (179 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30 minutes².
These methods included the microwave, high-pressure steam, infrared, and hot air convection oven heating. None of the foods using any of these methods created any meaningful degradation.
That said, we'd definitely not recommend you burn your food as that could destroy the protein. And obviously, that won't taste good either.
So there you have it. Stop having a protein-less breakfast or relying on shakes to hit your protein goals. Make this french toast the next time you're craving a high protein breakfast. You could even cut your bread into thin slices to turn it into French toast sticks!
And, if you're one of those "breakfast all day" types, we're not going to stop you from cooking a post-workout batch. Nothing sounds better than finishing a tough leg workout, and then sitting down to devour a plate of French toast.
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