I wish more restaurants would offer bread pudding on their dessert menus. I feel like bread pudding is the long lost dessert that never gets its place in the spot light. It is such a basic, yummy, classic dessert that warms you from the inside.
While most would think of the English as having the traditional bread pudding, variations of the pudding can actually be found in almost every country. Traditional bread pudding is made with bread, cream, butter, egg and sugar. Variations of the pudding depend on mix ins like raisins, honey, dried fruits and nutmeg.
Since I am a huge fan of bread pudding, (would eat it everyday if I could) I decided I wanted to take the traditional bread pudding recipe and make a healthier version. I did most of the usual ingredient swaps like maple syrup for sugar, almond milk for cream, and applesauce for butter. In regards to taste and consistency, the resulting healthier bread pudding is an excellent replica of its traditional counterpart. The only difference is that you will not feel as guilty going for a second helping of this bread pudding!
Bread Pudding – Healthy Version
3 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (vanilla preferred)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 cups of french bread (cut into 3/4-inch cubes)
In large mixing bowl combine almond milk, maple syrup, applesauce, eggs, raisins, vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk the ingredients thoroughly. Add bread cubes and toss them gently in the batter mixture. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 13 x 9 pan or baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon mixture into baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Pudding will need time to set up so it will appear underdone when you first take it out of the oven.
Allow pudding to cool (and set up) on a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store any leftover pudding covered in the refrigerator.