Bread pudding takes me back to snowy Sunday nights when school was sure to be cancelled in the morning and the roads had been too bad for my mom to go to the grocery store. She would empty the freezer of end-pieces and whip up some bread pudding, which we’d enjoy with ice cream after dinner and again the next morning with hot cocoa for breakfast.
I’m not gluten- or dairy-intolerant intolerant, but I do find that my stomach and skin do better when I avoid both. Kind of a problem if you crave a rich, custardy, bread pudding! So when I saw a few slices of Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free cinnamon raisin bread languishing next to a half-empty carton of Vanilla Nutpods, I just had to start recipe testing.
While I used subbed nut milk in place of the cream that’s traditionally used, I opted for ghee as opposed to a non-dairy fat. The logical substitute would’ve been coconut oil, but a) I didn’t want my bread pudding to taste like coconut, b) I’m more sold on ghee as a healthy fat than I am on coconut oil, and c) ghee is lactose-free, so I don’t get the bloat that I do with butter. That said, if you’re avoiding dairy, coconut oil could also be a great substitute.
I also used coconut sugar instead of granulated white. While coconut sugar isn’t the panacea of healthy sweeteners that some manufacturers would have you believe, it does have a much lower glycemic index and, with its inulin, zinc, and iron, it’s a better choice nutritionally. Would monk fruit or stevia be healthier? Probably. But then the custard wouldn’t set the same way, and once again, that’s not the taste I was going for.
So if you love old-fashioned bread pudding but are craving a slightly healthier version, then make this. And have fun with it! Add cinnamon, nutmeg and apples or lemon zest and blueberries. Smother it in still-warm raspberry-chia jam. It’s really hard to screw this one up!
Gluten-Free Bread Pudding
This healthier, gluten-free version of the traditional comfort food is a quick and easy way to feed a crowd…or yourself for several mornings in a row.
- 4 c gluten-free bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (Cinnamon raisin bread works beautifully)
- 1 c vanilla nut milk (Works best with a rich nut milk, like cashew or coconut)
- 1/3 c coconut sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp grass-fed ghee, melted (Plus extra for greasing ramekins)
Preheat oven to 350 and grease four oven-proof ramekins. Place them on a baking sheet, then divide the bread evenly among them.
Whisk together the nut milk, coconut sugar, egg, and ghee until thoroughly mixed.
Pour the mixture over the bread, making sure to soak evenly.
Put the baking sheet with ramekins into the hot oven and bake for 30 minutes. Start watching closely around the 25 minute mark. You want the tips of the bread to be brown and the custard to be set, but not overcooked. It should still jiggle.