Sometimes my ideas in the kitchen develop out of the sheer need to use something up. Considering I live alone, there's only so much I can eat of what I make, and only so much I can pawn off on other people. After making the rye soda bread I wrote about 2 posts ago, I found myself with 1/3 of a loaf of bread that was about to go bad and no immediate ideas on what to do with it.
As I stood in my kitchen last Sunday morning, several thoughts danced through my head. I considered doing a simple french toast, but I had already done a banana bread french toast and thought it might be a tad too soon for another one. I also considered simply putting it through my food processor and creating a stock pile of whole grain bread crumbs that could be frozen until needed. But, bread crumbs are boring and wouldn't leave me with immediate results. It was when I remembered I had some leftover coconut milk that the lightbulb went off and I decided to make bread pudding.
Until now, I had never actually made bread pudding because I kind of thought it was a bit boring and not really anything remotely healthy. But, as with most things I make, I swapped in some healthier ingredients without sacrificing any flavor. I used a combination of coconut milk and almond milk in my custard base, but feel free to use any type of milk you want. I also used less than 1/4 cup of honey to sweeten it because the coconut milk and cinnamon add a bit of sweetness on their own. Also, you can use any type of bread you want, just make sure it is stale. Oh, and you could totally eat this for breakfast... I did...
Spiced Cranberry + Pistachio Bread Pudding
if you don't have stale bread and don't have time to let bread sit out overnight and get stale, you can toast your bread in the oven at a low temperature until it dries out
4 to 4 1/2 cups stale bread cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup almond milk
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw pistachios
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the milks, eggs, honey, cinnamon, and ginger. Add the bread cubes to the milk mixture and toss to coat the bread. Next, add the pistachios and cranberries and toss until everything is combined and coated in the milk mixture. Let everything sit for about 10 minutes prior to baking so the bread can absorb the liquid. After 10 minutes, pour the mixture into your baking dish and garnish with a sprinkling of more cranberries and pistachios (optional). Bake for 45 to 50 minutes on the lower rack until the custard sets. Serve warm. Enjoy!
serves 8 to 10