French toast is a dish many of us associate with childhood, maybe staying over at our grandparents’ and being greeted with the smell of French toast in the morning. People who adopt a plant-based diet have to face the fear that they will miss out on these moments shared with friends and family. Suddenly, it appears that those times when we receive joy and comfort from a particular meal are closed to us. Will we ever again be able to eat our favorite foods with our loved ones?

A lot of our conditioning about food is unconscious, until we change our diet. This is when we see the full power and social implications that food has. We need to be aware of the emotional impact our food choices have on us and on those around us. Once we're aware of the power of food, we can use our plant-based diet to inspire and advocate compassionate lifestyle choices while sharing delicious food with others.

Fortunately, we are living in a world where most barriers vegans face in social settings have been tackled. There are many quality resources available, both from professional chefs and from enthusiastic amateurs, outlining various vegan recipes and ways to veganize your favorite foods. So don't worry that you'll have to live a life of deprivation when you go vegan. Your favorite foods will be available to you, including that eggy classic, French toast.

People usually eat French toast for breakfast or brunch. In the United States, it is usually a sweet dish, though you can also make a savory version. Vegan French toast does not use an egg dip. As a simple substitute for egg, you can use a non-dairy milk like vanilla almond milk with a little flour mixed in. Or whip up a dip for your bread in the blender using soy milk and a ripe banana.

To pack the maximum nutrition into your meal, use fresh wholesome ingredients. Whole wheat bread is a good base, dipped in a non-dairy milk and fried with a small amount of coconut oil in a non-stick skillet. If you like sweet French toast, top it with fresh fruit, real maple syrup, or a homemade fruit compote. If you prefer a savory option, top it with stir-fried tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach.

You will soon discover when you eat this way that you have a whole new set of favorite foods to choose from. You will no longer worry about feeling deprived. The food is so good, people won't notice it is vegan unless you draw it to their attention. Vegan French toast tastes just like it was made with eggs. Serving a batch of this delicious treat for guests gives you an opportunity to break down some preconceived ideas that vegan foods are tasteless or unsatisfying. You might even inspire a few people to adopt a cruelty-free lifestyle. It is one of my go-to meals when I have friends and family visiting, and I've never had anyone notice there's no egg. They just clean their plates and ask for more!

Showing people that vegan food is delicious is a huge step toward encouraging others to adopt a healthy and compassionate lifestyle. In addition to the health benefits to our bodies, we experience a type of healing when we go vegan. We begin to open our hearts and broaden our circle of compassion to include all creatures, not just people and pets. Just the simple act of eating vegan French toast is an opportunity to make the world a better place.