Serves: Makes 8 servings
- 4 tablespoons butter flavored shortening, melted ( you can also use whole grass fed butter, or another non-dairy butter flavored spread)
- ¾ cup firmly packed coconut sugar or maple sugar
- 1 ½ to 2 packages Snackin’ Free Bread of choice, cubed (or preferred paleo/gluten-free bread)
- 8 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup non-dairy milk of choice ( nut, seed, or other)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract ( almond or other extracts can also be used)
- ¾ cup orange juice (fresh preferably)
- Zest of 1 orange
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of pink himalayan salt
- ½ cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, or other) (optional)
- ½ cup dried fruit (currants, raisins, cranberries, blueberries) (optional)
- In a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking dish, combine the melted shortening and coconut sugar until smooth and sugar is dissolved.
- Mix together bread cubes and dried fruit if using and place in the dish. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together with other ingredients (eggs, milk, vanilla, orange juice, orange zest, nutmeg, and salt).
- Pour egg mixture over the bread slices, allowing bread to absorb the mixture, this step may take a while so cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight (the longer the better).
- Remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature about 30 minutes before placing in the oven.
- Top with nuts of your choice if using and place in a preheated 350°F on a center rack.
- Bake approximately 30 to 45 minutes until browned and set.
- Remove, cool slightly, and serve with your favorite syrup, maple sweetener of choice, or fresh fruit topping.