Punch Up Your Salad With Homemade Croutons

Homemade Croutons

May 8, 2013   16 Comments

Is your salad getting you down? Mine tends to be always the same.

I try to find fun stuff to mix it up, like cherry tomatoes or cucumber slices, but I tend to make the same thing almost every day.

Croutons, also know as toasted bread squares, are a nice crunchy addition. I usually buy my croutons. A friend of mine recently pointed out that I could make them.

Make them? What do I look like Martha Stewart? Actually, she told me that it wasn’t that hard and I found myself finding the time because my kids LOVE croutons. Packaged croutons tend to have a lot of sodium and some strange additives that I would rather avoid, so I gave it a try.

This is my product:

Yes, these babies were simple to make and my salad was improved. These are also good in soup instead of crackers. My kids kept eating them when I wasn’t looking.

Look for 100% whole wheat bread with a short ingredient list for a healthier crouton. Whatever bread you have will work (gluten free, stale, etc.) for croutons and you don't have to make 6 slices.

For one slice, brush a little olive oil on and sprinkle some salt and toast in the toaster oven. Just don't forget the salad part :)

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Homemade Croutons Recipe

Makes 4 cups

6 slices 100% whole wheat bread, crusts trimmed and cubed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried herbs (sage, oregano, basil, etc.)

Heat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl mix olive oil, salt, and herbs until salt is dissolved. Toss in the bread and coat with dressing. Lay bread on a rimmed baking sheet in one layer. Bake for 15 minutes, toss, and bake for another 15 minutes.

Croutons are ready when crispy. Store in tightly sealed container for up to one week.

For ¼ cup = 60 calories, 3.2 g fat, 0.6 g saturated fat, 7.5 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g sugar, 1.9 g protein, 1.5 g fiber, 187 mg sodium, 2 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only.
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That sounds easy, especially for one slice in the toaster oven. Now to find some bread without sugar and lots of strange additives that I would rather avoid! :-D

on May 8, 2013

I do the same thing with Super Firm cubed Tofu. Same process. It gets crunchy on the outside, a little squishy on the inside. Adds protein to the salad, too.

on May 8, 2013

Never thought of using tofu. So easy to make own even if I'm not a big fan of croutons, family likes them.

on May 8, 2013

Do you have a Favorite Whole Wheat Bread without a bunch of additives?

on May 8, 2013

LIsa, you need to try anchovies as well

on May 8, 2013

I've recently been thinking of looking up a recipe to make my own croutons. Turns out all I had to do was wait and one would be delivered right to my email. Thanks, Snack Girl! You must've read my mind.

on May 8, 2013

This recipe was fantastic and so easy to make. Varying the recipe would be so easy too. Thanks for the idea. More salads on the way!!!

on May 8, 2013

Ezekiel Bread has no preservatives

on May 8, 2013

You might consider trying a bread machine. There are some great whole wheat, whole grain and gluten free, etc., recipes available. It's so easy to use and every ingredient added is known to you.

on May 8, 2013

homemade croutons are great, in pea soup too! I use Alvarado St. sprouted wheat bread. I also like to zip up traditional lettuce-tom-cuke salads with cold blanched broccoli, chopped roasted red pepper, and lightly marinated chickpeas. Once weekly I rinse and dump 1can organic chickpeas in a pt sized Ball-jar, add oil,vinegar,s/p, oregano and shake. Next to a container of broccoli, it looks so inviting to salad-making. Toss in some kalamata olives-what color and taste! I find no add'l dressing is needed with the chickpeas this way. Last week I threw in some organic frozen green peas too. I tend to add sardines 1x week [for omega 3].

on May 8, 2013

For those who are looking for good bread without additives, EarthGrains makes great bread - though it can be hard to find. In my area, WalMart claims to carry it, but they're often out. Alverado St. Bakery bread is AWESOME (but pricey) and they have a hemp bread that is only 100 calories for two slices, but it doesn't taste like diet bread or anything.

on May 8, 2013

So funny you did a post on croutons. I just made some last week & am getting ready to make some more tonight. I've always loved snacking on croutons...they are a guilty pleasure of mine. Sadly my boyfriend & daughter feel the same so croutons do not have a long life at our house. I like to make mine with sourdough bread. But its got to be good sourdough. Target's bakery makes a decent sourdough. I've used all kinds of herbs (rosemary is divine) & spices. I also like to sprinkle on some parmesan or fontina cheese for the last few minutes. When I'm throwing caution to the wind I also like to use a packet of ranch dressing powder....so very yummy. Now store bought croutons taste strange to me. It really is so simple & inexpensive to make your own. And definitely worth it.

on May 8, 2013

All your trying to do is dry the bread right? I cook mine in the microwave with EVOO, garlic powder and pepper. About 1-1/2 minutes then let it cool to see if its dry enough for you.

on May 8, 2013

I always have leftover bread slices in freezer. Take one out , spray both sides with olive oil , sprinkle on seasoning of your choice, cut in slices with scissors, then cubes and put in dish in microwave. Heat one minute at a time and stir after each minute. They one out crunchy and delicious. and so easy.

on May 8, 2013

yummy... who says healthy food has to taste and look bad... this looks like it would taste great with some virgin olive oil

on May 9, 2013

Quick and easy plus healthier, is always a good combination. These look delicious. Also I loved your salad dressing recipe, it was very good!

on May 10, 2013

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