Homemade Croutons and BreadcrumbsNov 13 2011 by
“I like the things I like, I’m very sure of that. I needn’t ever change because I’m happy where I’m at.” This is a line from one of my kids favorite books – Picky Mrs. Pickle. Mrs. Pickle likes what she likes and doesn’t bother to try new things until her niece makes her an offer she can’t refuse. When Mrs. Pickles finally tries new things she realized that her favorite things aren’t her favorite anymore and the more she tries things the more new things she likes.
More often than I like, I sometimes tend to act like Mrs. Pickles. Before changing to a healthy eating lifestyle I wouldn’t touch wheat bread with a ten foot pole. Don’t even suggest 5, 7 or 9 grain. How about zero grain?! Sweet potatoes – no thanks. I liked what I liked and I didn’t want to try new things. Then I realized how unhealthy my eating habits were and I needed to venture out and try new things. Now the only bread I eat is whole grain – the more grains the merrier and sweet potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables.
When my family switched to a strict plant-based diet one of the things I came across in my research was that the vitamin B-12 was primarily found in animal products and fortified breakfast cereals and we would need to either take a supplement or use nutritional yeast. I believe my first thought when I read that was *cue my Mrs. Pickles moment* “YUCK! Who wants to eat nutritional yeast?”. I didn’t even know what nutritional yeast was but it sounded gross.
Turns out nutritional yeast is freaking yummy! Well, not by itself so much but when mixed into other things. It has great cheesy flavor and is popular in vegan faux cheese dishes. I’ve always liked croutons and I can honestly say these are now my most favorite crouton EVER. My family and I sprinkle these on almost every meal we eat. And because breadcrumbs are pretty much just crushed croutons these are great to use on salads, pastas, mixed into burgers and ‘meat’ loafs.
Nutritional yeast can usually be found in most natural food stores over by the protein powders. You can also order it online if you have trouble finding it in stores.
Please don’t have a Mrs. Pickles moment. Give this fabulous crouton/breadcrumb recipe a try and maybe you’ll find you have a new favorite too!
- 10 pieces of bread (I used a whole wheat bread from a local bakery but any type of whole grain or gluten free bread will work.)
- 10 heaping tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp garlic salt (if you prefer a less salty crouton use garlic powder instead)
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1/4 cup olive oil or Garlic Gold Oil
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with non stick foil (optional step) and place your slices of bread in a single layer on the sheet.
- Drizzle olive oil over the pieces and place in the oven for about 10 minutes (flipping halfway through) or until the bread is crisp ALL the way through.
- Remove from oven and let the bread cool completely.
- Once the bread is cool, place in a large plastic bag and using a rolling pin or meat tenderizer crush the pieces of bread until you have your desired crouton consistency. (I like mine to be a fine consistency – more like parmesan cheese but if you like larger pieces don’t crush the pieces of bread as much.)
- Pour the crushed pieces of bread into a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. (Please note that if you have larger pieces you’ll want to cut down on the amount of nutritional yeast)
- Stir well and use on salads, pastas or in any of your favorite recipes.
Makes 4-5 cups finely crushed breadcrumbs/croutons.
Serving size 2 tbsp.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 37.5, Cal. from Fat: 16.5, Total Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 3.5g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: .5g, Protein: 2g, Sodium: 391.5mg, Chol: 0mg
Leftover croutons/breadcrumbs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.