The other day I decided I would make our own croutons. Why I haven't done this earlier I have no idea. I rarely EVER purchase them because they aren't necessary to eat so they were something that could be trimmed off the grocery list.
I found a recipe and gave it a try. Better late than never, right? Making my own croutons would fall under the category of "simple changes I can make that will save money and be healthier for us" that I talked about in a recent post.
I found this recipe on cooks.com and it is YUMMY! The kids could not stop raving about the croutons and consequently kept asking for more salad since the deal was they had to eat salad with the croutons. :) My husband and I really like them because usually store bought ones are too crunchy in my opinon, but these were just right!
So, here it is. I doubled the recipe, but here it is in it's original format:
5 slices of bread (preferably whole wheat and without HFCS)
2 T butter
2 T olive oil
1 t. minced garlic
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I didn't have fresh, but used storebought...I know, I know...)
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. dried thyme
The recipe didn't say to let the bread set out at all, but I did for a day or so. After that the recipe says to remove the crusts, but I don't think it's necessary. Cut bread into cubes.
Melt butter with olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 1 minute.
Remove pan from heat; add bread cubes, stirring until well-coated with butter mixture. Cool slightly.
Combine Paremsan, oregano and thyme in heavy plastic or paper bag. Add bread cubes; toss to coat evenly with cheese mixture.
Spread bread cubes in even layer on ungreased jelly roll pan. I used my 9x13 PC baker.
Bake at 300 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp, stirring occasionally. (unless of course you are using a Pampered Chef stone baker and then you don't need to stir them). Cool, then place in a freezer bag. (although I prefer to store ours in a Mason jar). I plan to use them all this week so I didn't freeze them. It would be a good idea though to make a really large batch and then freeze them.