Croutons were pretty much a staple product in my house. It was the way we ensured we got our ranch dressing, I mean vegetable, servings in for the day. Iceberg lettuce, croutons, ranch, more ranch, and some cheese, if it was a treat day.
In all seriousness, eating healthy wasn’t a thing in our house. We ate for either price, or taste, and over time, the two became one. But never for health. When I decided to start eating clean, I gave up lots of my old friends, like croutons, for example. My parents, not so much.
Since I hosted Christmas brunch at our house this year, I was torn between serving things that I knew were good for my family and serving things that they are familiar with and enjoy. Why couldn’t those two things work together?
With a little experimenting, they did! I took an old favorite and made it full of flavor, nutrients, and it looks a look prettier than emptying a bag of iceberg lettuce into a bowl too! Plus, it’s free from chemicals and preservatives.
You can use these croutons with any salad, but I choose to add them to baby spinach, diced tomatoes and red peppers, feta cheese, and olive oil & balsamic vinegar. I will warn you to watch these closely the longer they cook. There’s a very fine line between crisp, browned croutons and rock-hard, black bread.
The best part about this? I used the end pieces from the loaf of bread that normally get thrown away – so it’s the perfect way to ensure zero wasted food!