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Homemade Jumbo Croutons – Three Recipes!

croutons

croutons – sweet balsamic with garlic

Here’s a fun way to get kids (and adults) excited about the salad course: make homemade jumbo croutons! This easy process is something kids can do in a flash with the help of a parent (for the oven step). And with so many flavor possibilities, your kids can start crafting croutons out of their favorite flavors! I’m starting you off with three of my favorite recipes. Lemon Herb, Sweet Balsamic and Garlic Bread Jumbo Croutons. Yay salads!..

A few Homemade Crouton tips before you get started:

* Use a large mixing bowl to toss the croutons. Kids will love adding the ingredients and folding the bread until everything absorbs – and all those yummy crouton scents start wafting towards them. And in just a few minutes their “bread bits” will become croutons!

* You can make your croutons wet or dry. If you prefer a super crispy dry crouton, I advise you to use day old or next day french bread baguettes. Fresh bread will take longer to dry out in the oven. If you like a more wet, moist on the inside style crouton, use fresh bread – and cook for a shorter period of time.

* You can also adjust the intensity and weight of your crouton by adjusting the oil and acid. More oil will create a heavier, more decadent crouton.

* Spice it up! Easily spice up your croutons by adding a dash of cayenne or red pepper flakes. You can add these either before or after you bake the croutons.

* Always salt and pepper to taste!

* Toss just-baked croutons with finely chopped fresh herbs (like basil) for an extra aromatic touch!

* Add in side ingredients to flavor the croutons – and “roast” deliciously. Try roasted tomatoes, roast garlic (As below) and roasted mushrooms to start.

Salads are fun for all with jumbo croutons on top..

The Process:
for each of the recipes below, simply toss well in a large mixing bowl. Then bake for 12-20 minutes at 350 degrees – or until toasted to your desired texture. Serve over salad when they are still warm!

Sweet Balsamic Jumbo Croutons
1/2 loaf white baguette (slice into 10-14 jumbo cubes)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
dash of garlic granules (sprinkle a nice thin layer over top cubes
pinch of salt & pepper – to taste
5 cloves of garlic (roast alongside, optional)

Lemon Herb Jumbo Croutons
1/2 loaf white baguette (slice into 10-14 jumbo cubes)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp mixed herb seasoning blend (like MrsDash)
pinch of salt

Roasted Garlic Bread Jumbo Croutons
1/2 loaf white baguette (slice into 10-14 jumbo cubes)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
dash of garlic granules
pinch of salt
5-8 cloves of garlic (roast alongside)

True Garlic Bread Croutons
*use all the same ingredients as above – only sub in your fave butter instead of olive oil. I used vegan buttery spread for a delicious buttery garlic bread crouton! So fun.

One last recipe…

Gourmet Truffled Croutons
1/2 loaf white baguette, sliced into cubes
1/4 cup truffle-flavored olive oil
1 tsp chopped dried mushrooms
1 tsp garlic granules
2 tsp lemon juice

homemade croutons

homemade croutons

jumbo croutons

jumbo croutons

Try this delicious and quick Chickpea Salad for the family!

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