Crunchy is my middle name.
Well, not really, but not only do I consider myself somewhat crunchy in terms of the way I view food, parenting, living, etc but I also really, really love crunchy foods.
Hence my love for potato chips. I literally have no will when it comes to having potato chips in the house. It’s like I’m constantly thinking about them and when I finally give in, I almost finish the whole bag. Or I finish the whole bag… just depends on how much I want to leave for next time.
One morning Scott and I were working on the chicken coop and he brought out a bag of potato chips; it was about halfway full. He went back inside to get something and by the time he came back, there was literally like 7 crumb worthy chips. He gave me the look but it didn’t phase me. I love me some potato chips.
The other crunchy food I really love is croutons. Oh lawd, do I love croutons. I could (and did) eat a whole bag of store-bought croutons in one sitting. More than I’d like to admit. In my eyes, croutons MAKE a salad. Well, only if you are the kind of person that loves the whole process of crunchy foods; from the sound it makes, to the way it feels in your mouth. Ahem.
There is nothing like crunching down on crisp romaine lettuce slathered with homemade caeser dressing, cheese and loads of perfectly seasoned croutons. You already know my love of caeser salad and of course, the love of croutons follow closely behind.
However just like store-bought caeser dressing contains loads of yucky ingredients like industrialized oils, preservatives, MSG, GMOs (etc), croutons are unfortunately the same. Really, it’s insane when you think about it. What’s so hard about throwing a few herbs and spices together and slathering it on bread? Why do companies have to add loads of junk to it?
I have good news for us crunchy folk.
Homemade croutons are super easy to make. When you see what it takes to make not just croutons, but italian seasoned croutons… Ppppsshh. If you come knocking at my door with a huge hug and some cupcakes in the next day or so, well, I’ll know why.
I chose to make homemade gluten-free italian seasoned croutons because Andrew can’t have most types of gluten right now and I wanted to make it family friendly. That being said, if you don’t have gluten-free bread, no worries — the process is the same.
Made with unfiltered, unrefined olive oil, various herbs and spices and baked for about an hour, these gluten-free italian seasoned croutons are perfectly seasoned and perfectly crunchy. Like, when you are cutting them into crouton-friendly squares after they’ve baked and you hear that “CRUNCH,” well, your crunchy heart will burst and your tummy will growl.
I won’t tell on you if you find your way into the cupboard sneaking a few of these because you just need something crunchy to crunch on. I get it.
- 6 slices gluten-free bread**, crusts removed
- 5 tablespoons unrefined, unfiltered olive oil (where to buy)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ tsp minced onion
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp parsley
- ⅛ tsp unrefined sea salt (where to buy)
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- OR, you can substitute the spices for 1¼ tsp Naturally Free Italian Seasoning blend plus ⅛ tsp unrefined sea salt (get it Italian Seasoning blend here)
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees
- Mix olive oil, garlic, herbs and spices in a little bowl
- Brush both sides of the crustless bread with olive oil mixture; repeat until all pieces have seasoning on them
- Bake at 250 degrees for an hour; flipping pieces one time halfway through cooking time
- When complete, allow to cool a little and then cut into desired pieces with knife
- Store in an airtight container and try not to eat them all in one sitting