Gluten free croutons.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

When I first cut gluten out of my diet five years ago, I had major cravings for the baked goods that were now off limits. I missed hot bagels, gooey chocolate chip cookies, and blueberry muffins and I even had a dream about eating a croissant once. But croutons? Croutons weren't something I missed. They were an easy thing to cut out of my diet without a second thought. 

Five years later, however, I'm starting to miss them. The bit of saltiness and crunch they add can do wonders for an otherwise texturally bland spinach salad. And from what I've recently discovered, they're so easy to make. I use Udi's gluten free whole grain bread for these, but any gluten free sandwich bread will work well. The recipe is very simple, it almost feels silly to share it, but here we go.

Croutons for Two 
3 slices gluten free sandwich bread (the end of the loaf works great!)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Dash of salt
1-2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Slice 3 pieces of gluten free sandwich bread into cubes and place on baking sheet.
2. Drizzle bread with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
3. Add one dash of salt and 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.
4. Add 1-2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese. Use your hands to toss the croutons, making sure each piece of bread is coated with oil and spices. Bake for 7-8 minutes in preheated oven, stirring them around once to help them brown on all sides. 
I like to make these fresh as they only take a few minutes while I'm getting the rest of the salad together, but they can also be stored in an airtight container in the pantry for a week or so.

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