Sneaky Ingredients and Homemade Croutons

If you browse through your cupboard and pull out things you have in there, take a look at the package.

Do you see the list of ingredients a mile long? People think that ignoring that list will make it go away, or not affect them. Not true.

Many things we use day to have have incredible ingredient lists filled with things that are harmful to us, and even not needed. Most things on long lists are there as preservatives and additives for color or shelf life.

Read your PAM can...propellant! Not good.
Ketchup, jelly, apple sauce and more....High fructose corn syrup!....Not good.

The other day, we were having salad and I realized I didn't have any croutons.
I had some sourdough bread that was about to become stale, so I made my own.
They turned out so yummy, and were so simple!!

Wholesome ingredients, and minimal use of things from boxes or cans has a lot of benefits.

I do stray and like unhealthier food too, but eating a diet more organic and "real" even most of the time will benefit your whole family. I love 100 Days of Real Food's blog because she offers so much information and recipes. They are serious "real-foodies", so don't feel pressured or overwhelmed if you visit her site.
She offers recipes, lunch ideas, kid-friendly foods and more.

Yesterday I stopped a photographed the ingredient list of croutons....scary!

With croutons, the hardest part will be finding a healthy bread. Of course the best option would be to make your own. If you can't do that, try to find a bakery that makes wholesome breads...the fewer the ingredients and processing the better. The blog I just mentioned has some great bread recipes!

To make homemade croutons:

1. Cube your bread into bite size pieces.
2. Place in a bowl

3. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the pieces,...enough to lightly cover the top layer of chunks. Don't do too much, because you don't want to make the chunks soggy and fall apart.

4. Mix the chunks together with your hands, spreading the olive oil throughout all of the chunks.
5. Add mix-ins you like ( I used garlic powder, salt, pepper).
                              also consider- ground rosemary and other herbs ,
                                   Parmesan cheese (you grated yourself is best)

6. Spread your covered bread chunks on a lined cookie sheet and put on a middle shelf at low broil for about 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them, and keep them in however long, depending on how dark you like them.
7. Set them out to cool and harden for about 10 minutes.

8. Bag up extras for use on your next salad. Homemade croutons can also make a nice gift if you package them nicely. Great for holidays with a red ribbon ;)