If croutons are your thing, you must try my baked tofu croutons. They will help dress up any salad with texture, flavor and crunch. Have you paid attention to the ingredients of a “regular” bag of store-bought croutons? Don’t be surprised if you find high fructose corn syrup listed along with added preservatives and “natural flavors”. Why? To increase the taste and shelf life of your croutons because food should last 5 years on a shelf! Kidding! If that’s not enough you will also find bleached flour products, milk powders, heavy amounts of sodium and cheap oils.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not have these toxic ingredients polluting my healthy green salad. All of these ingredients, “natural flavors”, and preservatives make it very difficult for your body to digest something as simple as croutons in a salad. And, that’s before even adding the ranch or blue cheese disaster of a salad dressing that many of us add to our greens.
That’s why my baked tofu croutons are a healthier alternative. Tofu is also known as soya curd and is made from curdled soya milk with a coagulant. It is an excellent source of vegetarian protein and great for vegetarian meals. Tofu has been a staple food in Asia for more than 2,000 years and has become quite popular in the US as well.
There are many benefits of eating tofu. It is not only a high protein food but it is also a low calorie and low fat food. This makes it great for people who need to watch their fat intake. Just a 1/2 cup of firm tofu contains about 10.3 grams of protein. Yup, that’s more than 1 egg and 1 cup of milk!
Tips and suggestions: Buy organic, sprouted tofu if possible. Tofu is a processed food and you don’t want that extra pesticide residue on your food. Also, tofu can be hard on digestion so buying sprouted tofu will make it easier on your stomach.
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Start by pre-heating the oven to 375 degrees.
- Remember to press excess liquid from tofu. Do this by wrapping paper towels around tofu, and place a heavy plate on top of tofu and press until most of water is out from the tofu. Just like a sponge.
- Cut tofu in medium sized cubes.
- In a small bowl mix EVOO, chili powder, black pepper, and paprika.
- Spray cooking dish with coconut oil.
- Coat each tofu cube in marinade and place on cooking sheet.
- Next sprinkle sesame seeds on top of tofu.
- Cook at 375 for 30 minutes for lightly browned tofu and 40 minutes for crunchy tofu.
- Let cool for a few minutes and place on salad.
- Ta da! Hope you enjoy this baked tofu recipe and please share, share, share how you like it in the comments below.