Want a fun, fast appetizer guaranteed to be a hit with everyone at the party? Make bruschetta! There are variations on “party in your mouth” bruschetta galore but I’m particularly fond of my Healthy Roasted Easy Artichoke Bruschetta recipe. My Clean Cuisine version of this party favorite is low on oil but rich in flavor thanks to the pine nut “crumbs”.
Bruschetta can be served on anything from crackers to toasted pita pockets to bagel slices but I prefer to serve all bruschetta on top of crostini. My girlfriend Claudia calls my crostini “cuties.” And yes, they are quite cute… and super healthy too!
How to Make Healthy Crostini “Cuties”
Crostini is a fancy word for little toasts. And of course little toasts are made from bread. Forgive me if I have bored you with my sprouted whole grain bread spiel before but really, if you want to choose the absolute healthiest bread on earth you want to go for flourless sprouted whole grain bread.
Sprouting releases all the vital nutrients stored within the whole grain and therefore significantly enhances the nutritional profile of any whole grain. Also, keep in mind even “healthy” whole wheat flour is going to have a significantly expanded starchy surface area and can therefore increase blood sugar levels much more so than eating whole grains that have not been processed into flour. This means eating flourless sprouted whole grain bread will be digested slower than regular bread made with flour and also be better for keeping “fat storing” insulin down and blood sugar levels more stable. Sprouted flourless bread is simply the most nutrient-dense and most slimming bread to eat.
Where can you find sprouted whole grain bread? You want to look for sprouted whole grain bread in the frozen section of your natural foods store, Whole Foods Market or grocery store.
Although Nature’s Path Manna Bread is my favorite sprouted bread for snacking on, when making crostini, I prefer organic Food for Life “7 Sprouted Grains Bread” because they can easily be cut into little neat and tidy little toasts. The ingredients are as pure and natural as can be (see below). I also like the fact this bread includes a variety of grains and not just wheat. Although I say this all the time, it’s worth repeating…the most important thing to look at when buying any packaged food is the ingredients (not the Nutrition Facts!) Check out the super healthy ingredients in Food for Life bread:
Ingredients in Food for Life “7 Sprouted Grains Bread”: Organic Sprouted Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Rye, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Oats, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Sprouted Corn, Organic Sprouted Brown Rice, Fresh Yeast, Organic Wheat Gluten, Unrefined Sea Salt.
Guilt-Free Roasted Artichoke Bruschetta on Crostini “Cuties” for “Girls Night In”
I last made my Roasted Artichoke Bruschetta piled on top of Crostini “Cuties” a few months ago when we had “Girls Night In” at my house and the ladies gave the appetizer a 5-star rating. I had promised to get the recipe up long before now, sorry girls! Saying and doing are two things and everyone knows I can’t do two things at once. But here you go ladies, better late than never….
Thank you to a few of my official Clean Cuisine “Taste Testers” Cherie, Claudia, Courtney & Susan!! XOXO
Easy Roasted Artichoke Bruschetta
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1 package (9-ounces) frozen artichoke hearts (such as Bird’s Eye)
- 2 teaspoons cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- Unrefined sea salt, to taste
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the tomatoes and frozen artichokes on a large lightly oiled baking sheet or in a large cast iron skillet. Drizzle oil on top, season with salt to taste and toss to coat. Roast the tomatoes and frozen artichokes for 35 minutes. Remove roasted tomatoes and artichokes from oven and set aside to cool.
- In a food processor, add the pine nuts, garlic and basil; pulse several times until ingredients are well blended and pine nuts are “crumb-like.” Add the roasted artichokes and process again until well blended. Set mixture aside.
- Add the roasted tomatoes to a large mixing bowl. Use clean hands to smash the tomatoes. Add the artichoke mixture and mix well. Season with salt to taste. Serve dollops of artichoke bruschetta on top of crostini (recipe below.)
- 6 slices sprouted whole grain bread (such as Food for Life “7 Sprouted Grains Bread”)
- Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- Unrefined sea salt, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Using kitchen shears, trim the crust off each piece of bread. Cut the bread diagonally, forming triangles. Use a small basting brush and lightly brush the tops of each piece of bread with extra virgin olive oil. Season bread with salt.
- Place bread slices in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until brown and crispy. Remove from oven and top with artichoke bruschetta (recipe above.)