Once again, now is the time to use up all we can, not waste a thing, feed our hungry families, especially the kids who are all home, even the older ones can help with the cooking or pre prep. Who knows you might even find amongst them a surprise budding chef or two!! Not a bad career either, BTW! And Maybe if they help making, they will help eating up!
Today I am giving a few of the ways I use up my bread products, to keep my food waste and food budget within reason. True I have no kids now living at home, but did have 3 little ones, plus neighbor kids, for many years to feed and keep happy and healthy. So to that point, I have used all of these ideas for too many years to count. I am pretty sure most of you who cook have too, but I do have several younger cooks that have joined my blog, and maybe they might get a few new helpful ideas!!
There are many ways you can use up leftover bread, bagels, muffins, etc. Of course freezing is great too. But if your freezer is out of room try some of these ideas.
Here are some of my ways: home made croutons, (see photo) that can be used in soups and stews, used for/in a home made bread stuffing, or seasoned well as a nice kids snack as is. Your seasonings and type of oil/spray will determine what you might use them for. Try cinnamon and sugar for a sweet treat, or spices with heat that will give a spicy treat, you get the idea!! They keep in a tin or glass container for up to a week, or freeze great too, I find that in plastic they will get soft as the days go on. This will extend the life of your bread several days longer. If this happens just toss back in your oven for a few minutes while something else is baking and crisp right back up. To make, Simply cut up in like size pieces, sprinkle or spray lightly with a fav oil, spices of choice, bake at 375-400 degrees, turning several times for even crisping. Time will depend on size pieces and oven temp, and bread type.
Another way I use dried/old bread is to make bread pudding. I have made bread pudding out of every type of bread, including muffins, bagels and breads such as banana or cranberry. I do have a crock pot bread pudding recipe on here on page 8, to give you an idea, or there are plenty of recipes on the internet!!
French toast or French toast sticks for the kids is another great way, and BTW older bread makes better French toast, give banana bread or cranberry bread a try as French toast, it rocks as kids like to say.
Of course we can't count out bread crumbs, whir up a batch in your way of choice, refrigerate or freeze for longer shelf life, use in your meat loafs, meat balls, etc.
And don't forget, wildlife/farm animals love any extra dried bread you have hanging out, before tossing in the trash, consider breaking up and tossing to the birds, chickens if you have them, goats and so on.
Please be aware, soft squishy thin breads may not give the best results for these ideas, but as always I like to say, your kitchen, your choice!!