According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans throw out between 14 and 25 percent of the groceries they purchase. This ends up costing the average family anywhere from $1365 to $2275 per year. But before you go to throw out whatever you think has gone bad, it’s time to stop and think. Is it actually spoiled? How can you salvage it? In this week’s blog, we’ll take a look at some great uses for stale bread.
Saving Money By Using Stale Bread
Whether the cheap sliced sandwich bread or a nicer crusty loaf, bread that’s gone stale can be transformed and celebrated. However, if the bread is moldy, it may not be safe. The USDA Food and Inspection service recommends discarding moldy bread. Due to its porous nature, bread mold can extend deeper than the surface and cause health problems. But if there is no mold and the bread is simply stale, proceed with any of the following options.
French toast is a tasty and comforting way to start off any weekend. Stale bread soaks up the eggy flavors even better than fresh bread, and after you’ve griddled it, try topping with your favorite fresh fruit for a healthier kick. Even better, if you have some fruit that’s just about to turn and maybe has a few brown spots, dice up and sauté with butter and brown sugar for the perfect French toast accompaniment. This works great with bananas and apples, two fruits that somehow always seem to get overripe in my house.
Stale bread is great for breadcrumbs. Place sliced bread on a sheet tray and bake at 250 until bread is completely brittle and hardened. Add to a food processor, and blend with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs for a stuffing that can’t be beat. These can be used to make meatballs, meatloaf, stuffed mushrooms, or a topping for a casserole.
A Thanksgiving favorite and one of the most forgiving sides you can make, stuffing is the perfect application for stale bread. This is another case where stale bread is better than fresh. Stuffing is extremely versatile, and can be combined with a number of ingredients like sausage or mushrooms to customize it and make it your own.
Desserts Using Stale Bread
Bread pudding is one of the most comforting and budget friendly desserts out there. Don’t feel limited by the sweet category though – a savory bread pudding makes a great side to any dinner. However, don’t confuse bread pudding with stuffing – stuffings are generally basted with the juices of the poultry or meat it’s being served with. Bread pudding is bound by rich eggy custard. For a dessert bread pudding, add chocolate chips or mini marshmallows for extra luxury. A savory bread pudding can be taken to the next level with rosemary and lemon.
With these tips, you can take the bread you might have otherwise thrown away or fed to the birds and turn it into a delicious dish, allowing you to save money and reducing your credit card debt.