It’s true. I’m not a hoarder (at least not so much of a hoarder that you have to walk through tiny pathways through my house with your arms close to your body), but I do hate throwing perfectly useful things away. Things like the heel on a loaf of bread. My kids won’t eat them. They’d rather not have bread than to eat a heel. I don’t know why. If I turn it with the heel side in, I cannot taste the difference. But, apparently, my boys can. So, they don’t eat them. Ever.
Instead of throwing them away, I stick the heels in the freezer and wait. After a month or so, I have a stack of heels and older bread that look something like this.
That’s a lot of bread! I was running low on breadcrumbs, so I decided to replenish my supply and clear out my freezer at the same time. It’s super simple, and the breadcrumbs are fresh and yummy. First, I put the bread on a cookie sheet and put it in a 275 degree oven until the bread was completely dry.
After cooking it for a bit, I ended up putting the bread on two cookie sheets, but I didn’t snap a pic of that. Sorry. I did that to speed up the process a little. If the bread is stacked, it takes FOREVER! Once the bread was ready, I actually made a few bread crumbs for my homemade meatballs (recipe to come)…
…And I stuck the rest of the toasted bread in my breadbox until the following day. Here it is.
I stuck several slices in my food processor and pulsed until the breadcrumbs were the right size.
Then, I stuck them in my old breadcrumb container and put them back in my pantry. This was a pretty new container, so I reused it, but next time, I’ll stick it in a Tupperware something and store it that way.
Now I have a huge supply of breadcrumbs and they didn’t cost me a cent (other than what I would have spent on bread anyway). I consider this a win-win. I didn’t throw away anything useful, and I didn’t have to buy something I use regularly.
Do you think you’ll try your hand at breadcrumbs?
If not, what’s another way you prevent food waste?
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