Waste not. Want not.

I loath the wasting of perfectly good food.  Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to safety, I don’t mind tossing what needs to be tossed.  But, with a little planning and forethought, you can reduce the tossing. 

I remember when I was growing up, when the loaf of bread was finished it was tossed and finished meant, both crusts were considered as useful as the plastic bag itself.  Imagine how many loaves of bread that would equate to over a life time.  Mind boggling.

As any of you who reads my blog knows, we don’t buy store bought loaves of bread, but we do buy hamburger and hotdog buns.  After a bbq of hotdogs and hamburgers there is always that wayward bun or two that gets left behind.  Refreezing leaves a very dry bun and often those buns get left for months if not years in the freezer.  The same goes for when we start a new loaf of bread, there’s always a crust of a couple of ‘staler’ slices left behind.

Here’s my option for avoiding all that waste.  As you notice the left over slices and buns, toss them in the refrigerator until a few accumulate.  When you have a few buns or slices or a mix of both take out a cookie sheet, follow the instructions below:

Croutons:

Slice left over bread into nice sized chunks.  Spread the chunks out on your baking sheet.  Dab each piece with olive oil using a brush.  Generously sprinkle each piece with garlic powder and dried oregano.  Turn them over and repeat the dab and sprinkle.

Put them in your oven.  Set the oven to 300 degrees F.  Set the timer for 20 minutes.  When the timer goes off, turn the chunks over.  Reset timer for 10 more minutes.  When it goes, shut the oven off.  Leave the chunks in the oven until all is nice and cool.  Put your croutons in an air tight container.  Enjoy on salads.  I have a son in law that loves these croutons so much, he can snack on them.

Bread Crumbs:

Break slices and buns into pieces.  Place on cookie sheet, place in oven.  Turn oven on to 300 F.  Set timer to 20 minutes.  When timer goes off, check to see if the pieces are fairly dry.  If not, set timer for another 10 minutes.  When it goes off, shut it all down.  Let it cool.  Put into blender on pulse mode.  You can do a coarse blend and have a panko style (panko bread crumbs are just that, coarse no crust crumbs) or do a fine blend, which I prefer for meat loaves, breading chicken, etc.  Enjoy and save those grocery dollars!!

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