Thursday, June 13, 2013

10 Crusty Recipes

I have no clue why, but my children will NOT eat the crust of bread! I hear this from other moms as well so I am assuming that it isn't just me who throws away the crust from each sandwich I make for my little ones. I am all about stretching my money. Especially when I am feeding my family only organic and splurge a little on the organic bread at the grocery. In the beginning...when there was 1 child, it didn't seem  so wasteful. Now, with 5 kids, we use a whole loaf of bread at each meal and this leaves A LOT of left over crust. It seemed so wasteful to throw it away so I got creative and used my restaurant management brain to find some fun and exciting ways to use them!

 Simply cut the crust off BEFORE you make the sandwich and the possibilities are endless!

Here are 10 ways to use that crusty goodness!

1 Bag of Crusts!
1. Croutons - okay....not the most inventive but great garlic croutons are always a great thing to have around the house!  Dice up your crusts and toss them with melted butter and garlic salt. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

2. Panzanella - Toss your homemade croutons in some olive oil, vinegar, and veggies and you have a fantastic summer salad (I used fresh basil from my garden..YUM). To your croutons, add things like sliced onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and olives ---actually whatever you like to build your base. Add the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings and let it sit for an hour or so in the fridge before serving! It is FANTASTIC! I actually made my "dressing" in advance including the veggies then tossed everything while preparing for my daughter's party! It was a great way to pre-make an awesome side dish! And no judgement...I didn't dice my bread up as well as I should have...I was in a hurry!

3. Bread Pudding - who doesn't love a great warm bread pudding!

4. Stuffing/Dressing - call it what you want is always an awesome addition to dinner! Everyone has their favorite version so I will leave that to you!

Warm berries and greek yogurt!!
5. French Toast Bake - This is a favorite at our house! It is just like a bread pudding only a bit more bread-y! Chop your crust into small cubes. Fill a large greased baking dish with the cubes and top with a mixture of 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cup of milk, a bit of butter, and your favorite seasonings (i.e. almond, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar) then press the bread until it is all good and coated. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and toss it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. This is an extremely versatile recipe and can be made the night before and placed in the fridge over night! Add fresh fruit and a dollop of yogurt for a real treat!

Pic of the Johnsonville Bake
6. Breakfast Casserole - Everyone has a favorite version of this one! 1 calls for cut up English muffins, another french matter which variation you like, you can use your diced crusts! Basically, take the diced egg crusts and add 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cups of milk, cheese, and your favorite savory seasonings & veggies (peppers, onions, tomatoes) , and cooked meats. This is a GREAT way to use up leftovers!! Ham, sausage, bacon, and even chicken all work well in this dish! Here is a recipe from Johnsonville....I make mine with all organic items and it is still super tasty!

7. Breadcrumbs! Why buy them when you already are throwing enough bread away to keep you in crumbs for life?!? Toss your crust pieces in some butter and garlic and then bake in the oven at 150 degrees until they are extremely crunchy. Run these guys through a food processor or blender and have homemade breadcrumbs! Store in a sealed container!

Ina Garten's recipe! MMMMM!
8.Ribollita - I haven't made this personally but think it is about time! It is basically a soup were the bread acts like dumplings! This is a picture of Ina Garten's recipe found HERE. I would need to alter it a bit for myself but it gives me so many ideas of ways to use up other leftovers!

 9. Meatloaf & Meatballs - Instead of using fresh bread...use something you were going to pitch! Try dicing your crusts and using them instead. Using your homemade seasoned breadcrumbs here is also a great trick!

10.  Feed the Birds - Okay, so this isn't a recipe for food but it is a recipe for FUN! I am sure someone will argue that this is a bad idea to feed the birds...if so, sorry. It is always a great family experience to sit at the park and feed the ducks. It is FREE to do and the kids LOVE it. The ducks are already being fed so it isn't like we are ruining their natural hunting instincts...right?

So....maybe I have taken this frugal thing too far.....well, maybe not! Look at all of the amazing things I can do with the "wasted" crusts from my children's sandwiches! If you have other ideas, I would LOVE to hear them and try them!  Please share any tips, recipes, and tricks you may have for saving money using bread crusts!!


  1. My goodness I wish i was as creative/innovative as you! These are all really great ideas.

  2. Great ideas! My kids hate the crust of the bread and I LOVE french toast bakes. Never thought about combining the two!

  3. Such great ideas! I only have 1 who eats bread in my family but we do cut the crust off for her. Do you think that if I freeze the crust for a couple of weeks while I accumulate enough to make breadcrumbs as you described it would be ok?
    I found you on Bloggy Moms June blog hop. My post is for GF & Vegan Espresso Brownies (just remove the espresso if you want to share them with your kids). The link is Hope you see you over at soon. thanks!