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10 ways to use up leftover bread and reduce waste

Sliced grainy bread loaf

Reducing food waste is good for your wallet and better for the environment. Here are 10 easy ways to use up leftover bread that might be on the stale side but still perfectly safe to eat.

1 Clever croutons

Cut old bread (try wholegrain), into cubes, spray with olive oil and sprinkle some seasoning (garlic, herbs, etc). Bake in oven until golden. Use in salads and soups.

2 Creative crumbs

Bake torn bread until dry. Process in a food processor with herbs and spices until crumbly. Use to coat schnitzel or top a pasta bake. Store in freezer for two weeks.

3 Simple side dishes

Use leftover baguettes to make garlic bread, herb bread or even bruschetta. Slice, grill until golden, brush on a mixture of olive oil and crushed garlic, and add toppings as desired.

4 Stuff it!

Make stuffing for your next turkey, chicken or shoulder of lamb by mixing together breadcrumbs with onion, garlic, table spread, eggs, parmesan cheese and herbs.

5 French toast

Leftover bread makes for perfect French toast. Serve with cinnamon, fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey.

6 Refreshing salad

Try a new spin on salad by tossing olive oil and apple cider vinegar with lettuce, rocket, onion, tomatoes, parsley, tuna and cubed sourdough bread.

7 Snacktastic

Use old pita bread to make healthy chips! Slice into triangles, brush with a bit of olive oil and bake for up to five minutes. Eat as is or with some dip.

8 Bread sauce

Jazz up a roast with this sauce: put 1 diced onion, 1 1/2 cups skim milk, 1 bay leaf and 2 cloves in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stand for 5 minutes, then strain solids from mixture. Crumb 4 slices of stale bread and add to sauce. Season with pepper.

9 Meatloaf magic

Mix 2 cups of torn old bread with 450g lean beef mince, 2/3 cup milk, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 1 finely diced onion, 1 egg and seasoning. Place into a loaf pan and bake at 180ºC for 60 minutes.

10 Bread pudding

Cut bread into triangles. Layer in a baking dish. Pour over a mixture of egg, skim milk, table spread and brown sugar. Stand for 30 minutes, add chopped fruit, and bake at 180ºC until golden.

First published: Feb 2021

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