Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Waste Not: stale grains

This post is also part of Frugal Fridays at Biblical Womanhood!

Wasting food is a huge money drain. Most of us do it unintentionally once in awhile. In our quest to continue to lower our food bills while striving to improve our diet in quality, nutrition and taste, wasting food is not an option. Since the bulk of our breads, rolls and muffins are homemade, they get stale quickly. If I don't plan as well as I should I end up with dry cornbread, stale whole wheat bread slices, or crumbly muffins. Here are some ways I have found success in re-purposing these otherwise unusable grains into something with a new life!

Waffles: this morning I added the last piece of stale coffeecake, crumbled up into our whole grain waffles. I couldn't tell the difference, but it stretched the batter further!

Casseroles, Meatloaf, Meatballs etc.: for the casseroles you can use crumbled bread, cornbread etc. for a topping or stir it in with the other ingredients. Meatloaf and meatball recipes typically call for some sort of bread, so this is a simple substitution.

Muffins: Same as for waffles, just watch to make sure you lose a little of the flour called for so the muffins stay moist.

Soups/Stews: adding chunks of bread or cornbread stretches these inexpensive meals even further! Last night we added some chips that weren't super fresh to our chili, but bread would've been good as well.

How do you re-use stale grains?


Rose said...

I've only done it a couple times, but there is a great Applesauce Bread Pudding recipe in "More with Less"that uses stale bread. (i could send it if you are interested). In fact, I think that's why the recipe was invented, stale bread! You can even freeze the pieces until you have enough.

Making bread crumbs.

French toast!

CC said...

You're brilliant as usual. Suggestions for what to do with my left over oatmeal??

Rachael said...

Thanks for the idea Rose! I had forgotten about that recipe:)

CC-leftover oatmeal can be used in muffins...I'll let you know if I remember the link, but I think I've done a google search before and come up with ways to use up leftover cooked cereal in muffins before and they turned out well:)

Sherry said...

Croutons, apple betty, bird food. I also like to freeze our bread and muffins that way we only take out what we will eat. :D

Jennifer said...

I keep a tupperware in the freezer with all sorts of odds and ends of grain products. I use it as a catch-all for breadcrumbs, which get used in meatloaf and burgers (stretches the meat for sure), as casserole topping, as a coat for baking/frying. I add in the crumbs from the bottom of the cereal bags as well. Pretty much anything remotely resembling a breadcrumb!

Leftover bread ends and crusts (from the 1 year old's sandwiches) get stored and then pulverized in the Cuisinart when I have it out next then added to the mix.