Every household will occasionally find themselves taking a dry loaf of Sunbeam bread from the pantry with a, “Darn, I forgot this was in there!” If you find some stale Sunbeam rolls hiding in the back of the breadbox, don’t dismay. You can easily find a use for stale bread and be more sustainable by not wasting food with just a little thought and creativity!
Here are ten nifty ways to use stale bread:
Feed your plants: Dry stale bread in the oven, and then grind in the blender, creating fine breadcrumbs. Simply mix with your potting soil or rake into your garden. The crumbs will add nutrients and moisture to your happy plants. And worms love it!
Homemade bird food: Stale bread can be a lifeline for birds in the winter as long as it's part of a varied diet. All types of bread can be digested by birds. Although bread isn't harmful to birds, try not to offer it in large quantities, since its nutritional value is relatively low. If you enjoy feeding your wild feathered friends, make sure to provide bird seed and dry worms in your feeders, too.
Keep greens fresh: A stale piece of bread placed at the bottom of your veggie drawer in the fridge will help to help absorb moisture and keep your greens fresh. The stale bread pulls in any moisture from your refrigerator, keeping your greens seriously crisp. Remove the bread after a day or two.
Jazz up meat loaf: Breadcrumbs added to meat loaf makes it more tender by keeping the protein separated. Place cubes of day-old bread into a food processor and pulse until the bread has formed a sand-like consistency. Then combine with your ground beef for added texture, moisture and flavor!
Got pets: Make homemade dog treats by blending stale bread into crumbs, and then mix 1/2 cup with 2 cups whole wheat flour, 2/3 cup water, and 6 tablespoons oil. Mix and roll, cutting with a cookie cutter, and place on a lined baking tray. Place into a 180°C oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Man’s best friend, indeed!
Delicious ice cream topper: This might not sound like an obvious recipe to use old bread, but trust us, it makes for an amazing addition to ice cream. Just add some brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder or coconut flakes to dried breadcrumbs, and sprinkle over your next sundae!
Brown Betty: Butter a baking dish and arrange alternate layers of chopped apples and stale breadcrumbs — start and end with a breadcrumb layer. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on each layer of apples. Bake until golden and serve with cream!
Cheese and jelly French toast: Spread one side of the stale bread with a light layer of cream cheese, and the other side with a tart jelly (like cherry or marmalade) before dipping it in egg batter and cooking. Who says stale bread isn’t delicious!
Refresh it: Crusty bread, rolls and buns which have become a little stale can be freshened by wrapping in foil and placing in a pre-heated oven at 250°C for 5-10 minutes. The bread should be left in the foil to cool down and eaten soon afterwards. When crusty bread has lost its crispness, it can be placed uncovered in a hot oven for 5 minutes.
Freeze it: Pop stale bread in the freezer for use later wrapped in plastic or foil. It can stay in the freezer for up to three months, making it perfect for use in a recipe later.