On my journey to less waste, I’ve found that food waste can be a difficult one to fix. Food waste is a real global issue that takes minimal effort to influence. Roughly a third of the food produced in the world for human consumption, approximately 1.3 billion tons, is wasted! And we have starving people on this planet. Let that sink in. If you’re not already, at least compost your scraps and spoiled food, instead of tossing it in the trash. Let it serve a purpose in the soil rather than stink up your garbage bin. Similarly, it’s silly to toss food like bread in the trash just because it’s gone stale when it could be put to a better use. And what better use is there than yummy, crunchy croutons?!
We had a birthday party recently for my baby, he is now a year old –which I can’t wrap my head around, and we cut up too many baguettes for party finger foods. If you’ve ever purchased a fresh baguette from the store, you’ll know that you don’t have long to eat it before it becomes tough to chew. There is this in-between time then, after freshness and before the mold starts to grow, where the bread is still edible but is too stale to eat. Instead of tossing it, I decided to make croutons with the leftover baguette pieces and it turned out beautifully.
This is also a thrifty way to have croutons on hand, all you need is your time and a couple ingredients. This baguette was less than $1.50 and I was able to use only ingredients I chose to use, no added fillers or preservatives. I can also make them any flavor I choose to based on the spices I have on hand! If you’re on a special diet and you’re avoiding gluten, dairy, soy, etc., this is also a great alternative because once you find a bread you can eat (or have made yourself) then you can use that bread for croutons.
Stale/Leftover Baguette cut/torn into cubes
Trader Joe’s Everything Seasoning
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut up or tear the bread into cubes.
- Put cubes into a bowl and coat with olive oil. Sprinkle garlic salt, pepper, and Everything Seasoning onto bread and stir, coating every piece well.
- Lay bread cubes out in a single layer on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
- Turn the oven on to “broil” and broil cubes for one minute. WATCH the oven and do not walk away! It is easy to burn them at this stage. Immediately remove them from the oven and place into a glass container for cooling/storage. Ready to eat within a few minutes!
- Store in air tight container.