It’s easy to throw stuff away when it’s gone stale but it’s amazing how much food the average household in America throws away every year. Would you believe over 450 pounds? That’s about 14 percent of the food brought IN to the house. And doesn’t count the food that goes down the garbage disposal or into the compost pile.
I just posted a recipe for bread pudding that’s a good way to use up some slightly stale bread. But here are a few other ideas you might want to use.
First, of course, if you have room in your freezer, slice the bagels in half and just freeze them for later. Same for bread: wrap it up and freeze it. My aunt, who lived alone the last decade or so of her life, always kept a couple of different kinds of sliced bread in her freezer so she could have some variety without wasting anything.
Make creative sandwiches. Leftover bagels can be used for tuna melts, a thicker version of French toast, and other sandwiches.
Make your own bagel chips. Slice your leftover bagels as thinly as possible, butter them or brush some olive oil on them, then bake on a cookie sheet at 325 until crisp.
Make your own croutons. With bread or bagels, cut into cubes, toss with some melted butter or olive oil and herbs, and bake until crispy. Again, you can freeze these and they will thaw out quickly. You could also freeze them cubed but not yet cooked or seasoned and do that as they thaw.
Make your own bread crumbs. If you have a food processor, tear your bread or bagels into chunks and process until you have fine crumbs. Bake in a warm oven until dried out a bit. You can make them plain or seasoned. These will keep on the shelf for a while or even longer in the freezer. Use them to bread things for frying or to top a vegetable gratin of make a dessert like Apple Brown Betty.