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Blog | neighbourly

10 ways to use up bread

bread

Whether we’re grabbing a sandwich in our lunch hour or having a cheeky slice of buttered toast after a night out, us Brits love bread. It seems strange then that bread is the most wasted food here in the UK. Nearly half of us eat bread every day, yet we throw away 24 million slices of bread every day. Worse yet, one in five of us have thrown a loaf away without even opening it.

But, as the old saying goes, it doesn’t have to be this way. With these few basic tips you can give your loaf the longest life possible, get creative and also have some fun with it.

1.   Freeze it

If you have a decent sized freezer, you can have your bread and eat it – simply take a slice out and pop it in the toaster whenever you fancy it. Waste avoided. If you have a look in your supermarket’s reduced section, it’s quite possible to spend mere pence on a loaf to save some cash. If it’s an un-sliced loaf, slice before freezing.

On a side note, putting it in the fridge actually makes it go off quicker.

2.   Bread and butter pudding

Mop up those sad slices of old bread by whipping up a bread and butter pudding. There are various takes on it, but this easy recipe says you can prep it in five minutes. Throw in your bread with some fridge and cupboard essentials and voila – perfect comfort food.

3.   Breadcrumbs

If your kids leave their crusts, or you don't like those end bits, here’s a perfect ways to use them up. Pop them in a food processor to transform them into a versatile ingredient. Impressive on mac’n’cheese, breadcrumbs are also handy as a binding ingredient to make your own burgers. Thicken a soup into a filling meal or throw them into an easy meatloaf. If ever there was an excuse to get creative in the kitchen, this is one.

4.   French Toast

Does a better way exist to cheer everyone up on a lazy Sunday morning than French toast? Grab your bread, egg, milk and the vanilla extract and cinnamon from the back of the cupboard, dip then fry. Tres bon.

5.   Croutons

Cheer up any salad or pasta dish (and impress your friends) with homemade croutons. Chop, oil and fry cubes of bread or pop them in the oven for a few minutes and they’ll be good for a few days. Why not make them chunkier for a Bruschetta style base? Top with mozzarella, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil for a great appetiser.

6.   Ale

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can transform that extra bread into tasty ale. The brilliant Toast Ale have kindly open-sourced their recipe to encourage bread waste-busting home brewers.

7.   Toast 2.0

Now’s your chance to take things to the next level: if you’ve never really got on the avocado toast bandwagon, this is the time to dip your toe. What about peanut butter and banana for an energy-boosting snack? Or peanut butter and Nutella for a delicious, Reese’s Cups-inspired dessert. Then there's always poached egg and spinach. Or simply channel your inner Paddington bear and let loose with the marmalade. The possibilities are endless.

8.   Stuffing

Give stale bread a seat at the holiday table by teaming it with an onion and plenty of seasoning to make a delicious stuffing. Good inside or outside a turkey.

9.   Cheese fondue

Be like the Swiss and get on the phone to your cheese loving friends pronto. Tear or cut your bread into chunks and this 15-minute no-fuss recipe will get you a bubbling pot of cheese fondue in no time.

10. Bread sauce

Bread that is a bit dried out or stale also makes the best Sunday dinner sauce. You don't have to wait for Christmas - double cream, a bay leaf and a bit of onion elevate a simple bread sauce to something great for any roast poultry dinner. Try this easy french bread sauce if you have a french stick that is past its best.

 

About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can donate time, money or surplus food. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.

Charities: get your project started here

Businesses: email us about memberships on hello@neighbourly.com

Supporters & volunteers: sign up to be part of the Neighbourly network here - or simply find a project you care about and share it to help spread the word!

Jane

Content Manager

Mar 30, 2017

#FeedingGood recipes: Potato Lasagna

potato_lasagne

Ah, lasagna – the hearty staple that we love. This Italian dish is extremely versatile and you’ll probably find that everyone you know has a different take on it (all equally delicious!) The great news is that it naturally incorporates some of the ingredients we waste the most, and can easily be adapted to chuck in a few more.

 

According to River Cottage, milk and cheese are two of the top five most wasted foods, with us Brits pouring 5.9 million glasses of milk down the drain each year, along with more than three million slices of cheese a day! These two ingredients happen to be perfect for a tasty cheese sauce.

 

Why not trade an extra trip to the supermarket to pick up fresh pasta sheets for the potatoes you have already? We chuck 5.8 million spuds each year – they feature in the top five, and I bet you have some lurking in your fridge. The great thing about veggie lasagnas is that you can please your meat-free friends while chucking in whatever lonely veg you’ve got lying around. Feel free to substitute to suit.

 

We also throw away an eye-watering one billion tomatoes every year. Why not make a fresh sauce rather than reaching for the can? Perfect if you grow them, or are overrun with them!

 

Altogether, it’s a perfect waste-busting dish. This recipe uses basic ingredients that you’re more likely to have around than having to buy in specially.

 

Ingredients

2 aubergines, cut into chunks

1 large courgette, cut into chunks

1 yellow or red pepper, cut into chunks

1 tbsp olive oil

1.4kg of potatoes, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper

        

Tomato Sauce:

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp dried basil

1 dried bay leaf

1.8kg red tomatoes, chopped

 

Cheese sauce: 

300ml semi skimmed milk

25g plain flour

15g unsalted butter

75g cheese, grated

 

Preheat the oven to 200°C (gas mark 6), or 180°C for a fan oven. Put the aubergine, courgette and pepper into a large roasting tin and coat in olive oil. Roast until tender, or for about 25 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and cook the onions and garlic, stirring often. Once soft, add the basil, bay leaves and tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes, then add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf. Turn off the heat.

 

Stir the veg into the pasta sauce. Tip a third of the mixture into a large rectangular baking dish. Arrange a layer of sliced potatoes on top, Repeat the layers, finishing with potatoes.

 

Heat the milk, flour and butter in a saucepan. Whisk constantly until the sauce boils and thickens. Remove from the hob and stir in half the cheese until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the cheese sauce over your lasagna and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake until golden brown, or for about 30-35 minutes.

 

Bon appetit!

 

Lasagna recipe adapted from:

http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/groceries/find-recipes/recipes/meat-free/five-a-day-veggie-cheddar-lasagne

 

Tomato sauce recipe from:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alexandra-guarnaschelli/old-school-lasagna-with-bolognese-sauce-recipe.html

 

About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can donate time, money or surplus. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.


Jane

Content Manager

Jan 17, 2017

Pain au chocolat pudding

Here's how to use old pain au chocolat to make a delicious bread pudding. This recipe was shared with us by the Oxgangs Neighbourhood Centre in Edinburgh.



Ingredients:


  • 8 pain au chocolat (doesn't matter if they are a bit dry)


  • 3 eggs, plus one extra egg yolk


  • 250ml milk


  • 300ml double cream


  • 3tbs caster sugar


  • Zest of 1 lemon


  • 2tbs demerara sugar


  • Cream and icing sugar to serve


Method:


  • Grease a large baking dish


  • Add the caster sugar to the eggs and whisk together


  • Slice the pain au chocolat and arrange in the greased baking dish - pack tightly


  • Gently heat the milk and cream in a pan - take of the heat just as it starts to steam (don't boil)


  • Add a little of the milk and cream mixture to the eggs to warm up the mixture (don't add it all straight away to avoid cooking and scrambling the eggs)


  • Quickly add the warmed egg mixture to the pan


  • Whisk continuously and when it coats the back of a spoon, the custard is ready


  • Sprinkle the lemon zest over the pastries, then pour the custard over


  • Sprinkle with the demerara sugar


  • Leave to sit for about 15 mins


  • Bake on a middle shelf at 175c for 35 mins


  • Serve warm with cream and icing sugar


With thanks to the Oxgangs Neighbourhood Centre.

Got a recipe that makes great use of food surplus? Please email it to food@neighbourly.com


Jun 28, 2016

Any Veg Soup


This recipe was shared with us by the Oxgangs Neighbourhood Centre in Edinburgh.

Ingredients:

  • Some turnips
  • Some parsnips
  • Some carrots
  • A bag of potatoes
  • A bag of lentils
  • A pack of vegetable stock


Method:

  • Chop up all the veg, leaving the turnips in large pieces, and the potatoes whole
  • Put all chopped veg into a large pan
  • Add the vegetable stock
  • Cover with hot water
  • Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for about an hour
  • Puree until creamy
  • Serve hot, with some bread, for a filling lunch.


With thanks to the Oxgangs Neighbourhood Centre.

Got a recipe that makes great use of food surplus? Please email it to food@neighbourly.com


May 12, 2016

Fruit crumble

This recipe was shared us by The Real Junk Food Project Doncaster. This is great for using up any fruit that may not have lasted as long as hoped, the riper the better. You could make a granola topping that will also double as a healthy breakfast cereal or dessert the next day.



Ingredients:

  • Enough fruit to fill your dish (any fruit)

  • 100-200g sugar, depending on the sweetness of the fruit (none my be needed)

  • 1-3 teaspoons of lemon juice, to taste

  • 1-3 tablespoons of cornstarch, depending on the juiciness of the fruit (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon spice, such as cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg (optional)

  • 125g self-raising flour

  • 125g brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

  • 50g unsalted butter, softened (more or less may be required)


Method:

  • Heat oven to 190 degrees.

  • If necessary slice the fruit into bite-sized pieces.

  • Mix with the sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and any spices. Use more sugar and less lemon with tart fruits like rhubarb and blackberries. Use less sugar and more lemon with sweet fruits like peaches and plums. Use more cornstarch with very juicy fruit like plums, and less with firm fruits like apples.

  • Pour the fruit mixture into a baking dish.

  • Prepare the crumble topping: mix together the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut the butter into a few large pieces and work into the dry ingredients until heavy crumbs are formed.

  • Poor the crumble topping evenly over the fruit.

  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until bubbling around the edges and firm on top.

  • Cool for at least 15 mins before serving.

  • It will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to 1 week and can be served cold, room temperature, or re-warmed in the oven.


Tip: to make a crisp topping, add 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or chopped nuts (or both) to the topping. If you add honey and oil to this before baking on a sheet of greaseproof paper you will make granola!

With thanks to The Real Junk Food Project Doncaster

Got a recipe that makes great use of food surplus? Please email it to food@neighbourly.com

May 12, 2016

Tuna Pasta Bake

This recipe was shared us by Nourish Foodbank. Feeds 2.



Ingredients:

  • 1 tin of tuna

  • 1 jar of tomato pasta sauce

  • 1 cup grated cheese

  • 6 handfuls of pasta

  • 1 small bag of crisps, crushed for sprinkling on top (optional)

  • Pinch of salt


Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

  • Add a pinch of salt to the pasta water and cook pasta according to pack instructions.

  • Stir in the tomato sauce, tuna and half of the cheese.

  • Transfer to a baking dish.

  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top along with the crushed crisps.

  • Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 25 minutes.

  • Enjoy!


With thanks to Nourish Foodbank

Got a recipe that makes great use of food surplus? Please email it to food@neighbourly.com

May 12, 2016

Potato, Ham and Tomato Bake

This recipe was shared us by Slow Food Aylsham. For 2 people.

potato bake

Ingredients:

  • 1 large jacket potato, microwaved or baked, then cooled

  • 75g chopped, cooked ham (tinned ham could also be used)

  • 1 small tin chopped tomatoes, drained (use the juice in a soup recipe or add to stews or casseroles)

  • 150g tub fromage frais

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 egg

  • 50g grated Cheddar cheese


Method:

  • Set the oven to 190oC or Gas 5

  • Cut the cooled potato into 1cm cubes/pieces

  • Cut the ham into 1cm cubes/pieces

  • Put a layer of potato in an oven-proof dish

  • Add a layer of ham, and then tomatoes. Repeat these layers

  • In a basin, mix together the fromage frais, egg, salt and pepper

  • Pour the fromage frais mixture over the ingredients in the ovenproof dish, and sprinkle the grated cheese on the top

  • Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling


Tasty Tips:
- Any kind of cheese will work, but try to use one with a strong flavour
- Add a teaspoonful of mustard to the egg mixture
- Add a layer of leftover cooked vegetables to the pie dish before you pour over the topping

With thanks to Slow Food Aylsham.

Got a recipe that makes great use of food surplus? Please email it to food@neighbourly.com

Apr 11, 2016

Pumpkin and Ginger Jam

This recipe was shared us by The Real Junk Food Project Doncaster. Makes 3x 500g jars.

ginger-pumpkin-preserve-012

Ingredients:

  • 1 pumpkin

  • Approx 1kg granulated sugar

  • 1 lemon

  • 5-7cm piece root ginger, peeled and grated (or use ground ginger, to taste)


Prep time: 30 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Method:

  • Peel pumpkin, remove seeds and dice into 1-2cm cubes

  • Place pumpkin in a saucepan and stir in the sugar (use the same weight as the final amount of diced pumpkin)

  • Cut lemon into segments and remove the seeds

  • Puree the whole lemon - peel and pith included - in a food processor

  • Place pan with pumpkin over a high heat and add the lemon and ginger

  • Bring to a rolling boil and cook for 30 mins, stirring frequently until set. The pumpkin should become translucent but still keep it's shape

  • Mash, if desired, or keep chunky

  • Ladle hot jam into hot sterilised jars and seal


With thanks to The Real Junk Food Project Doncaster

Got a recipe that makes great use of food surplus? Please email it to food@neighbourly.com

Apr 11, 2016

Edamame Green Curry

This recipe was shared with us by the Oxgangs Neighbourhood Centre in Edinburgh.



Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 chopped red chillies

  • A stalk of lemongrass, peeled and chopped

  • Some diced new potatoes

  • A handful of radishes (if you've got them)

  • 2 packs of noodles

  • Some cooking oil

  • Some peas and sweetcorn - tinned or frozen

  • Edamame balls (or other veg, meat or fish would work)

  • A jar of thai curry sauce

  • 1 cup of hot water

  • 1/2 a can of coconut milk


Optional: some lime pickle and lime zest, to serve

Method:

  • Add the crushed garlic, chopped chilli, lemongrass and radishes to a large frying pan

  • Simmer the noodles for 5 minutes and drain

  • Add some oil to the frying pan and add the peas and sweetcorn. Medium fry for 10 minutes

  • Add the edamame balls, diced potatoes, curry sauce and stir together

  • Add the hot water and half a can of coconut milk

  • Mix and simmer for another 20 minutes

  • Serve with the noodles (and lime pickle and lime zest if you have them)


With thanks to the Oxgangs Neighbourhood Centre.

Got a recipe that makes great use of food surplus? Please email it to food@neighbourly.com

Apr 7, 2016

Broccoli and Potato balls

This recipe was shared with us by Home Group, Seaford Court: 'These went down a treat with our young people who normally run a mile from veg!'

brocolli balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of broccoli

  • 6 large white potatoes

  • A cup of strong cheese

  • A cup of breadcrumbs

  • Garlic and chilli - to taste

  • Salt & pepper


Method:

  • Boil the broccoli and potato and mash together

  • Add the cheese, breadcrumbs and some chopped garlic and chilli (by choice)

  • Season with salt and pepper

  • Mix together and form into little golf size balls

  • Place in fridge to chill

  • Shallow fry and eat while still hot


With thanks to Home Group, Seaford Court

Got a recipe that makes great use of food surplus? Please email it to food@neighbourly.com

Apr 7, 2016