One of the side effects of all our focus on food waste this year has been the gradual accumulation of an enormous bag of breadcrumbs in the freezer. In this house bread usually gets eaten up pretty quickly, but stale loaf end crusts are a regular occurence. The really dry ones get soaked and given to the chickens. The not so dry ones are blitzed and added to a breadcrumb bag in the freezer. And very rarely, they feature on Food Waste Friday.
It's all very well feeling virtuous about not wasting bread, but if I'm not actually using up those breadcrumbs, then I'm just hoarding food waste! I'm a self confessed hoarder but keeping a ton of breadcrumbs 'because they might come in useful one day' is a step too far, even for me.
So last week I set about using them up.
And this week I made another treacle tart. Not my favourite thing in all the world, but the recipe I used (see below), from one of my favourite frugal cook books, turns out quite lemony and not as sweet as a bought treacle tart.
Two treacle tarts has made but a small dent in my sack of breadcrumbs, and it's hardly the healthiest use of breadcrumbs, so I started thinking that I should really get more creative.
Here are some ways I've used breadcrumbs in the past:
- Meat loaf or nut roast recipes.
- Filling for stuffed mushrooms.
- Topping for savoury 'bakes'.
- Coating for fish or chicken.
- Bird feed. (This is a link to the RSPB advice on what to feed wild birds; breadcrumbs are OK for birds as part of a balanced diet).
Treacle Tart Recipe (from How to feed your family a healthy, balanced diet with very little money... by Gill Holcombe)
Serves 4 - 6
Short crust pastry (made with 150g plain flour and 75g butter or margarine)
6 tbsp golden syrup
2tbsp black treacle ( I didn't have any so I left this out)
1 lemon, juice and rind
- Roll pastry to fit bottom of 15cm tin. Save the trimmings to cut into thin strips for the lattice on top of the tart.
- Melt the syrup, treacle, butter and lemon juice together in a pan.
- Fill the pastry with breadcrumbs and slowly pour over the liquid so all the breadcrumbs are covered.
- Use the strips to make a lattice pattern and glaze with milk.
- Bake in the oven (Gas Mark 4 or 180 degrees C) for 20 - 25 minutes.