Have you ever opened up a bread drawer and purposely ignore those sad single pieces of bread no one seems to want to eat but just sit there waiting for their inevitable fate to be either thrown out or grow blue patches of funky mold?  Even though you know the bread is good, it seems to only serve as a reminder to buy more bread.  What a shame and what a waste.  This is particularly true with leftover hamburger and hotdog buns.

The resourceful part of me would like to make a simple suggestion to you: save the bread!  Not for a sandwich or French toast, but for something even more simple.  Repurpose those leftover pieces into tasty savory croutons.  Making homemade croutons is ridiculously easy, and once you make them you’ll wonder why you ever bought them.  And by the way, homemade croutons taste way better than the store bought.  You can’t even compare the two.

I discovered several years ago that if I topped my children’s salad with croutons, not only were they 95% more likely to eat the salad, they were also more likely not to fight me on the issue.  In the world of parent-child food battles, most parents are looking for ways to avoid them.  Am I right or am I right?

All you have to do is cut those left over pieces of bread into small cubes tossing them with little bit of butter, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, and parsley.  Bake them in your oven and top your favorite salad with them.

Hope you watch our latest PBS Parents Kitchen Explorers webisode on how to make these croutons.  Let it be the inspiration you need tonight to stop throwing away those lonely pieces of bread and to transform them into something delicious instead.

Enjoy!

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**Need a great homemade bread recipe? Here is a great video on how to make artisan no-knead bread at home.

Recipe: Homemade Parmesan Garlic Croutons

Using any type of bread you have on hand, make these easy homemade Parmesan Garlic Croutons to top salads, soups, or eat as a snack.

Ingredients

    8 slices of day old bread cut into bite sized cubes
    4 tablespoons melted butter
    1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes *other herbs such as basil, oregano, Italian herbs can be substituted

Instructions

    Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

    Add the bread cubes to a large bowl.

    In a small bowl, mix the butter, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and parsley until well combined.

    Drizzle the butter slowly over the bread cubes, stirring as you go until the cubes are coated and the bread has absorbed the butter.

    Transfer the seasoned cubes to a lined (parchment paper or silicon mat) baking sheet in a single layer.

    Bake the cubes in the oven for 15 minutes.  Toss the cubes with a wooden spoon and bake for 15 more minutes.

    Allow the cubes to completely cool before storing them in an airtight container.

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