Don’t throw out stale bread. Seriously, don’t. Baguettes, sliced sandwich bread and even loaves of crusty white bread can be recycled into homemade croutons.
Use a chef’s knife to cut the bread into cubes (1/2-inch to 3/4-inch cubes are ideal). Toss the cubes with olive oil and some salt, and then spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake them in a 350 degree F. oven, stirring once or twice so they brown evenly, until crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Once cool, the croutons can be stored in a container for a week or so. Use them in soups or salads. Follow this recipe with your kids.
Gingery Carrot Soup
Servings 1-2 (Makes 2 cups)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 ounces carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1⅓ cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 cup milk
Gather cooking equipment:
Large saucepan with lid
1 or 2 bowls or mugs
In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat for 1 minute (oil should be hot but not smoking). Add carrots, ginger and salt and cook, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Stir in broth, increase heat to high, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until carrots are very soft, about 15 minutes.
Turn off heat and slide saucepan to cool burner. Use oven mitts to remove lid and let cool for 5 minutes.
Use ladle to carefully transfer carrots and liquid into blender jar (liquid will be hot; ask an adult for help). Add milk. Place lid on top of blender and hold lid firmly in place with folded dish towel. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour soup into bowls or mugs and serve.
Use side of small spoon to scrape skin from one end of large piece of ginger. Peel away skin from about 1 inch of ginger. Use a chef’s knife to cut off peeled portion of ginger. Chop peeled ginger into small pieces.
Nutrition information per serving: 142 calories; 72 calories from fat; 8 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 4 mg cholesterol; 435 mg sodium; 15 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 4 g protein