I don’t like to waste food. I have never gone hungry and we have always been fortunate enough to be able to afford all that we need but wasting food feels like an extravagance to me when so many children in the U.S. and abroad go hungry on a regular basis.
I have developed many ways to keep our food waste to an absolute minimum over the years and this recipe is just one of those ways. The best part about it is that it doesn’t feel like a deprivation in the least. This recipe is delicious and the fact that my kids get excited about it when I tell them it’s what we are having for breakfast the next day confirms this.
Bread heels. Most people toss them. Some people save them and feed them to the ducks (a practice that I have heard isn’t healthy for them), I use them to make this recipe.
Here is what you’ll need:
10-12 bread heels – This really depends on the type of bread that you purchase. I buy the large size, rectangular shaped sandwich bread and can get by with 10 heels. If you buy the smaller, square shaped sandwich bread you will need 12.
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk – skim, 2%, whole, whatever you have on hand.
1/4 cup sugar
1 T vanilla
2/3 cup flour (I usually use whole-wheat pastry flour to try and boost the nutritional value but if all you have is all-purpose flour, that works too.)
1/3 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 T butter
1 cup fruit (I most frequently use blueberries – fresh or frozen. I have also used diced peaches, diced apricots, diced nectarines, and even raisins. They have all turned out great.)
Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan and arrange your bread heels in two layers.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla until blended. Pour evenly over bread. Press down lightly with a spatula or spoon to make sure that all bread is submerged. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In a small bowl combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Using your fingers blend butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Before baking, sprinkle fruit over the bread then sprinkle the flour mixture to cover.
Bake, uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted off-center comes out clean. Let stand for 5-10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve. We eat it just like this but you can drizzle it with a little syrup or garnish with some strawberries and whipped cream.