Stale It Ain't So: Get the Most Out of Old Bread and Other Stale Food With These Smart Hacks

Guinness and molasses bread cut open


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Guinness and molasses bread cut open

Frankenstein's Bread

We’ve all fallen victim to a stale loaf of bread, and though this can be frustrating, it doesn’t mean our money has been wasted just yet. There are ways to revive stale bread, along with other past-its-prime food from all corners of your fridge. Food waste is bad for the planet and bad for your wallet — so let’s not do it. Here are eight safe-to-eat kitchen hacks for dealing with old food.

Related: Transform Stale Costco Croissants Into Tasty Treats With This TikTok Hack

Traditional Healthy Panzanella Salad

Stale Bread

There are actually tons of things to do with stale bread. Panzanella, for example, is a salad that was created to solve this very problem. While you can turn old bread into croutons, French toast, and a ton of other things, you might just be interested in turning it back into plain ol' bread. No prob: To do this, dampen the bread in your sink, wrap it in foil, and bake it.

Related: 21 Creative Ways to Spice Up Leftovers

Marshmallow Cereal on Weathered Wood

Stale Crackers, Chips, and Cereal

Ah, the three Cs. These crispy boys can get stale fast, but there are tactics. Just toast them up in the oven for about 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Get that crunch back, my friends.

By the way, why is this even still a problem? It’s 2023. We’ve figured out how to FaceTime people across the world and my Cinnamon Toast Crunch still doesn’t come in a bag with Ziploc capabilities? Unbelievable.

Related: I Tried 4 Ways To Reheat Pizza — This Is the Best

Gnocchi with parmesan
Bartosz Luczak/istockphoto
Banana Bread Slice

Overripe Bananas

Those bananas getting a little bit too brown for your liking? They're still a perfectly acceptable base for banana bread.

Know How Long Produce Can Be Left Out

Wilted Veggies

If you’re feeling down about some wilted vegetables, don't worry — they're still salvagable. Depending on the size of what you’ve got left, you can revive them pretty easily. All you need to do is trim the veggies up a bit and let them soak in ice water for 10 to 15 minutes. Good as new.

Lima Bean Puree

Overcooked Veggies

All is not lost if you’ve bungled the texture of your veggies. You’re a great chef, after all, and the flavors are definitely there. Ignore texture all together and turn your overcooked vegetables into a purée.

deglazing a pan
deglazing a pan by Scott Feldstein (CC BY)

Deglazing a Pan

One of the best ways to save old food, even at the microscopic level, is to deglaze your pan. Essentially, you’re extracting all of the flavor from the little bits of food stuck to the bottom of the pan, and turning it into a sauce. You’ll be a killer saucier in no time.

condiment bottles in a fridge
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Get That Last Little Dribble Out of the Condiment Bottle

Here’s another one you’ll never be able to ignore again. Toss a little oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper into an almost-empty dressing jar and give ‘er a shake. That’s a brand new serving of salad dressing for you.