Finally about bread crumbs

While I generally eschew processed foods these days, there are several that I still use. My rule for buying processed is 1) is it useful? 2) is it healthful? and 3) is it hard to produce at home? If the item doesn't fit all three tests, then it stays on the shelf at the store. Things like yogurt, most condiments, peanut butter and the like pass my test and are regularly found in my shopping cart. The one thing that you will never see me purchase is bread crumbs.

Store bought bread crumbs mystify me. Why in the world would I pay good money for something that I can get for free? For free you say? Yes, for free. Besides free, they are better for you too (but more on that later).

We all buy bread and how many of us actually eat the heels? No one in my house does. Even when I bring (gasp!) white bread into the house, I cannot pay my family to eat the heels of the bread. I used to throw them away, but then it dawned on me.... BREAD CRUMBS!

Here's what I do: When we are at the end of a loaf of bread, I keep the heels in the bread bag and chuck the whole thing, bag and all, into the freezer. When my freezer is getting full of empty bread bags (or I run out of bread crumbs) I pull the bags out of the freezer and dump the frozen bread bits into my food processor (the blender works too). Five minutes later, I have an overflowing large zip-top bag full of free bread crumbs (about $5 worth if you purchased them at the market). I tuck the zip-top bag into my freezer and I have bread crumbs ready whenever I need them. Viola!

Now, I know that a $5 savings every month or two isn't going to impact my bottom line, but its the principal that does it for me. Besides the $30-odd dollars a year that it saves me, making my own bread crumbs is better for me too. I can hear you all saying "Oh Julie Anne, PLEEEEEZE! They are bread crumbs for heavens sake!" Yes, you are right, they are only bread crumbs, but I am still putting them in my mouth. I used to buy Progresso Plain Bread Crumbs. They contain the following:

Bread Crumbs (Enriched Flour [Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid], High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil [Soybean and/Or Cottonseed and/Or Corn and/Or Canola], Water, Salt. Contains 2% Or Less of: Yeast, Honey, Molasses, Sugar, Wheat Gluten, Whey, Soy Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Rhy Flour, Corn Flour, Oat Bran, Corn Meal, Rice Flour, Pnotato Flour, Butter, Dough Conditioners [Mono- and Diglycerides, Sodium and/Or Calcium Stearoyl Lactylate, Soy Lectchin, Calcium Carbonate], Yeast Nutrients [Ammonium Sulfate, Calcium Sulfate, Monocalcium Phosphate], Vinegar, Nonfat Milk, Buttermilk, Lactic Acid, Calcium Propionate and Pnotassium Sorbate [Preservatives], Sesame Seeds), Oat Flour, Sunflower Seeds, Egg.

BLECK! Why bleck? Let's look at what is in here. Sugar occurs 5 times - yes, really - 5 times, in the ingredient list (high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, honey, molasses and sugar). There is hydrogenated oil in here too. Read no further - you don't want to eat this stuff. Instead try making your own from bread that you already have (nutrition caveat: buy good bread!) and your pocket book and your body will thank you (and you will feel virtuous too.)


hondo3777 said...

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