Do you sometimes go a little overboard with your bagel order? You aren’t alone. Fortunately you no longer have to feel the guilt and shame associated with tipping stale bagels into the garbage bin – instead, you can use these wholesome rounds of bread to great incredible snacks and meals!
For a tasty, homemade, healthy chip alternative, slice your bagels into thin, circular wedges, then toss them in a bowl with a small amount of olive oil and some herbs or seasonings. Bake them in an oven which has been preheated to 350 F, and turn them halfway through the cooking time. They should be toasted to a golden brown, which will take approximately 15 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with salt while cooling, and seal in an airtight container to keep them crisp and crunchy. Perfection!
Bread Pudding Base
Many varieties of bread pudding exist, but they all begin with cubes of bread. You can tear up your bagels into bite-sized pieces, and have a ready to go ingredient for bread pudding. The best thing about this is that it works for those variety bagels that are often left over as “too sweet” for many palates – the cinnamon swirl, the blueberry, and the cranberry multi-grain come to mind as perfect examples. Plain and egg bagels also make good complements for the sweetness of other bread pudding ingredients like sugar, milk, cinnamon and vanilla.
If you like to make your own croutons, bagels are a perfect starting point; if you usually buy but forgot to pick some up and have a leftover bagel or two lying around, you can use them instead. Cut or tear up the bagels into roughly 1-inch cubes. While preheating the oven to 375 F, toss the bagels lightly in olive oil, or simply scatter them on a lined cooking sheet or tray, and coat with your favorite non-stick cooking spray. You can sprinkle on Italian-style herbs like garlic, thyme, rosemary or basil and add just a pinch of salt before baking until crunchy – approximately 15 minutes.
A chilled gazpacho soup has Spanish origins and many variations, but the heart of the dish is always tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt, vinegar – and bread. You can use chewy bagels torn into bits as your bread ingredient; just remember toss them in the mix early as all ingredients must soak together for at least an hour so that the bread can absorb the flavors of the oils, herbs and veggies.