Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bread (Crust!) Pudding Fit for a Toddler

You may not know me very well.  If you're reading this you may not know that I have the world's pickiest toddler, that she doesn't like to eat many things that normal toddlers adore, and that every day is a constant struggle to pack nutrition into her little body.

You may not know that about me.  But you may have a similar situation at home.  For instance, I've heard that my Little One's aversion to crusts on her sandwiches is not terribly unique.  Every morning when I make her breakfast (cream cheese sandwiches, it's pretty much the only thing I can get her to consistently eat) I diligently shave off all the awful crusts and... well, to be honest, at first I was throwing them out.  I know.  Terrible waste.  So, I decided to start collecting them in a bag in the freezer, and figured I'd find out what to do with them later.

I Googled like crazy: bread crust recipes...  toddler crust recipes...  what to do with leftover bread crusts...

Anyway, bread (crust) pudding was my favorite find.  A few people suggested it, and one person had a healthy twist on it that I decided to try.

It was good, but a little liquidy and sweet and didn't hold together like I envisioned a bread pudding would.  And, although my picky toddler did try it (hooray!) she did not eat it a second time.

So I tried again.  I used some ideas from the healthy recipe, cracked open the good ol' Joy of Cooking for a little more info and voila!  Pure toddler comfort food.

Bread (Crust!) Pudding Fit for a Toddler

As I shot the photos for this post, my little picky eater made a b-line for the plate of pudding and actually asked for some, even though she just ate a big breakfast!  Try this, trust me, you'll be happy you did.

4 cups lightly packed whole wheat bread crusts, diced into 1/2 inch pieces (or thereabouts)
2 cups whole milk
3 eggs
1/8 c agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 apple, peeled and grated
1/2 c raisins

Whisk eggs, agave, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together.  Add milk and whisk well.  In a 2 qt buttered/oiled baking dish, layer as follows: 1/3 of the bread crusts, 1/2 of the apples, 1/2 of the raisins, 1/3 of the egg mix.  Repeat.  End with last third of bread crusts, topped with last third of egg mix.

Let sit for 30 min (very important!!!), occasionally pressing down with a spatula to ensure the liquid gets absorbed.

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Bake in water bath* (also very important) about 1 1/4 hr, until browned, puffed a bit, and firm in the center.

*Don't be scared, it's easy! Joy of Cooking says to lie a dish towel, or rack, inside a roasting pan, and place the baking dish on top.  When the whole contraption is in the oven, pour enough hot water in the roasting pan to reach up half way on the baking dish.  Apparently doing this prevents your pudding from getting grainy.  Works for me.

Let me know if your little ones eat it!


  1. nice work! you're such a good mama to search for creative and tasty ways to use up every scrap of food!

    1. aww, thanks! you'd be surprised how quickly those scraps add up!


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