Freezer Cooking in an Hour: Homemade Uncrustables & Homemade Croutons

So, I somehow had this idea that my Freezer Cooking in an Hour Plan was very realistic today. I figured I could whip up the Homemade Uncrustables and Homemade Croutons in no time at all and then make the Pumpkin Scones and get the kitchen cleaned up before an hour had gone by.

I don’t know why I always forget that things usually take twice as long to do than I plan for them to (you think I would have figured that out by now?!). Here’s the play-by-play of today’s Freezer Cooking in an Hour:

I don’t have a circle cookie cutter, so I just used a glass for the Homemade Uncrustables.

12:30 p.m. — Our homeschool lessons are done for the morning and the children are ready for lunch. I get this “brilliant” idea to go ahead and start my Freezer Cooking for the day now and serve Homemade Uncrustables for lunch.

Note: If I would have been thinking, I could have made the complete sandwiches first (like this) and then cut them with the glass. But for some reason, that thought didn’t occur to me until some of you commented and suggested this!

12:33 p.m. — As I’m pulling out the ingredients, I realize we have a lot less bread and peanut butter on hand than I thought. So much for my visions of mountains of Homemade Uncrustables to stick in the freezer; instead I have ingredients enough to make a whopping 12. Oh well, 12 is better than none, so I forge ahead.

12:38 p.m. — The children are beginning to get really hungry. I set them to work “helping” me while I try to finish up the uncrustables.

12:45 p.m. — I glance at the clock and realize 15 minutes have already gone by and I’m still only halfway through making the uncrustables. Maybe this wasn’t as simple as I was envisioning?

And then I look around the kitchen table and just have to smile. The children are having so much fun “helping” that it’s worth the mess they are making.

12:55 p.m. — I’m finally just about finished with the uncrustables. Man, this has taken longer than I expected–especially since I don’t have much to show for my efforts! I feed the children lunch and set about making the Homemade Croutons with the leftover crusts.

The uncrustables ended up taking so much time and didn’t look pretty at all. I think if I make them whole and then cut them, it will go a lot better next time around. Lesson learned!

1:03 p.m. — I realize we’re out of oil, almost out of butter, and so I head to the computer to see if anyone has a recipe online for croutons made with coconut oil. I’m not finding much, but as I’m contemplating what to do, I glance into the cupboard and see a bottle of dipping oil my mom had given us awhile back. Perfect!

1:10 p.m. — I stick the croutons in the oven and realize that it’s time to get back to our afternoon homeschooling studies–well, after I finish cleaning the kitchen, that is. I really was looking forward to trying the Pumpkin Scones, but I decide I’ll save those for another week. And maybe next week I’ll remember not to try to do my freezer cooking session during our lunch break!

Finished croutons and a clean kitchen–it’s a beautiful thing, even if it never lasts for very long! :)

Note: The ideas for the Homemade Uncrustables and using the crusts to make Homemade Croutons were from Infarrantly Creative. Go check out her post as hers turned out much more nicely than mine and it’s very apparent she knows more about what she’s doing than I do!

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Comments

  1. Sarah C says

    I used a pizza roller to cut them and that worked really good! I did squares, but I don’t think the shape really matters too much :)

  2. says

    If you cut the shapes after you pb&j them, won’t you have pb&j croutons? Yuck! Or, is there another use for them? Maybe bread pudding?

  3. says

    So funny to see that you just made croutons. We’ve been eating a salad quite a bit lately and each week I tell my husband that I should really make up some croutons. However, I still haven’t done so. I think your post may have just inspired me to get busy and make some!

    By the way, love the heart shaped uncrustables! Very cute!

  4. Michelle says

    I use a Wonder Sanwich Seal’r N’ Decruster I bought from Kroger for $2.99. It works great on many different types of sandwiches.

  5. Joy says

    Somebody may have already said this, but if you made the sandwiches first, then cut them out, you would have pb&j on the crust and then you might not want to use them for homemade croutons? But, another thing you could do with the leftover crusts would be to make bread pudding. I have made a recipe in the crockpot that is really yummy. I found it on allrecipes.com

  6. Robina C. says

    I would love to take credit for this idea to shorten your Pb&J sandwich making time, but I have to give credit to my great sister-in-law Julie.
    In order to save time in the making of the sandwich, she mixes the peanut butter and jelly in a bowl together and then only has to spread one time instead of two. How about that for saving time!!! LOVE IT!

  7. Ashley Bell says

    Is it really a time-saver to make the uncrustables? I timed myself doing pbjs today for lunch. It took me 30 seconds. Wouldn’t it take a lot longer to make the uncrustables, wrap in seran wrap, put in baggies and freeze?

    • says

      I agree! Making a peanut butter sandwich takes me no time at all. I’ve always thought uncrustables were silly when I would see them at the store- how much time does it really save to have a pre-made sandwich that only takes minimal time to make in the first place?

      • says

        I don’t think it’s a timesaver to make the uncrustables–as is evidenced by the post. :)

        However, making PB&J up ahead of time has been a big blessing for me in the pas when I’ve done it. Making a bunch of sandwiches at a time and having them in the freezer ready to pop into a lunch sack can cut down just a few extra minutes of morning prep on a busy morning. Finding ways to shave off 2 minutes here and 3 minutes there can really start to add up–and make mornings a lot more calm!

  8. N says

    Ok, I can’t belive no one else has said this yet, but my mom always mixed the peanut butter and jelly together before she put it on the sandwich. It looks a little gross, but I’m telling you it tastes awesome. The reason she started doing it was so the jelly wouldn’t seep through the bread by lunchtime. It makes it so much easier and faster to spread on the bread. It spreads smoothly and you don’t have to worry about the inconsistency of the jelly layer. I would think this would make the homemade uncrustables much faster as well.

  9. Melissa says

    I’ve never purchased uncrustables before. So this may be a dumb question. Do you toast these frozen sandwich pockets or just thaw and eat?

  10. Meredith says

    I just made a ton of heart shaped sandwiches for a bridal shower. I threw the leftover crusts in the food processor and made bread crumbs to use later. I love the uncrustables idea though.

  11. says

    going to try doing these as squares and just cut the crust off. crusts will go to croutons or breadcrumbs. less waste and I love the time saving in the morning. my 6yr old can down 2 peanut butter sandwiches at lunch if I gave them to him. i have a ton of bread in the freezer from my dollar store trips and grabbed $.03 planters peanut butter at Harris Teeter last week! Thanks for the links!

  12. Rhonda says

    I have 2 or 3 different sizes of the Pampered Chef cut n seal we’ve sold over the last eek 17 years. Here are my tips. Use very fresh bread, smush it a bit in the center of each slice, add a little filling, then press with the cut n seal outer edge, then push plunger. It does seal very nicely for standard sandwich breads.
    I don’t think I’d like peanut butter and jelly croutons though so I’m thinking that would only work if you purposefully put your filling only in the center of each slice of bread. I don’t like ‘wasting’ the outsides but you can drop an egg in them for eggs in a frame, let them dry out and grind up for bread crumbs, or like Infarrantly Creative said, make croutons. PS if anyone would like to purchase a Cut n Seal, I’d love to help you with that.

  13. Tammy says

    Thanks for being so honest about things going wrong. I am ALWAYS screwing up about judging the time on things and end up being late and people are upset w/ me or don’t get things done by deadline, etc. I always feel like a failure. :( I feel a little better knowing it happens to other women too…b/c I never can understand how all you homemakers do so much more than me, w/ more responsibilities than me/less time than me and still end up having your lives /acts more together than me. I don’t understand how you gals have time to coupon and make everything from scratch and do all these crafts and have a clean house, etc. I feel like such a failure. I never seem to measure up.

    • Jennifer says

      We all have different strengths. Crystal has talked about things that she isn’t as good at–being crafty herself is one of them if I’m remembering right. But obviously she doesn’t blog about what she’s not doing. ;) We all do the best we can and remember that the thing our kids want most is just to spend time with us.

  14. Jennifer says

    Did you use the crusts though (like in your croutons)? I doubt you could use the crusts for anything if they had peanut butter & jelly on them. If you cut the plain bread out first then you can still use the crust for croutons or bread crumbs.

  15. Carol says

    Maybe because I don’t have kids, I don’t get the desire/want/need to make uncrustables. I’m thinking this must be a thing moms get, because I don’t. We never had crustless PBJ when I was growing up. I never thought of freezing PBJ, and don’t think I would unless I had alot of kids; even then only maybe? I can see batchcooking freezer burritos and many other things, and I do that; I don’t get the PBJ, tho. And the crustless thing. Regular unfrozen PBJ with crust is fine with me. I enjoyed the post, though, and I freeze heels to make homemade croutons with.