Some mornings call for digging into a slice of pie or cake dolloped with yogurt, but for most, these indulgences are the exception rather than the norm. While the latest addition to the Thomas' lineup, Thomas' Gingerbread Bagels ($5), doesn't aim to serve as a stand-in for a slice of dense, sweetly spiced gingerbread, we were curious to find out if these rounds ticked some of the same boxes. Could one of these bagels, toasted and slathered with cream cheese, serve up a plate of satisfaction, or are they a mere echo of the cozy cake?
There's nothing wrong with a little cream cheese here and there, but enter the world of other topping possibilities. These new tastes are fresh and can help you to mix up your palate. Another perk of these foreign bagel flavors is that they are all healthier options without sacrificing flavor. See which spread will be the next butter to your bread.
- Neufchâtel: This spreadable cheese looks just like cream cheese and is usually available right next to it in the refrigerator aisle. Judging by labels alone, this is the health-conscious choice with 10 percent less fat than cream cheese.
- Farmer cheese: Lower in calories and in fat is farmer cheese. If you enjoy the texture and taste of ricotta cheese, think of this as its cousin, which makes it a whipped-style bagel topper.
- Goat cheese spread: Herbed goat cheese can taste great on a bagel. The lower-cal, more spreadable version involves combining it with Greek nonfat yogurt (and a little olive oil, if you want). This lightened-up goat cheese recipe not only tastes great, but it also contains loads of protein from the yogurt, which coincidentally also makes it feel like it has more of a cream cheese consistency.
- Almond butter: If you loved PB&J as a kid then you will devour almond butter on a bagel. This nutty spread has less saturated fat and more protein than cream cheese. When comparing to peanut butter, Prevention concluded that almond butter contained less saturated fat, twice the magnesium, six times the calcium, and higher levels of iron, vitamin E, and fiber!
- Avocado: Don't let the calories in avocado scare you, this is one topping that's au naturel. It's loaded with vitamins, minerals, and even protein! The fat content in this green spread is from the good monounsaturated fats, aka the kind that you want to digest. Think of avocados as the olive oil to your salad.
- Hummus: The lowest-calorie and -fat option is our favorite Mediterranean delight. Skip the pita chips and spread some hummus on your bagel. The dip is filling because of its garbanzo bean base, and you can get creative with the herbs and spices that you add on.
- Say goodbye to sweets: Cinnamon raisin and chocolate chip bagels may be favorites, but they're definitely not a healthy way to kick-start the morning. All that extra sugar will just make you crash earlier.
- Scoop it: Whether you're ordering from your favorite corner spot or toasting one at home, scooping out the center of a bagel is an easy way to lower carbs and calories. Be sure to scoop out your bagel before you toast it to keep the process as easy as possible.
- Learn to love whole wheat: Refined grains always manage to sneak into our day when we're not cooking at home. With all the healthy benefits that whole grains offer, making the shift to whole wheat bagels is a no-brainer.
Keep reading for more ways to lighten up your bagel routine.
For the mathematically inclined, we present a DIY that is equal parts geometry and delicious breakfast carbohydrates. The bagel chain by George W. Hart divides one common bagel into the geometric improbabilities that make up a bagel chain.
Check out the full how-to that George had his "Computer and Sculpture" class work on using basic X and Y axes. Even if you weren't a star math pupil, at least the chain bagel is a good excuse to play with your food.
- A look at the first ever World Championship Cheese Dip Competition.
- A look at the first ever World Championship Cheese Dip Competition. — Serious Eats
- Find out the secret history of Momofuku's infamous crack pie. — Feast
- Forget salmon and eat barramundi instead. — The Atlantic
- Learn a faster, easier way to chop herbs. — The Kitchn
- Ramen basics for the noodle novice. — Chow
- In praise of the Sunday bagel. — The Epi-Log
- Katie Lee, Rachael Ray, and Spike Mendelsohn on what will be the next big trend in burgers. — Grub Street NY
- Six ways customers tick off chefs. — Eatocracy
- On Nov. 2, the McRib returns to a McDonald's near you. — Eater
A couple of weeks ago, I hosted a last minute brunch. All of the food was made either the evening before or the morning of the brunch. The easy menu featured something for everyone, with dishes that were both vegetarian and meat friendly. To find out what I made and check out my tips for recreating this exact brunch in your backyard, click the "Start" button.
Recently, PartySugar surprised me with a delicious mini-bagel with cream cheese, lox, and capers. It was a nice treat and really hit the spot. The capers were a particularly nice touch and it got me wondering, do you like capers?
If you're looking for ways to cut time from your morning routine, but instant oatmeal isn't your thing, then you may be interested to hear what Kraft has up their sleeves. Their new creation is called Bagel-Fuls and they're frozen bagels, which are pre-stuffed with cream cheese. The product — which is being referred to as a "hand-held breakfast sandwich" — will hit shelves in April, and will be introduced through a national ad campaign. I'm not sure how the bagels are heated, but I'm really curious to see what they're all about. On one hand it sort of terrifies me, but on the other hand it fascinates me. What do you think? Would you be interested in a Bagel-Ful?