Boost Your Bagel

I LOVE bagels. I could eat them all day every day. My favorites are everything bagels, Russian bagels (essentially an everything pumpernickel bagel with the addition of fennel seed), and jalapeno cheddar bagels, but I will eat just about any kind of bagel. The only issue with these little rings of carbohydrate heaven is the lack of nutritional value beyond empty calories. I’ve seen bagels with seeds and other various protein or vitamin sources added to the dough, but let’s face it, they don’t taste as good.  In an effort to make my bagel habit slightly healthier, I’ve started changing toppings.

No, no I’m not getting rid of cream cheese. I mix vegetables (read: vitamins) into the cream cheese to add a bit of nutritional and flavor complexity to my favorite source of simple carbs. This isn’t an endorsement for veggie cream cheese either, which often features crunchy bits of questionable origin. The veggies can be whatever you have on hand. On frequent rotation for me are combinations of peppers and carrots, which is pictured in this post, baby spinach and cucumbers, peas and tomatoes. The key is to chop up the veggies into bite sized pieces. I want it to feel like I’m eating a bagel, not a bagel sandwich. I like to chop up veggies at night for a few breakfasts worth, so I can toss it all together quickly in the morning while I’m rushing around. Here’s the nutritional boost provided by each of the flavor combinations above.

Peppers and Carrots: Vitamin A – 155% DV; Vitamin C – 153% DV

Baby Spinach and Cucumbers: Vitamin A – 29%DV; Vitamin C – 8%DV; Iron 2%DV

Peas and Tomatoes: 4 g Protein; Vitamin A – 19%DV; Vitamin C – 58%DV; Iron – 7%DV

Benefits of Vitamin A / Benefits of Vitamin C / Benefits of Iron

Veggie Bagels
Serves 1

1 bagel
2 oz cream cheese
½ cup vegetable 1 (such as baby sweet peppers, baby spinach, or peas)
¼ cup vegetable 2 (such as carrots, cucumbers, or tomatoes)
Optional seasonings: nutritional yeast, Herbamare, black pepper, red pepper flakes

Finely chop the vegetables. Fold the vegetables and desired seasonings into cream cheese until evenly combined. Spread the mixture onto a toasted bagel.

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