This morning I had a craving for a bagel for breakfast. Most mornings, I eat usually eat very light: fresh fruit or a cup of soy yogurt mixed with chopped almonds and a scoop of wheat germ. On the days I have much on the agenda, I cook hot cereal or scramble up some tofu with spinach and salsa. But today, I wanted a bagel.
The traditional way to eat bagels is with cream cheese. Make it at home, and you have some control over the amount you smear upon your bagel. Order it from a deli or bagel shop and it's piled high with enough cream cheese to generously cover two or three bagels. Or, you can have it with butter. Now, I don't eat butter (it's from a cow) but I do remember the deliciousness of a toasted bagel dripping with melted butter. So good. But there's no real nutritional value in the butter. You're basically eating a bagel covered with liquidized fat.
I don't eat cream cheese, either. Again- it's made from milk and milk comes from--well, you know! The non-dairy versions of cream cheese leave much to be desired. If you want to have cream cheese with your bagel, go right ahead but consider it a real splurge. Cream cheese is really nothing more than a big glob of fat and calories and the low fat or fat free versions are never as good. In fact, I don't use or condone any kind of low-fat or fat free foods- EVER!
I could have toasted my whole wheat bagel and covered it with my Earth Balance (VEGAN) spread. This is what I use when a recipe calls for butter. This would have been mighty tasty but again, there's really no nutritional benefit. Yes, I want my bagel but I want it to count. This morning I am going to sit with my dad while he gets his chemotherapy treatment. It's going to take at least five hours which means it will be a long time until my next meal!
So what can I put on my bagel to make it filling, nutritious, healthy, and vegan?
Here's what I did:
I took one half of a very ripe avocado and mashed it well. Then I added one tablespoon of hummus, a squirt of fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. I mixed it all together and spread it on my toasted bagel.
Of course I can't call this a low calorie, low fat spread HOWEVER, it is nutrient rich, loaded with vitamins, minerals and good fat that will keep me going for hours. Cream cheese or melted butter can never compare to healthy goodness of my home made Avocado-Hummus spread.
The key to eating well, staying healthy and losing weight is making wise choices when it comes to food!
It's okay to have a bagel. It's what you choose to smear upon it that makes all the difference.