One of my favorite breakfasts is a bagel with cream cheese. I’m talking about a real bagel, not one of those flimsy bagel thins. Nope, I want the real deal. Give me that warm, crunchy, doughy goodness and nothing else.
Unfortunately, bagels can be high in calories and the calorie count can go even higher when you slather on cream cheese. I’m not about to give up my warm, toasty bagel, and fat free cream cheese is a bland and boring substitution for the real deal. My solution is to top my bagel with healthier substitutions that are full of flavor.
- Hummus. Hummus is a low calorie and low fat option that offers a variety of flavors to keep your taste buds happy.
- Almond Butter. If you’re in the mood for something a little sweet and a little salty, almond butter is for you. Not only is it delicious, but it has less saturated fat and more protein than cream cheese.
- Farmer Cheese.Similar to ricotta cheese, farmer cheese is lower in calories and fat than cream cheese, but similar in consistency.
- Cottage Cheese. Packed with protein, cottage cheese is a healthy compliment to your carby bagel.
- Fruit Spread. If fruit-flavored cream cheese is your thing, try a fruit spread instead. You’ll lose the fat and calories but none of the flavor.
- Tofu Spread. You don’t have to be vegan to make this popular substitution for cream cheese. Simply combine one cup of silken tofu, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 3 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tbsp of sugar and ½ a tsp of salt in a blender to make your own healthy substitution.
- Avocado. Don’t be put off by the calories and fat in avocados. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, and protein. The fat content is monounsaturated fat. That’s the good fat you want! So go ahead and spread the green goodness with abandon.
- Greek Yogurt. Greek yogurt is everywhere these days and for good reason. It’s low in fat and full of protein. Try adding herbs, chives, and carrots to the yogurt if you’re a fan of garden cream cheese or just try it plain.
- Neufchatel. This spreadable cheese looks and acts like cream cheese. It’s even located next to it in the grocery store. Despite being neighbors, Neufchatel is lower in fat making it the healthier choice.
There’s nothing wrong with a little cream cheese here and there, but if you’re trying to eat healthier, these toppings are a great alternative.