Homemade morning bagels

Bagels are great – so portable. Keep sliced bagels in baggies in the freezer. The night before, take a bagel bag out of the freezer and throw it on the kitchen counter. Instead of the usual cream cheese and jam, have a spread or two made up in advance in your refrigerator.

Cream Cheese vs. Cream Cheese

All cream cheese tastes the same, right? Wrong. That’s like saying all bagels are created equal. Here’s where you need to shop around and read labels. Cream cheese should contain milk, cream, a possible cheese culture, a stabilizer or two, and that’s it. Our favorite brand is “Organic Valley”, made in Wisconsin from organic cow’s milk.

Maple Cream Cheese Spread              

What You’ll Need:

4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Buy an 8-ounce package.)
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 tablespoon finely chopped walnuts (Buy a 2–ounce package.)

What You’ll Do:

Let the cream cheese sit on the kitchen counter for about 20 minutes to soften. Put all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Using a large spoon or wire whisk, beat the ingredients until well blended and smooth. (The whisk gets rid of the lumps.) Beat the whisk on the side of the bowl to loosen any clumps of cheese. Using a rubber spatula, scrap the bowl and put into a plastic container. Chill overnight or for a few hours.


Medium mixing bowl
Measuring spoon
Mixing spoon or wire whisk
Rubber spatula
Plastic container

Red Spread              

This spread is a little spicy. Use it as a bagel, sandwich, or tortilla spread. Try it as a veggie, cracker, or pita chip dip.

What You’ll Need:

1/4 lb. pepper jack cheese
4 ounces (a half package) reduced fat cream cheese
1/3 cup chopped bottled roasted red pepper (You’ll need to dice it.)
1 green onion
Salt to taste

What You’ll Do:

1. Cut the jack cheese into one-inch chunks and place in a food processor. Chop the red peppers and put into the measuring cup. Cut the green onions into one-inch pieces.

2. Process the jack cheese until it is ground into pea-sized pieces. Add the cream cheese, red peppers, green onion, and a dash of salt. Process until smooth. Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula and process again. Store the spread in a covered plastic container in the
refrigerator for up to seven days.


Food processor
Cutting board
Small knife
Measuring cups
Rubber spatula
Plastic container

-Anne Vassal 
by GL | 2/1/2016