5 Delicious + Light Bagel Toppings with Cream Cheese

Blueberry Coconut Cream Cheese Topping - 5 Delicious and Light Bagel Toppings - here are 5 delicious bagel spreads you can make with no guilt at all! These toppings include flavors like funfetti, pizza, mediterranean, blueberry coconut, and even chocolate peanut butter banana! All have nutrition information!

This post is sponsored by Arla Cheese

I swear I never thought I’d see the day when I’d look at a bagel and see balance, but I also promised myself I’d never write another thing once college ended…and last year I wrote a memoir, so. Here we are.

If you’ve read It Was Me All Along, you know my binge-to-balance relationship with bagels. I ate about a million bagels in college–mostly in the form of breakfast sandwiches, but of course, I didn’t discriminate against cream cheese. The thicker the schmear the better. But in 2005, when I reached my highest weight and started down the path to losing 135 pounds, I was sure I had them up. I was convinced that bagels were these nutritionally bankrupt carb bombs and that cream cheese was fattening. Now I’m convinced that youth is the ability to convince yourself of just about anything.

When I did eventually lose all of the weight, and brought cream cheese back into my life, it was nothing like I remembered, because this version was fat-free, and had such an unpleasant aftertaste that I wondered why my cream cheese made my lips pucker more than the tangiest grapefruit. A few times, I slathered it on a bagel–and not a bagel I’d particularly want these days, but one whose nutrition information made me feel safe, at least–and when I finished the last bite, I was so unsatisfied. I regretted “wasting calories.”  

5 Delicious and Light Bagel Toppings - here are 5 delicious bagel spreads you can make with no guilt at all! These toppings include flavors like funfetti, pizza, mediterranean, blueberry coconut, and even chocolate peanut butter banana! All have nutrition information!

Back then, all of my thoughts were so black and white. And I can understand why. I went from knowing nothing about healthy eating and being overweight for 20 years, to losing weight using all of this very common low-fat dieting ideology. It wasn’t that I thought fat was “bad,” per se, but that it had a lot of calories, and keeping my calories low was my priority. I didn’t care how long a list of ingredients a food or product had, so long as the calories were reasonable, which is sad and scary to think about now. But ten years ago, the world of healthy eating and dieting was different. There wasn’t a lust for coconut oil or a grand revival of egg yolks. Almost everyone probably would have considered Splenda the “best” of the artificial sweeteners. 100-calorie packs were created just about 10 years ago (2004), and recently, AdWeek noted their major recession.

5 Delicious and Light Bagel Toppings - here are 5 delicious bagel spreads you can make with no guilt at all! These toppings include flavors like funfetti, pizza, mediterranean, blueberry coconut, and even chocolate peanut butter banana! All have nutrition information!

For me, eating fat-free and predominantly sugar-free in the name of maintaining a low-calorie diet left me hungry all the time. I ate constantly, and despite seemingly eating around the clock, I had this gnawing feeling of never being satisfied. Of course, now it’s plain to see that I needed more fat, and maybe more protein. I needed foods that didn’t just have volume, but substance, too. And probably a few less ingredients. But really, I just needed to learn that food is more than simply nutrition and calories, and that satiety isn’t entirely a physical experience; it’s mental and emotional, too.

NATIONAL BAGEL DAY!

Today is National Bagel Day and I am so happy to celebrate. Six years ago, when I lived in Seattle, I started eating bagels again regularly–regularly, as in, every weekend. It became my sweet little Saturday tradition: a real-deal bagel with full-fat cream cheese and so.much.coffee.

These days, I don’t have a bagel every weekend (maybe I burned myself out :), but I do live a stone’s throw from New York City, so I feel really lucky that I have access to some of the very best bagels. But you don’t have to have NYC bagels to enjoy National Bagel Day. You just have to have one you love. For me, I love a dense, chewy bagel with a crisp, salty crust and a slightly yeasty flavor. I always go for the savory ones, like sesame seed, onion, or everything. Then, I toast it dark (and I mean DARK) and spread it with full-fat cream cheese because (surprise!) it keeps me full, tastes better, and having something a little bit richer makes me feel more satisfied on every level…and that matters.

Arla Cream Cheese

5 flavors: Original / Light / Herbs & Spices / Peppercorn / Blueberry. Favorite: Herbs & Spices!

Now, here’s the star of the show: Arla Cream Cheese. I was introduced to Arla at the Better Blog Retreat last October and I fell in love. Ever since that weekend, Daniel and I have eaten their cheeses non-stop. I can’t tell if I should admit that or not. Regardless, I’ve honestly converted everyone I know and love. I made a cheese platter for a party at Sabrina’s, put together football party sandwiches with their Sliced Dill Havarti, and even used their sister brand, Castello’s, blue cheese to make a cheese and cracker appetizer with orange marmalade and rosemary (I’m not usually this fancy I swear). Daniel tells me I’m obsessed, and I can’t even argue. I just love this brand and truly think it’s a step above.

There’s no denying the quality and integrity of a brand whose cream cheese has 4 INGREDIENTS (cream, milk, cheese culture, salt) when other leading brands have 11! ELEVEN, my friends. All of Arla’s cheeses are just as simple and pure: free of artificial flavors, with no preservatives, thickeners, or stabilizers. I seriously love that, because nowadays, especially if you’re health conscious even just a little bit, it’s really easy to feel overwhelmed by healthy eating or to feel like you should avoid ANY packaged foods whatsoever. We all probably thought we should avoid things like the packaged sliced cheeses we had when we were young (and weren’t we the luckiest generation?), but let me tell you what’s in Arla Sliced Havarti: pasteurized milk, salt, microbial rennet, culture. 4 INGREDIENTS. I checked other brands, and they have 18 ingredients. I’m not even someone who goes nuts with ingredient lists or who avoids processed foods at all costs, but when I know that delicious-tasting cheese can be made with 4 identifiable ingredients, I am less inclined to buy the one with 18–and one of them is a color.

To celebrate National Bagel Day, I dreamed up 5 downright delicious bagel toppings using all 5 of Arla’s Cream Cheese flavors! And none of them will break the bank calorie-wise or make you wonder whether or not you’ve fallen off-the-wagon. No regrets ever, my friends. For these recipes, I used mini whole wheat bagels because they’re cute as a button, and I liked that the smaller size allowed me to sample a few of the different flavors that I made (I basically threw myself a bagel party)! 

I hope that if you love bagels as much as I do, you’ll celebrate today or sometime soon! You deserve to live a full and satisfying life–and a bagel every now and then, whether full-sized or mini, can absolutely be part of that!

BLUEBERRY COCONUT BAGEL

Blueberry Coconut Cream Cheese Topping - 5 Delicious and Light Bagel Toppings - here are 5 delicious bagel spreads you can make with no guilt at all! These toppings include flavors like funfetti, pizza, mediterranean, blueberry coconut, and even chocolate peanut butter banana! All have nutrition information!

Blueberry Coconut Bagel

2 tablespoons Arla Blueberry Cream Cheese Spread
¼ cup fresh blueberries, or frozen blueberries, thawed
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes

Nutrition information for the topping: Calories 130.3, Total Fat 9g, Sat Fat 7g, Cholesterol 20mg, Carb 10.1g, Fiber 2g, Sugars 7.3g, Protein 2.8g 

MEDITERRANEAN BAGEL

Mediterranean Bagel Spread - 5 Delicious and Light Bagel Toppings - here are 5 delicious bagel spreads you can make with no guilt at all! These toppings include flavors like funfetti, pizza, mediterranean, blueberry coconut, and even chocolate peanut butter banana! All have nutrition information!

Mediterranean Bagel Topping

2 tablespoons Arla Herbs & Spices Cream Cheese Spread
1 roasted red pepper, packed in water, finely chopped
2 kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

Nutrition information for the topping: Calories 117.9, Total Fat 10.1g, Sat Fat 4g, Cholesterol 20mg, Carb 5.3g, Fiber 0.7g, Sugars 2.5g, Protein 2.6g 

PIZZA BAGEL

Pizza Bagel! 5 Delicious and Light Bagel Toppings - here are 5 delicious bagel spreads you can make with no guilt at all! These toppings include flavors like funfetti, pizza, mediterranean, blueberry coconut, and even chocolate peanut butter banana! All have nutrition information!

Pizza Bagel Topping

2 tablespoons Arla Peppercorn Cream Cheese Spread
2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow onion
3 grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 slices turkey pepperoni
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch red pepper flakes

Nutrition information for the topping: Calories 93.8, Total Fat 5.9g, Sat Fat 3.3g, Cholesterol 27.2mg, Carb 5.8g, Fiber 1.1g, Sugars 2.1g, Protein 4.1g

FUNFETTI BAGEL

Funfetti Bagel Spread - 5 Delicious and Light Bagel Toppings - here are 5 delicious bagel spreads you can make with no guilt at all! These toppings include flavors like funfetti, pizza, mediterranean, blueberry coconut, and even chocolate peanut butter banana! All have nutrition information!

Funfetti Bagel Topping

2 tablespoons Arla Original Cream Cheese Spread
1 teaspoon honey or powdered sugar
½ teaspoon rainbow sprinkles

Nutrition information for the topping: Calories 111, Total Fat 7.5g, Sat Fat 4.5g, Cholesterol 25mg, Carb 8.2g, Fiber 0g, Sugars 8.2g, Protein 1g

CHOCO-PEANUT BUTTER BANANA BAGEL

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bagel Topping - 5 Delicious and Light Bagel Toppings - here are 5 delicious bagel spreads you can make with no guilt at all! These toppings include flavors like funfetti, pizza, mediterranean, blueberry coconut, and even chocolate peanut butter banana! All have nutrition information!

Choco-Peanut Butter Banana Bagel

1 ½ tablespoons natural peanut butter
1 ½ tablespoons Arla Light Cream Cheese Spread
¼ medium banana, sliced
dark chocolate shavings, optional

Nutrition information for the topping: Calories 196.4, Total Fat 13.2g, Sat Fat 4.3g, Cholesterol 15.1mg, Carb 13.2g, Fiber 2.1g, Sugars 7.2g, Protein 6.0g

ARLA EVENT

Park Avenue Winter NYC

Two Fridays ago, I hosted an event at Park Avenue Winter with a fantastic group of bloggers and influencers to eat, drink, and spread the love about Arla!

Arla Influencer Event

We had a cream cheese bar with bagels and lox, the ultimate cheese platter with all the varieties of Arla’s sliced cheeses, and THEN sat down to a lunch that Park Avenue’s chef prepared using a variety of Arla’s cheeses.

I gave a 10-minute talk and the group did not fall asleep (but there were no beds!). It was nice to get the chance to meet a dozen or so local people that I hope to connect with again, and to see at least one familiar face that I love. Lastly and most pressingly, I brought home a 10-pound wheel of Gouda. So yes, Daniel and I are enjoying our engagement.

GIVEAWAY!

***Update: Giveaway is now closed*** To celebrate National Bagel Day, Arla is helping me give away a Simply Better Breakfast Bundle! Here’s what’s included:

– Arla Cream Cheese
– Decorative Cutting Board
– Bagel Slicer
– Toaster Tongs
– Napkins

How to Enter:

  1. Share this Post on Facebook – OR – Pin It on Pinterest!  
  2. Leave a comment below letting me know that you shared it, and tell me your favorite bagel combo!

Winner will be chosen randomly Wednesday 2/10/16 by 12am EST!

5 Delicious and Light Bagel Toppings - here are 5 low calorie bagel spreads you can make with no guilt at all. These toppings include flavors like funfetti, pizza, mediterranean, blueberry coconut, and even chocolate peanut butter banana! All have nutrition information

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51 thoughts on “5 Delicious + Light Bagel Toppings with Cream Cheese

  1. Meg Farris

    I ADORE bagels! My favorite is a cheese bagel with cream cheese, tomato, smoked salmon and capers! I love peanut butter so must try your peanut butter banana topping! Yummy!

    Reply
  2. Unique

    Great post… Pinned! You hit the nail on the head when you speak bagels and fat free cream cheese was just gross! I’ve always loved bagels. During my weight loss journey I remember a friend telling me never to eat a bagel again because they have no nutritional value. Well neither does a glass of wine (well some say it does) but we indulge in that.

    Love the pb choc one that sounds good. Also, my boyfriend and I just got a place in Salem Ma and literally live walking distance from bagel world! Their bagels with lox are amazing!!! Everything is great, best bagels in Mass ☺️.

    Reply
  3. Rebecca Black

    Bagels are so delicious!!!! I will have to look for Arla Cream Cheese as I have never tried it. Will be pinning these recipes for this upcoming weekend!! Can’t wait for your book either!!!

    Reply
  4. Jenna

    Pinned it! I absolutely MUST try the blueberry/coconut combo. That looks insanely delicious. Also Andie, I just bought a Gazelle because of you LOL

    Reply
  5. Erin V

    One of my favorite posts of yours is the one about going to your Starbucks every Sat and eating a bagel with cream cheese. I pinned this! Great ideas. I would love to try the blueberry cream cheese (on my favorite cinnamon raisin bagel)

    Reply
  6. Lori

    I am also a savory bagel lover. I actually mostly enjoy getting the flavor out of my bagel and using plain cream cheese. However, the pizza bagel sounds yummy for a snack later in the day.

    Reply
  7. Jackie

    Shared it on Pinterest! I think I could seriously live on bagels mmmmmm My fav combo is a cinnamon raisin bagel, toasted with cream cheese and peanut butter…ok drooling now

    Reply
  8. Monika

    I’ve pinned this! My favorite bagel is a poppy bagel with cream cheese and thinly sliced tomatoes and onions with a sprinkle of sea salt – a European tradition!

    Reply
  9. Bethany Imondi

    I love a good bagel with cream cheese, lox and capers. I like to eat it open face and appreciate the contrast between the tangy cream cheese and salty bite from the capers and the luscious lox. On simpler days, I love a good seasame bagel with sun dried tomato cream cheese.

    Reply
  10. Laura

    Pinned! I love bagels. It’s a treat for me to have one for sure. Normally I stick to a plain or blueberry bagel with plain or blueberry cream cheese. However, your Mediterranean bagel made me think of the bruschetta I found at Trader Joe’s this weekend. I NEED to try it on a bagel with the herb and spices spread. Thanks for introducing me to Arla!

    Reply
  11. Chris Baker Cox

    I love, love, love bagels. They are an indulgence for me. I am definitely going to look for Arla at my grocery store. I am trying to cut out processed foods. Thank you for the delicious ideas!

    Reply
  12. Erin Moul

    Pinned it! I’ve never had Arla cheese but I LOVE that there is only 4 ingredients! I will definitely be trying this! And as someone who used to work at a bagel shop in college, I completely understand how easily a bagel and cream cheese habit can derail weight loss. Thanks for the healthy options!!

    Reply
  13. Denae

    Pinned this! I haven’t had a bagel in forever, but am I ever craving one now! I’m thinking of a combo of cream cheese, walnuts and honey.

    Reply
  14. Victor

    Pinned! Love toasted bagels and cream cheese. Just plain is fine with me. And thanks for the tip on Arla products, I will have to look for them. I don’t always have time to make my own and that ingredient list is all there should be!!

    Reply
  15. Kari Oswald

    Shared and the Blueberry Coconut Bagel looks absolutely delicious! I’d love to win the giveaway as I’ve called a few grocery stores in the Twin Cities area and none of them carry the Arla cream cheese…but I did ask them all to consider stocking Arla

    Reply
  16. Serenity M

    YUM! Just pinned this! There is a local bagel shop downtown that makes the most incredible Parmesan cheese bagel. So yeasty and chewy and dense. I like to slather it with regular or pumpkin cream cheese depending on time of year ;)

    Reply
  17. Jeana B

    I love plain egg bagels, toasted w/just a bit of plain cream cheese and a little rasberry jam (all organic) of course. I will try the fresh blueberries w/coconut. Yum for breakfast1 Yes, I pinned this.

    Reply
  18. Sylvia

    I love bagels but being born and raised in Texas, I suppose Ive never had a proper bagel but Id love the chance to try ’em! And Arla’s cream cheese sounds divine! Go ahead make me a believer!

    Reply
  19. Jaiden

    I pinned it! Our local Hy-Vee has cranberry orange cream cheese, which I love on a lightly toasted wheat bagel, so good :)

    Reply
  20. Sandie

    I pinned your article in my Healthy Eating category. We have a great local bagel shop here where you can get fresh just baked bagels still warm from the oven. I would love to try all these—-must find that Arla cheese!

    Reply
  21. Leyla

    pinned! i love all kinds of bagels and all flavors of cream cheese. your creations sound divine…especially the blueberry coconut! i will be trying these very soon :) thanks!

    Reply
  22. Lauren Deegan

    The pizza bagel was by far the most delicious thing I’ve ever had and it was extremely easy to make. Thanks for this!

    Reply
  23. Maureen S

    Yum!! Just got off a low carb kick, so I will definitely be trying a few of these. Thanks for the great ideas!! Shared FB and Pinterest!

    Reply
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