I eat bagels and cream cheese about twice a year when friends come to visit us from New York City. There isn't a better comfort food than a freshly made bagel smothered in cream cheese. But that is where I stop with both bagels and cream cheese. They are definitely once in a Blue Moon kinds of foods.
Why? Well, bagels are a really dense high calorie, carbohydrate and high glycemic food... but the real culprit of this duet is the cream cheese.
Cream cheese is basically a lump of fat with a pinch of protein...
Below illustrates the percentage of cream cheese's calories that are fat and the tiny amount that is protein. I think because there is "cheese" in the name people are under the impression that cream cheese is nutritious.
I can't tell you how many times friends have given me, most especially Mexican, recipes and there is close to a pound of cream cheese in the recipe. Many times I have made the dish minus the cream cheese and it has been delicious, plus it didn't sit in my stomach like a brick from the addition 1338 calories. How cream cheese got into Mexican food is a mystery to me? It is definitely not traditional to their cooking. There actually isn't a ton of cheese in general in Mexican cuisine.
What about lite cream cheese? Well, it has less calories and fat, but it still lacks nutritional value. Yogurt or cottage cheese are better substitutes.
Cream cheese is basically a nutritionally void food.... so, reserve it for the occasional bagel and for dessert making. It really is a good product for baking, and you aren't trying to get nutrition out of a slice of cheese cake... are you?
Weekly Menu Plan:
Sunday: Cheating on Winter Pea Soup with my husband's rustic homemade bread
Meatless Monday: Corzetti with Green Ricotta
Tuesday: Sautéed Rutabagas with Chiles, Mint & Maple with Pork and Swiss Chard
Wednesday: Out of the freezer: Zucchini & Fontina Quiche
Saturday: Winter Gala Dinner Out
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