By Sarah-Jane Bedwell, SELF
photo: Romulo A. Yanes
Whether you enjoy bagels warm and toasted with a smear of cream cheese or like to swap them in for regular bread in sandwiches, bagels are a classic carb-lover's favorite food. However, all those carbs can add up in the calorie department, (especially since the size of bagels these days has exploded!), with some packing over 300 calories each--and that's before toppings! So in honor of National Bagel Day, we've created 10 combos that will satisfy any bagel-lover for less than 300 calories each. Just start with half of a standard 3-inch diameter bagel -- bonus points for 100% whole grain -- and pick your favorite toppings below. Or, trade your half bagel in for a whole bagel thin for about the same number of calories.
Cucumber Dill and Cream Cheese: Toast the bagel half and top with 1.5 tablespoons of reduced fat cream cheese, 6 thin slices of cucumber and a teaspoon of chopped, fresh dill. 160 calories.
Avocado Egg: Spread ¼ large avocado mashed with a squeeze of lime and sprinkle of sea salt onto the toasted bagel half. Top with one large egg, fried, and more salt and pepper to taste. Add a dash of hot sauce if you are feeling adventurous. All this flavor comes in at just 250 calories.
Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate: Smear 1.5 tablespoons natural peanut butter over the toasted bagel half. Top with ½ banana, sliced. Melt 3/4 tablespoon dark chocolate chips and drizzle over the top of the banana-topped bagel. Indulge for just 293 calories.
Pineapple-Strawberry Cream Cheese: Chop 2 tablespoons of fresh strawberries, 1 tablespoon pineapple, and 1 teaspoon fresh mint. Then stir all 3 ingredients into 2 tablespoons reduced fat cream cheese. Spread mixture on toasted bagel half. 182 calories.
Open-faced Lox: Spread 1.5 tablespoons of reduced fat cream cheese on the toasted bagel half. Top with 3 ounces lox, 1 slice tomato, 1 tablespoon chopped red onion, and 1 teaspoon capers. Enjoy this classic brunch fave for just 261 calories.
Pizza Bagel: Spread 2 tablespoons pizza sauce over a bagel half. Top with ¼ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons sliced mushrooms, and 1 tablespoon chopped bell peppers. Place under the broiler until cheese melts, and then enjoy this 188-calorie, snack-sized pizza.
Cinnamon Almond Apple: Mix ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon into 1.5 tablespoons almond butter. Spread on toasted bagel half and top with half of 1 small apple, thinly sliced. Savor this healthy treat that comes in at just 292 calories.
Spinach-Artichoke: Saute 1 cup spinach, 2 tablespoons yellow onion, and 1 minced garlic clove in 1 teaspoon canola oil. Stir into 1.5 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese; fold in 2 tablespoons chopped jarred artichoke hearts. Spread mixture onto a toasted bagel half for an anytime snack that clocks in at 225 calories.
Loaded Hummus: Spread 1.5 tablespoons of your favorite hummus across a toasted bagel half. Top with 1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese, 1 tablespoon chopped roasted red peppers, and 1 tablespoon chopped Kalamata olives. Snack away for just 204 calories.
Cheese and Chutney: Top half of a bagel with 1 slice (1 oz.) Fontina cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese melts. Top with 2 tablespoons of your favorite fruit chutney and enjoy for just 260 calories.
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