Bagels & Crunchy Peanut Butter

by HEAB on April 19, 2013

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Growing up in the South, we didn’t do bagels.  Now, there are numerous bagel shops around town, but in my younger years, breakfast side options consisted of toast, biscuits, or grits.  I clearly remember my first bagel encounter.  We were on the way to elementary school, and a girl in my carpool was eating what looked like a bready donut slathered in cream cheese.  Her parents were the local “health nuts” – they used to power walk around the neighborhood together every night in their 80′s warm-up suits.  Think Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her yuppie husband in Christmas Vacation

Anyway, I asked the girl what she was eating, and when she told me it was a bagel, I’m sure I immediately wrote it off as her usual horse feed fair and went back to eating my Pop-Tart.  However, over the next few years, I grew to love bagels.  In fact, I lived on them in college, back in the fat is evil, carbs are good decade.  It was during this time that I decided to make some changes in my life and eat better.  Sadly, bagels became an occasional treat, and then I stopped eating them altogether…you know, because they’re empty calories that shoot your blood sugar levels through the roof.  Fast forward to 2010…I got pregnant and welcomed bagels back into my life with open arms.  Less than two years later, I was pregnant again and ate bagels for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I try and aim for a little more variety these days, but bagel, I will never forsake you again.  You are and will always be one of my favorite breakfast foods.

My breakfast this morning: a cinnamon raisin bagel with whipped cream cheese on one half and crunchy peanut butter on the other.  Last week, I finally tried Peanut Butter Boy’s Crunchy after finishing off all of my opened jars of PB.  OK, I have to tell you that this is THE BEST crunchy peanut butter I’ve ever eaten.  I’m usually an all natural crunchy unsalted girl (think Smuckers or Trader Joe’s brand – I like it runny!), but nothing compares to the jar above.  It tastes straight up like fresh roasted peanuts – like the kind you get in a bag at a baseball game, and the chunkage factor is like no other PB I’ve tried…

We’re talking big pieces of peanuts in every bite, and the amount of salt is just right.  I must get my hands on more!

To read my review of Peanut Butter Boy Smooth, click here.  Also, some of you asked about Nick’s use of palm oil in his products.  To combat the unsustainable farming of palm oil, Peanut Butter Boy uses only Sustainable Certified (RSPO) Palm Oil. No exceptions.

So who out there fears the bagel?  Nothing to fear my friends, nothing to fear.  Also, do you prefer crunchy or smooth?  I’m a crunchy girl.

{ 67 comments }

Tracy April 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm

You already know my love of the CRUNCH! Yes, Peanut Butter Boy is outstanding peanut butter for sure!

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) April 19, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I miss bagels…Tony and I were just talking about that today! We used to go to the bagel shop in our years before celiac and gluten intolerance. Cream cheese, fresh tomato, lettuce and sprouts…YUM! Enjoy one for me please!

HEAB April 20, 2013 at 8:34 am

Sarena,
I’m sad for you guys and will definitely enjoy a bagel in your honor. Someday, someone will invent an amazing gluten free bagel! :)

maggie @ say yes to salad April 19, 2013 at 7:17 pm

I definitely went through a bagel-fearing phase, but luckily it was short-lived because I also love bagels. My 2 favorites: toasted whole wheat bagel with butter OR toasted cinnamon raisin with cream cheese.

Do you make your own or do you have a favorite brand? (I don’t have a favorite brand – I usually just get bagels at whatever local bagel shop is open. In NYC pretty much all bagels are delicious.)

HEAB April 20, 2013 at 8:37 am

Maggie, we would breakfast well together. :)

I don’t make my own and usually just buy them at Costco. Our Costco sells Einstein Bros bagels – so big, good, and cheap! We have a local bakery that makes bagels for a lot of the coffee shops around town, but I think their bagels are scrawny. So, I stick to Costco – go big or go home! I’m pretty sure I’d go bagel crazy if I lived in NYC.

Averie @ Averie Cooks April 19, 2013 at 7:21 pm

I also lived on bagels in h.s. and college, then shunned them for the empty carb principle, but there is just nothing better than a lightly toasted warm bagel smeared with butter, jelly, PB, cream cheese…whatever. So good! Nick’s PB always looks wonderful, too!

Natalie April 19, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Mmm sounds so good!!! Bagels I think they are hard to digest, high gluten.. I have them occassionally!

Patricia April 19, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Hi Heather,
i must admit that i have a HUGE fear of bagels. I was told that one bagel = 4 pieces of toast. So with that stated i cannot imagine tolerating this much bread. i too lived on bagels when i was in college. So i have mixed feelings towards them. As for your peanut butter, i LLLLLOOOVVVVVEEE peanut buter, more so Almond Butter. Although i love chunky so much. Would love to try this for sure. Will have to check out Amazon or some other store. Do you have a recommended store where i can purchase it from? Sounds like the chunky would be oh so good in so many things. i.e. oatmeal, granola bars, smoothies, etc…mmm ;) Thanks for sharing.

HEAB April 20, 2013 at 8:42 am

Patricia,
Yeah, bagels are definitely carb heavy, and I totally understand your fear. Shunned them for years, but now I enjoy bagels when I crave them. Nothing like a toasted bagel with cream cheese – toast just doesn’t always do it for me.

Now onto chunky PB (the best, no?!?). As far as I know, Peanut Butter Boy Peanut Butter is available in some stores in New Jersey, but hasn’t spread across the country just yet. Someday I hope! Until then, you can order it online here: http://store.peanutbutterboy.com/products/crunch-power. A jar is $7, but keep in mind it’s 18 oz (bigger than other brands), and although I try and limit my online nut butter orders, I totally think this one is worth it.

Emilia April 19, 2013 at 8:33 pm

You are hilarious and I love you. So awesome how u just put it on out there as it is….and how is should be:-)
Nothing beats a good ole’ bagel– but don’t judge: I’ve never had a bagel and peanut butter. Hummus, butter, cream cheese, greek yogurt, almond butter (does that count?) but never plain jain PB. I KNOW. How can this be. Making mental note of that and changing it asap. Have u tried the sprouted grain ones from TJs? Oh my gosh, life changing I tell ya. A bagels a bagel though, sprouted just puts the cherry on top:-)

PS…. I seriously am considering leaving the coastal living mecca and coming to visit u one of these days!! xo

HEAB April 20, 2013 at 8:43 am

Emilia,
You MUST try a toasted bagel with PB ASAP…and then come to Nashville for a visit. Or just come to Nashville, and I’ll make you one. :)

Sarah April 19, 2013 at 9:22 pm

I LOVE bagels….mostly the ones with gluten, so even though I eat gluten-free, I will, every once in a while, say, “Screw it!” and seek out a bagel. Yum. While I tried to force myself for several years to eat healthy, virtuous breakfasts (plain oatmeal and chia; eggs), I’ve recently said, “Enough! Just eat what you want.” Udi’s gluten-free cinnamon raison bagels wtih a little pasture butter on one side and some Barney Butter on the other = perfection.

HEAB April 20, 2013 at 8:43 am

Sarah,
I’m with you – screw it. ;)

Lou April 19, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Blueberry bagels with almond butter = sweet sweet JOY :)

HEAB April 20, 2013 at 8:43 am

Lou,
Sweet JOY indeed. :)

Katie April 20, 2013 at 12:17 am

I worked at a bagel shop for four years – all of high school and summers during college. So you could say I ate a couple bagels. (Truth: I am sure that I ate 2-3 A DAY, literally.)

I can’t eat them anymore (and the GF ones I’ve tried have been awful, if you compare them to real bagel shop bagels), and I miss them. Toasted with pb and a drizzle of honey. DANG.

Katie April 20, 2013 at 12:18 am

Oh, and I’m 100% creamy. I like a clean spread with no chunks and optimal coverage over every square inch. (Plus I hate peanuts. I know, weird.)

HEAB April 20, 2013 at 8:49 am

Katie,
Dang!!! Like I said to someone above, hopefully someone will invent an amazing gluten free bagel one day (and one that doesn’t cost $10!). Until then how about some smooth nut butter (not peanut!) on Udi’s toast?

Michelle @ Eat Move Balance April 20, 2013 at 5:31 am

I grew up eating and loving bagels, went through the phase of staying away from them, and now I actually just don’t care for them. Weird, right? I’d rather have a piece of ezekial-type toast with peanut or almond butter on top (in fact, that what I’m eating as I type this!). The Peanut Butter Boy PB sounds incredibly good! I’ve been making my own nut butters, and holy cow, the freshness factor is remarkable! I love it!

HEAB April 20, 2013 at 8:49 am

Michelle,
A little weird, yes, but nothing wrong with the Ezekiel toast lovin. It’s good stuff! :)

Cecilia April 20, 2013 at 6:02 am

Bagels were my life for 25+ years. I even worked in a bagel shop at one point. But gluten intolerance has made them absent from my life. I miss them! I ate anything and everything on a bagel. There was no end to the possibilities.

HEAB April 20, 2013 at 8:50 am

Cecilia,
I’m sorry :(

Eating 4 Balance April 20, 2013 at 7:00 am

Bagels with peanut butter were one of my favorite breakfasts as a kid! So melty and delicious.

HEAB April 20, 2013 at 8:50 am

Eating 4 Balance,
Me too…and still is! :)

Shannon from Oak Brook April 20, 2013 at 9:41 am

Smooth almond butter + sprouted cinnamon raisin bagel = amazingness. Also, I have been following your blog for a while, and I think it’s great! But, what I think is even more amazing is that your CD and my brother (DP) were childhood best friends. This world is so small.

HEAB April 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Shannon,
Oh my gosh, no way! A small world indeed. Chris flipped when I read your comment to him. Too funny as he is always sharing DP stories with me. Hoping to meet that infamous brother of yours someday. :)
Thanks for the comment and for reading. Perhaps our paths will cross one day as well. We love visiting Chicago!

Patricia April 20, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Hey Heather, Just getting back to you due to a lot of people stating the gluten free thing. i recently bought a loaf of the Udi’s multi-grain bread. It was very tasty I must admit. So was curious if they made bagels. They make the cinnamon raisin bread, sounds super tasty with pb or ab. But, still a bagel is more dense. I would check with local bakeries now days, it seems that with everything being low-card and gluten free that they would pease to this part of the population. Well, off to try and see if i can order me some Peanut Boy, thanks for the link. May have to hide the stash once i buy as my teenage son goes through it like water..he too loves pb. ;) Thanks for sharing.

HEAB April 20, 2013 at 2:59 pm

I love Udi’s bread, and the company does make bagels. However, I hear they don’t taste nearly as good as a regular bagel. Never tried them myself b/c they are pricey. Hopefully someone will make a good gluten free bagel and soon!

Enjoy your peanut butter – totally “hiding place worthy” stuff! :)

lucy April 21, 2013 at 9:30 am

i havent eaten a bagel in 6 years…!! when i left home, i ‘went paleo’ and now I’m not paleo, but till can’t quite get myself to eat bread, but I’m definitely getting there- like all of your quinoa recipes I’m going to try making as soon as i get the chance! on the weekends when i used to work a long shift on my feet and couldn’t be bothered to cook, id come home and toast a ‘food doctor’ bagel (in UK) and slather one half with whipped cream cheese and hot jam, the other with crunchy peanut butter and manuka honey for dinner!

HEAB April 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Lucy,
Sounds like my kind of dinner these days. :)

Happy to hear you’re about to enjoy some quinoa. Love using quinoa as a base for meals. So easy and delicious.

Kimberly Raney April 21, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Sounds delicious!
Even more so, because I ate a bagel for breakfast this morning and made my pistachio butter yesterday. I wasn’t at home, so I ate the bagel with cream cheese and lox. For lunch, I tried the pistachio butter on my turkey wrap. It was delicious.

I love bagels and prefer my peanut butter smooth.

HEAB April 23, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Kimberly,
Pistachio butter on a turkey wrap – I’m pretty sure I’d love that!

Kim April 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Yes, it was so delicious. If you happen to try it, let me know what you think.

Next I think I will try making chocolate hazelnut butter. I’ve vowed not to purchase any more Nutella, because I tend to overeat it when I have it…. but I might be okay if I’ve made it myself! :)

Katy M April 21, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I also love bagels like other readers, after a long day of work, smooth Jiff on one hits the spot.

You’ve never mentioned this, but I am wondering if you have a health problem that prevents you from working or taking care of the kids on your own? My cousin has fibromyalgia and had to quit work, but then still couldn’t do everything around the house so had to hire sombody to help with childcare, laundry etc… just to get thru each day. I know it’s really hard on her, I hope you don’t also have to suffer like she does. Sounds like you have lots of help, though, if that’s the case. Best of luck with your blog, it’s very cute, I enjoyed perusing it for the first time today.

HEAB April 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Hi Katy,
I do not have any sort of health problem, but we do have a part-time nanny that comes to help me here at the house Monday – Friday. We have a 2 year old and 10 month old twins, and so the extra set of hands is awesome. Without her help, it’s hard for me to leave the house with all three (we don’t have a triple stroller, and I can’t always count on our toddler to walk right beside me. I can’t hold her hand and push the double stroller at the same time.) or run errands – can’t fit them all in the cart at the grocery store!

Christa @ Edible Balance April 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Ok, those two from Christmas Vacation were my absolute favorite! When the lights finally come on next door at the Griswolds and completely blind them? Oh man, love that scene!

I gave up on bagels a long time ago. Like many others, I just can’t find a good gluten free version that’s worthwhile. I do love raw bagels though!

HEAB April 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Christa,
Haha, yes, loved that scene. Love the whole movie actually. Another commenter mentioned toasting Udi’s gluten free bagels in the oven for a few minutes, open faced. Apparently, that’s the trick! :)

Jill April 22, 2013 at 10:08 pm

I LOVE the occasional bagel…although I usually get the whole wheat one at Panera but my true fave is either onion or everything with cream cheese :-) And as always I’m glad that you are currently eating a wider variety of carbs than you used to…I know that everyone (well, not really) is doing Paleo/gluten-free/etc. but I love carbs too much to consider any of those seriously. LOL

HEAB April 23, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Jill,
My fellow lover of carbs. I promise to never forsake the bagel again. Next meet up, let’s do Panera! :)

heidi April 23, 2013 at 9:49 am

I’ve found the secret to Udi’s gluten free bagels is to toast them in the oven for a few minutes, open-faced. They go from inedible (or at least just-not-worth-it) to truly scrumptious–crispy/crunchy outside, chewy inside, just like a bagel should be.

HEAB April 23, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Thanks Heidi,
Good to know. Oven, open-faced. Got it. Will have to try soon – just wish they weren’t so pricey!

Sara April 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Bagels = yum! They got me through the first trimester too! We have “birthday bagels” at work for co-workers’ birthdays. Smooth peanut butter!

HEAB April 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Sara,
I love the idea of “birthday bagels”. We always had huge potlucks and cake when I worked in an office. I swear, whenever there was ANY possible reason for cake, someone brought one in, and if not cake, then donuts for breakfast. Office environment = sugar overload. Bagels with all the fixins’ sounds much more fun to me. :)

Robyn Jones Clark April 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm

I love crunchy peanut butter. I definitely want to try his. I’ve been eating the bagel thins lately. I like bagels, but it’s not something I normally eat all the time.

I’ve been craving cereal and cutie clementines during pregnancy. Mueseli (sp?) and Crispix… and typically I wouldn’t eat a pop-tart, but throw one of those in there occasionally (brown sugar cinnamon.)

I’ve done good though, I’ve not gained but about 10 lbs (if that..), course I needed to lose weight before I got pregnant. Pregnancy agrees with me though.. most of my ailments went away (acne, psoriasis, etc) with pregnancy. Must have had some major hormonal issues.

HEAB April 24, 2013 at 1:13 am

RJC,
Ha, you know I totally loved on the pop-tarts when pregnant with Summer. So funny b/c I’ve had several other women tell me they craved them too. I was a browns sugar cinnamon and cherry girl (frosted of course, ALWAYS frosted!). I also craved cereal with Summer but not with the twins. In fact, I couldn’t even look at it when pregnant with Charlie and Katie. Funny how all pregnancies are different.

That’s great your ailments have cleared up – isn’t the body crazy that way? Hope they stay gone after baby boy arrives. Thinking about you lots and can’t wait to see him!!! :)

The Dainty Pig April 23, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Oh me oh my. I must get my hands on that peanut butter.
Crunchy, for sure :)
And damn, now I want a bagel!

HEAB April 24, 2013 at 1:10 am

Jess,
And all I could think about all day was a reuben. So there. ;)

Alyssa (azusmom) April 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Crunchy!
I, too, love the bagels. growing up on the east coast (and being Jewish), I was raised on them. Um, not literally, I just…ate a lot of them…
Anywho, I went to Texas 20 years ago to visit my brother & his family & asked for a bagel at a deli. I was met with a bunch of quizzical looks, and settled for a sandwich on regular bread.

HEAB April 25, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Alyssa,
Thank goodness bagels finally found their way down South! We were totally missing out before.

STUFT Mama April 26, 2013 at 12:49 am

Never fear the bagels. :) And I too am a crunchy gal, too bad my boys aren’t and they don’t even really like peanut butter. Weirdos. :)

HEAB April 26, 2013 at 7:35 am

STUFT,
What?!? They don’t like peanut butter. For shame. :( Honestly though, Summer isn’t too into it either. She likes it but is much happier with cream cheese. Child wants cream cheese on EVERYTHING.

Sara @ sarasmiles April 26, 2013 at 7:14 am

I was the same way growing up! I had never had a bagel until middle school, and I must say I didn’t like it much. I much preferred my toaster strudel. It wasn’t until high school when we got bagels delivered every morning from our local bagel shop that I had one a day-chocolate chip. Yep, I packed on some pounds but it was delicious anyway! I never really have bagels anymore unless its a pumpernickel one in the form of a turkey sandwich.

Crunchy for sure!

HEAB April 26, 2013 at 7:38 am

Sara,
Haha – toaster strudels!!! Back in high-school, my friend and I had an ongoing debate: Pop-Tarts vs Toaster Strudels. I was Team Pop-Tart all the way. Now, about these chocolate chip bagels. I’m sure I would have been eating that every morning for breakfast as well as it combines two of my favorite foods – bagels and chocolate. Doesn’t get much better. :)

Deadra April 30, 2013 at 10:58 am

I adore bagels, I can’t eat a whole one, but I do love the chew they have. Yumm. Right now I love them with butter and vegemite. (a pregnancy staple for me.) ;)

HEAB April 30, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Dea,
Congrats! I’m off Facebook and didn’t know you were expecting again. So happy for you. :)

Deadra April 30, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I haven’t announced it yet. I will later this week.

erin May 12, 2013 at 1:22 pm

I had no clue you were still posting! I use to read you for yrs, and when you stopped, I stopped checking. I got away from reading a load of blogs a day, and only check a couple every day or so. But I use to LOVVE yours! You introduced me to many yummy combos! The chili is still a fav! So I’ll be reading you more often now. So happy to see you posting, and loving life as a mom of 2, and healthy! Lov.

Leah May 16, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Hi Heather. I havent replied/posted in a very long time. First of all your children are adorable. Congratulations on your beautiful growing family.

Im a smooth girl. Crunchy is good – but I always buy creamy.
This peanut butter looks good & I like the that it comes in 16 oz jars. Does he sell this in stores or is shipping the only option?

Thanks – Im still enjoying your blog as a lurker. Ill try to reply to more posts :)

HEAB May 17, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Hi Leah,
Oh gosh, no need to respond – I just really appreciate you reading!

As far as Peanut Butter Boy Peanut Butter goes, I know it’s available in some stores in New Jersey (where it’s made). Nick, the owner of the company is hoping to get into more stores soon, but until then (and in less you live in NJ), you have to order online. Let me know if you try it!

morgan @ saladshake.co June 3, 2013 at 9:21 am

i recently tried the spinach feta wrap for the first time via my sister and i was blown away! they’re so delicious!

HEAB June 3, 2013 at 11:20 am

Hi Morgan, I know, so good right? I think I could one of those wraps every day! :)

kim June 3, 2013 at 8:38 pm

I’m not much of a bagel fan, but bread? I can have it three meals a day. At first, I tried to wean myself away from it because I was really having a lot of it. But then I realized that’s because I exercised a lot and my depleted body needed the carb. I listen to my body now and embrace bread. Btw, my favorite is San Francisco sourdough. Yes, it’s white flour, so what? :)

HEAB June 4, 2013 at 7:13 am

Kim, I was the same way a long time. Bread was something to fear – so silly, and yes sourdough is one of my favorites too. I had a starter and was making my own every week last spring…with WHITE flour. For shame. ;)

Amelia July 3, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Bagels with peanut butter just might be my favorite meal on earth! Or at least it’s one of the top competitors for the title ;) I’ve never seen this peanut butter – can’t wait to try! Thanks for the tip! p.s. congrats on expecting #4. What an adventure!

HEAB July 4, 2013 at 7:32 am

Thanks Amelia, and I just ate a bagel + PB for breakfast. The best. :)

Dee July 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Hi Heather, I so admire you and think you are a fantastic fantastic mom and wife and woman…so remarkable. I’m finally being brave enough to delurk here…hope that is okay. I’m 32, hormones a mess, constipation and a lot of stomach problems, and not exercising (burnt out completely), yet binging to horrendous degrees at 11 pm every single night (and then waking up to not exercise and be constipated…this is horrible and I’m shamed…I’m talking 1000 cal binges…every night. Ruining myself no? Is it too late for me? My hormones, guts, metabolism? I fear I will swing the other way and forever be doomed to suddenly keep gaining weight and have a wrecked digestive system and hormones forever. I feel so lost. I hope you can email me Heather . Admire you.

HEAB July 7, 2013 at 7:25 am

Dee,
I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling, but honestly, I don’t know what I could say to help. I think you should talk to your doctor.

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