One of the foods I missed the most when I first went gluten-free was, hands-down, a bagel. Heck, one of my first jobs was at a Mister Bagel in Maine. Needless to say as an east-coaster I have high bagel standards, so at the beginning of my gluten-free journey I simply went without. I just couldn’t find one with the right texture, one that stood the test of “awesome with peanut butter for breakfast”, or the “perfect vessel for a cream cheese, lox, onions and caper lunch.” Even trying to find the right bagel for my frequent toaster oven bagel pizzas wasn’t happening. That is, until Against The Grain Gourmet products thankfully followed me west in 2011.
Not only are the bagels (and other products) made by this celiac-owned, Brattleboro, Vermont company excellent, they are also made with conscious, and locally sourced ingredients. For example, according to their website, their milk comes from McNamara Dairy in Plainfield, NH, their eggs come from Maple Meadow Farms in Salisbury, VT, and all their food products are free from soy, corn, yeast, rice, xanthan gum, enzymes, rbHT, antibiotics, and preservatives. And of course they are free from grains - as the brand name implies - and their products are made with tapioca starch which is extracted from the roots of the cassava plant rather than your typical gluten-free grain blend.
These cinnamon raisin bagels are both gluten and dairy-free, making them an approachable choice for kids who have multiple food allergies. They use organic coconut milk instead. These bagels are light, and thinner than say, a New York bagel, but once toasted they have a wonderful crunchy exterior and that coveted soft middle. So sure, throw some peanut butter or maple cream cheese on these puppies and you’ll be in heaven. But the uses for these cinnamon raisin bagels can reach across the table and shake hands with the world of French toast, bread pudding, or even a stuffing to serve with pork.
Check the freezer section of your local health food store for Against The Grain Gourmet cinnamon raisin bagels, and you might also try the sesame or sun-dried tomato varieties. I store these bagels in the freezer to toast as needed. The price might be a little higher than you are used to, retailing somewhere around $5 to $6 for a pack of six, but really it’s worth every penny. To know that you are finally getting a great bagel that doesn’t have all the unhealthy ingredients that come with many commercial gluten-free products, is, honestly, priceless.
Jess Kelley, MNT