Go Bananas for this Sweet and Creamy Bagel

Oh Sweet Morning. A year ago—nay, just a few months ago—I was woefully unfamiliar with the goings-on of the day before 9 am, if even that. But life offers so many change-ups (as close to a World Series reference as I’m ever going to get) that I had to adjust, and was quite happy to as well (life and love and everything in between make you do funny things sometimes)… so now I welcome the dawning sun, the brisk air, and most importantly, the food.

I love waking up and thinking about what scrumdiddlyumptious delight will be gracing my tummy first thing each morning, just like Mr. G. There’s something about breakfast goodies that warms my heart more than anything else. And I’ve become a firm believer in cherishing the morning meal and giving it its due respect. Treat it lovingly and it will bestow on you an energized and fruitful day. Yes that’s right, I’m attributing Karmic powers to breakfast time – don’t laugh, else suffer the consequences of a scorned bowl of cereal tomorrow.

These days I typically conjure up simple and berry delicious fruit smoothies, but that isn’t enough of sustenance! Just an appetizer to tide me over an hour or so until I decide to wander into the realm of substantial goodliness.  But what? Naturally, I have familiarized myself with Mr. G’s simple and marvelous touch with eggs, but I can’t have that every day. Occasionally I venture into my own groomed tastes, including cottage cheese, honey, and (when I allow myself the indulgence) something truly and heartily bready! Let’s venture forth then, my friend, into the delectable world of the dressed up bagel!

· A delicious bagel
· Cottage cheese
· Cream cheese and/or peanut butter
· Half a nicely firm banana
· Honey

There’s nothing remotely complicated about this at all, just a bit of assembly work and voila! Breakfast delight at your fingertips… But as a health conscious person, I do say the art is in the details, or rather the ingredients.

Firstly, bagels are not the healthiest of options – this I know. So when acquiring them from a store, consider looking for the healthiest but tastiest ones. I found a delightful kind: “The Alternative Bagel” from Vons. Yummy, sweet wheat, and not too big either.

Anyhoo, slice the bagel in half and toast it to your desired level of crispness. Lay the two halves side by side and consider if you are in the mood for a smooth cheesy base or a peanut butter one. Or for kicks, do one on each half. So take cream cheese (I like fluffy whipped cream cheese because it’s lighter, and easier to spread) or peanut butter (creamy Skippy all the way!) and spread a thin layer on each half of your bagel. Try not to be mesmerized by the lovely aroma of the spread melting into the toasty bread as it tickles your nose. This can be very distracting, but be strong and resist!

Next comes the cottage cheese. Some people are afraid of it, others not so fond of the consistency, but for this I say: Be brave! And don’t typecast! Not all cottage cheeses are created equal. I personally recommend those which are less clumpy and more creamy, and have small curds: nonfat Knudsen for example. Take a teaspoon and delicately spoon the cottage cheese atop the bagel, making sure not to overload it. Just a nice circle so that the edge of the bagel is still quite visible. This makes the next steps easier to manage as well.

Next up, banana time! Conceivably you could do any sliceable fruit (perhaps strawberries, maybe kiwi even hmm..) but the banana works best because its texture complements the rest of the ingredients and its taste is just strong enough to control the cottage cheese but not the creamy base below. Slice half a banana, 3-4 slices on each bagel, arranged nicely – no haphazardness please.

Lastly, drizzle a little honey all around to your heart’s delight! Consider the possibilities: zig zag motions, little dots, whatever you like!

This is an excellent breakfast for the person with a sweet tooth but a desire for something more than syrupy pancakes or such (although gosh, how I love those…). And versatile too – try it on waffles, toast, biscuits, and more.

Now sit back, fall in love with the lovely concoction you’ve created, and proceed to bless your tummy with a wonderful start to the day!

The final product
Whether with Peanut butter or Cream Cheese, it's a delight

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