I won’t lie to you, I love bread! Now in this calorie-conscience part of my life, I’m mainly eating this wimpy 35 calorie/slice bread in order to enjoy my calories some place else. Sometimes, there is nothing like a French Baguette or a good San Franciscan Sour Dough bread. Not only that, you haven’t lived until you’ve had French toast made with sour dough bread! This is something you do for a splurge, not for something to have a breakfast staple while you are trying to lose weight. I’ve also always loved bagels, you see the theme here, I love good chewy bread.
For us bread lovers, here are some lower calorie substitutions:
Bagel Thins – A bagel that usually runs 200 to up to 500 calories for the bakery kind, so use a product called “Bagel Thins” where a pared down version is 110 calories. Bagel Thins are costly in Kroger and Publix, so I buy mine at Walmart for a dollar or so cheaper.
English Muffins – not bad bread at all, toast it, it’s delicious! I buy the whole wheat store brand and 1 muffin is 110-120 calories. Again, much cheaper to buy the store brand and you can embellish it at home.
Currently I’m on a French bread kick, and I buy a small one at Trader Joe’s a couple of times a week, and boy is it good! Fortunately you can buy a small one and it is always fresh and delicious. Here are some alternative topping ideas to save some calories:
Butter-flavored Pam (or store brand) sprayed on top of your bread after you’ve toasted it. I pop my bread in the toaster oven and then give it a shot of Pam afterwards.
Want it sweet? I usually do… sprinkle with cinnamon and Stevia or agave nectar. Stevia has no calories, agave has 60 per TBSN, so choose your calories accordingly.
Olive Oil – Into the Mediterranean or Italian style? Toast the bread first (always tastes better), spritz with olive oil Pam and sprinkle with your favorite Italian/Greek herbs or even a little bit of parmesan. The parmesan cheese will have calories, choose accordingly, but otherwise you can have the same effect without dredging your bread in a bowl of olive oil.
Butter & Jam – Is this more your personality? It was mine today at lunch! Butter flavored Pam on toasted bread and substitute fresh fruit for jam. This is so good! I keep frozen fruit in my freezer and today added a sliced strawberry to my baguette. In my freezer, there are also frozen pineapple bits, mango chunks, frozen bananas and strawberries to choose from. Just let it thaw a tad (or pop in the microwave) and add a little to the top of your bread. Because I’m in a decadent mood today, I added 1/2 tsp of Tofutti Cream Cheese to my last bite with the strawberry and it was to die for! I just closed my eyes and imagined for a moment I was in France, ah-h-h…
Granted, a French Baguette is a splurge and is factored into my daily calorie count, but boy it so wonderful to enjoy quality bread now and again when you are dieting. Just be mindful/careful when adding the extra calories from agave nectar* or parmesan cheese. Eating food of quality makes you feel so fulfilled. The French Baguette with a plate of roasted fresh vegetables for lunch today was terrific.
Hope some of the ideas help you enjoy your food more while on your quest to diet. Bon Appetit!
*Agave nectar has approximately the same calories as honey per TBSPN (60), but agave nectar has a lower glycemic effect and is a better choice because there is less sugar spike. For vegans, agave is plant-based while honey of course, comes from bees.