I haven't had a bagel in a really loooong time. The last time I was going to buy a bag, I was checking the ingredients for any egg or dairy related ingredients, and I was shocked at some of the god knows what kind of weird chemicals I saw. I can't even say ingredients, because I seriously think that these things are chemicals. I am by no means super militant about eating "clean", although that is how I lean, but I am an ethical vegan, not a health "plant based vegan", so I enjoy a bit of vegan junk now and then, but seriously, I feel very strongly about the difference between junk, or something that isn't bursting with anti-oxidants, and eating food created with chemicals in a lab. Anyway, I just can't with the bagels, and I haven't seen many organic, or even just more natural brands of bagels. (I deeply mourn the loss of a Trader Joe's in my life.) So I have lived a bagel-less life for over two years now.
One of my fave blogs, The Shenandoah Vegan, often has a delicious looking bagel, with a big old schmear of vegan cream cheese, and often scallions, and it always looks so delicious! One of my favorite breakfasts ever before going vegan was a bagel with cream cheese, alfalfa sprouts, and pepper. So, so good, if you've never tried it, you so should, because hello vegan cream cheese!
Anyway, back to bagels, and present day. On my last trip to the Co-op, I noticed they had Galaxy vegan cream cheese on a super sale, but what was the point I thought? Then, I just happened to notice in their freezer section, next to vegan shrimp(!?) were some sort of bagel. I checked ingredients, vegan, check, non-toxic, check. The one important thing I can't check is the high price, I can't remember the exact cost, but they were over five dollars a bag. Anyway, I hadn't yet picked out my treat, or splurge item, so bagels it was. The brand is Alvarado St. bakery, and I bought the sprouted wheat bagels. I was scared these were going to be super dense and wheaty like Ezekiel bread can be. Not that I don't love Ezekiel, but I was hoping after such a long wait, to have more of the traditional bagel experience. Well, not to worry, somehow Alvarado bakery managed to make these bagels hearty, but they still are light enough to definitely be a bagel, and when toasted with a schmear, and some sliced scallions, and cucumber, a very satisfying breakfast. I like that when toasted, they have that same crunchy exterior, and soft and bready inside. I feel that texture is an issue with some sprouted wheat breads that I've had in the past. I wish I could buy these delicious bagels all the time, but at the price they will have to be a once in awhile splurge. But I recommend trying them if you too are weary of toxic franken bagels. Although pricey for my budget, I will 100% say that these are worth the money, and as I said, they will be in my splurge rotation. And the ingredients make sense, sprouted whole wheat berries, whole wheat flour, water, salt and yeast. No chemicals needed!