Veggie Cream Cheese

Here in NJ we have an embarrassingly large selection of excellent bagel shops.  My husband heads down to the corner a couple mornings a month to fetch that paper bag filled with a warm, freshly baked dozen.  We freeze whatever we don’t eat in two days, then defrost and toast them up to tide us over between visits. The kids can never get enough.  However, I try to healthy-up these carb bombs a bit by serving them with veggie cream cheese. I used to pay $8/lb for the stuff at the bagel place, but smartened up and realized that it is so easy, and even tastier, if I make it at home.  I almost always have the ingredients on hand, and it’s done in five minutes.

Veggie Cream Cheese

There’s not much of a recipe here.  Just take some plain cream cheese (soft or block) and mix in the following:

  • Shredded carrot
  • Finely chopped bell pepper
  • A little frozen chopped spinach (don’t even worry about defrosting it)
  • Some finely chopped onion, scallion, or chives

You can play with the ratio of cream cheese to veggies until it is where you like, and it keeps in the fridge for about a week, although a batch never lasts that long in my house. Spread it on and feel a little better about all that bread.

The possibilities for cream cheese mix-ins are endless, and some are even easier than this spread.  You might also try:

  • Onion soup mix 

  • Pesto

  • Finely chopped olives

  • Finely chopped roasted red pepper

  • Bacon bits

  • Cinnamon and sugar

  • Chopped strawberries and honey

  • Lemon or orange zest and powdered sugar

  • Pumpkin pie spice

  • Mini chocolate chips

  • Any kind of jam

  • Peanut butter

    Here's to better bagels!


    Kelly! writes:
    Jan 26, 2020 9:01pm
    I wonder if I can zip the veg in the food processor and add the cream cheese... ????
    Heather Walsh writes:
    Jan 26, 2020 9:36pm
    I don't see why not. It would come together even faster that way. Ingenious and tech-savvy!

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