Monday, August 5, 2013

Nancy's Organic Cultured Cream Cheese



My husband loves bagels and cream cheese for breakfast. I make my own low sodium bagels, following the King Arthur Four recipe for Water Bagels. I cut both the yeast and salt quantities in half and use only 2 tablespoons malted milk powder (Carnation’s) instead of the non-diastatic malt powder. I also use half all-purpose and half white whole wheat. I often include a heaping tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds or a tablespoon of dried chopped onion for additional flavor. I make 12 bagels instead of 16 from the recipe. They come out nice and chewy, not soft and fluffy like most store bought bagels. I keep them in the freezer. (By the way, I make what we call “bagel buns.” The hole is allowed to close up so there no danger of stuff falling through.)

A toasted bagel spread with cream cheese makes a perfect breakfast. During the summer months, nothing beats a thick slice of fresh, ripe tomato along with the cream cheese. I like to add thin slices of red onion and a couple of sprinkles of hot sauce. Sometimes my husband will add a slice of low sodium deli turkey or a couple of slices of low sodium salami. Or a smear of a savory spread like jalapeno pepper jam. If the bagels don’t have onion in them, any jelly would be great. I like the combination of butter, cream cheese, and peanut butter.

I normally buy store brand whipped cream cheese because it has the lowest sodium content. The air whipped into the cream cheese makes it more spreadable but also cuts the sodium content per serving. However yesterday I discovered the ultimate low sodium cream cheese – Nancy’s! I’ve purchased Nancy’s cottage cheese from time to time when I couldn’t get to Safeway for their salt-free product. So I was sure the cream cheese would be OK. But I was absolutely blown away by the sodium content – 2 tablespoons equals 35 mg. sodium. Yes, that’s right! 35 mg. sodium for 2 tablespoon of cream cheese! Amazing! And even more amazing is that it tastes so good and has a wonderfully creamy texture.


I was so excited that I bought two tubs. It’s organic, contains live cultures, and has no stabilizers. Understandably, it costs more than the store brand whipped cream cheese I’ve been buying. But the low sodium content combined with the live cultures and lack of stabilizers make it worthwhile to me.


I found it at a local supermarket chain in the Sacramento area. I like to keep cream cheese on hand for all kinds of thing, not just bagels. Add a tablespoon to scrambled eggs a few minutes before they’re completely cooked and you’ll have creamy and delicious eggs. Add a tablespoon or two to any hot cooked vegetable for an instant cream sauce. You can do something similar with hot cooked noodles or rice. I also like to add a dollop of cream cheese to muffins: fill the muffin tin halfway with batter, spoon on the cream cheese, and top with the remaining batter. It makes a great all-in-one breakfast package.

7 comments:

Sarah M said...

I just picked some up from the co-op. Wasn't sure how it would be accepted but I really like it.

Jenny said...

That's a good looking bagel! I really can't stand the fluffy ones in stores. The cream cheese definitely sounds like it's worth the extra cost. A great option for those who aren't fans of yogurt but could still use the probiotics.

shambo said...

It really is a good tasting product. Very creamy and rich but so low in sodium.

Natalie said...

Hi! Just came across your blog! :) Did you happen to find this product at Whole Foods? I'm heading there Sunday, and am looking to make a list. :)

shambo said...

Natalie, I ashamed to admit that I don't recall if Whole Foods carries this product. I did look for it, but it's been so long since I visited Whole Foods that my poor brain doesn't remember if I found it there.

I hope you had good luck on your shopping trip.

Natalie said...

I don't blame you; I definitely did not look at the date you posted this entry before I commented! I couldn't find it at Whole Foods, but I'm sure I can hunt it down somewhere. Thanks for trying! :D

shambo said...

Natalie, thanks for being so understanding.If you've been on the lookout for lower sodium products, you've probably already encountered the availability frustration. It seems as though every grocery store carries different low sodium products. And then, they often stop carrying the products once you've discovered them. Or the manufacturer decides not to produce them any more. That's why my motto is, "Always Be Checking!" You never know what new product is available and what old standby is gone.