Product Review: Sweet Note Gluten Free Plain Bagels

Sweet Note Bakery Gluten Free Plain Bagels

Sweet Note Bakery Gluten Free Plain Bagels

 Product: Sweet Note Gluten Free Plain Bagels – $7.25

Yep.  This New Yorker has been introduced to a new gluten-free bagel.  I had never, ever heard of Sweet Note Bagels before, until I got a response to a tweet on my blog on Canyon Bakehouse’s new bagels.  It came from Sweet Note itself, telling me that if I liked Canyon Bakehouse, then I would love their bagels.

Being the investigative reporter that I am…(HEY!  I have a B.A. in Journalism, thank you very much), I immediately Googled their Web site and began to poke around.  Sweet Note began in 2012, when founder and president, Michelle MacDonald, stepped up to a challenge.  She had been baking ever since she was a child and was very passionate about it.  When her grandfather and sister were diagnosed with Celiac Disease, she took the first steps on her entrepreneurial journey.  Her family really missed a good New York Style bagel.  (Hey…I can’t blame them…I know this feeling all too well). So with a lot of experimentation and trial and error, MacDonald perfected the recipe, getting huge approval from her family (also bagel lovers).  Gluten-free bagels that taste good?!  It was a reality.  Sweet Note Bakery’s vision is to make gluten-free options more readily accessible.  Those of us who live with Celiac understand how isolating this disease can be, when you can’t have a meal while out with friends and family, be it at a restaurant or a ballpark, or wherever your adventures take you.  MacDonald wanted to change that…one gluten-free bagel at a time.

So…here I was…sitting at my desk, looking at these amazing photos online of these gluten-free bagels.  I decided to throw caution (and my budget) to the wind and place an order, choosing four of the eight gluten-free bagel varieties that Sweet Note Bakery currently offers.  I didn’t even hesitate to order, which is very unlike me, as I’ve been burned by gluten-free products before.  But…this involved bagels…

It was important.

The bagels arrived two days later, and via the instructions in and on the box, I immediately froze them.  I had some homemade bagels to use up before diving into these, but that occurred over the weekend.  So, on Tuesday morning, after a morning at the gym, I returned home and pulled the Sweet Note Bakery Gluten Free Plain Bagels out (because you always start with the plain/original).  The instructions that come in the box and on the packaging says not to thaw these to room temperature.  This was certainly a different approach than how I normally do gluten-free bagels…but I obeyed.  I plucked two bagels out of the package and tucked the remaining two back into the freezer.  Then, each bagel got a 60 second meet-and-greet with the microwave.  When they were removed, I did my best to slice them in half evenly.  I admit, my bagel slicing skills will definitely need some work.  I tossed these onto a baking sheet and into the oven to toast (I don’t own a toaster…that went away with my initial diagnosis, as my roommate was still eating regular bread and cross contamination was an issue…but since then, my kitchen went completely gluten-free) and went to get cleaned up for work.  I returned and pulled these out of the oven, seeing the beautiful gold middles from the oven.  I got the vegan cream cheese out of the refrigerator and applied a liberal schmear to each half.  I served one bagel to my roommate and prepped my own, pouring a nice cup of coffee to enjoy with it.

Moment of truth.

For the first time…ever…someone finally got it right.  Inside of each Sweet Note Bagel is the taste of a true New York Style bagel.  From the size to the way it eats, you would be hard pressed to find someone who could immediately identify these bagels as gluten-free.  First of all, forget the gigantor, plus-sized bagels on the market today.  Sweet Note makes bagels the size they were intended to be, smaller, and more dense.  That’s a true New York bagel.  The average bagel 20 years ago was only 3 inches wide.  Today, you’re looking at a 6 inch circumference.  Is it any wonder we deal with an obesity epidemic in this country?  So, returning to the authenticity of the true New York bagel, Sweet Note Bagels also achieve a perfectly crunchy crust and a chewy center.

My first bite brought back a wash of memories.  These bagels are dense, chewy, crunchy and perfection.  I loved sinking my teeth into each half, savoring the flavor, the way the crust would crumble and the middle would be soft, with a bit of melty vegan cream cheese.  Heaven.  Bagel heaven.  I didn’t want breakfast to end.  They say that it’s okay to have two…but I reigned myself in.  There is nothing plain and simple about the Sweet Note Bakery Gluten Free Plain Bagels.  They have extraordinary flavor for being the most basic bagel available.  This leaves me looking forward to the other three flavors that are residing in my freezer.

For the record, my roommate has never really experienced the joy of a true New York Style bagel.  She said she wasn’t used to the chewiness.  Not a slam at all, because she devoured her bagel just as quickly as I did mine.  She did get a bagel in New York City back in November, but she can’t remember much about it apparently.  HA!

So…let’s talk about what goes into the Sweet Note Gluten Free Plain Bagels, shall we?  These bagels are made from LOVE (yes…that is in the ingredient list!), water, white rice flour, tapioca flour, sweet white rice flour, sorghum flour, sugar, cane syrup, olive oil, molasses, yeast, xanthan gum, psyllium husk, and salt.  These bagels are gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, egg-free, peanut & tree nut-free, and cholesterol free.  LOVE IT!!  Vegan and gluten-free…yes, please.  More of these!

Now, let’s look at the nutritional information.  A serving size is one (1) of the Sweet Note Gluten Free Plain Bagels.  This bagel will provide you with 300 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 340 mg sodium, 64 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugars, and 4 grams of protein.  Yes…these bagels are filling, and that’s what I love about them.  With other gluten-free bagels on the market, I am full for an hour, then hungry again.  And I ate a six inch gluten-free bagel.  It was made with filler more than real ingredients.  And that makes a huge difference.

I will shout this from the highest mountain top, and throughout the realms of cyberspace.  If you are like me, looking for an amazing bagel, but are confined to the gluten-free lifestyle…go over to Sweet Note Bakery‘s Web site and place an order for any (or all) of their eight varieties of bagels (Plain, Everything, Cinnamon Raisin, Poppy, Sesame, Snickerdoodle, Pumpkin Spice, and Chocolate Swirl).  For the record, I went with plain, everything, cinnamon raisin, and chocolate swirl to start…and that was without ever trying them before ordering).  Trust me, there is only sheer awesomeness in each bite of these bagels.  You will not be disappointed at all.

Sweet Note…thank you for introducing yourself to me via Twitter.  Without your reaching out to me, I never would have known about your bagels…and now…I don’t think I can live without them.

Sweet Note Bakery Gluten Free Plain Bagels (toasted with a schmear of vegan cream cheese)

Sweet Note Bakery Gluten Free Plain Bagels (toasted with a schmear of vegan cream cheese)

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