Product Review – Sweet Note Gluten Free Sesame Bagels

Sweet Note Gluten Free Sesame Bagels
Sweet Note Gluten Free Sesame Bagels

Product: Sweet Note Gluten Free Sesame Bagels – $7.25

There are few things in life as perfect as a bagel, right?  All my New Yorkers, let me hear those cheers of agreement.  They are crispy, and soft and chewy and…just amazing little morsels of bready goodness that actually due fill you up and keep that motor running all the way through lunch time.  Bagels and I have been BFFs for years.

Well, we were breakfast besties until I was diagnosed with Celiac.  Then the bagel and I had to break up.  Yep…because I just couldn’t find a decent one out on the market.  Which…sucks.  Yep.  Sucks.  The closest I came to bagel perfection was Udi’s Gluten Free Bagels (now available in a variety of flavors) and also Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Bagels (Plain & Everything), which were just released this past year.  They weren’t perfect…but they were the best out there.  Most of the other ones I tried were wrong in texture, taste, or everything.  Katz Gluten Free offered some good ones…but again…not anything like the bagels I grew up consuming.

And then, one day, that all changed…

I had just posted on Twitter about trying the new Canyon Bakehouse bagels, when I was tweeted at by the PR person at this random gluten free bagel company, called Sweet Note Bakery.  I was, naturally, intrigued.  So…I did find myself scoping out their Web site and seeing all the amazing bagel flavors they have to offer.  Their bagels not only looked amazing, but sounded amazing too.  To top things off and really sweeten the deal for this former New Yorker and bagel-enthusiast, they were New York style!  And yes…New York does have a style for bagels.  Smaller and more dense.  For such a big and bustling city, you wouldn’t think small and dense would sum up the bagel style.  But it does…beautifully.

So, Sweet Note Bagels started 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.

And, as you know, I have already sung the praises of the Plain, Everything, Cinnamon Raisin, Chocolate Swirl and Poppy.  Which means…Sesame was the last holdout.  I’d been meaning to place an order with Sweet Note Bakery…but life’s been a bit hectic as of late.  It kept slipping my mind, although in the mornings I’d be all “I wish I had bagels.”  So, one would think I would take drastic action.  But, alas…craziness.

But then I finally made the trip up to Columbus, Ohio, to visit my friend Jenn for a weekend.  And, one of my favorite stops to make (and one reason I travel with a cooler) is at The Raisin Rack.  It’s a great natural food store with a gluten-free section that blows my mind.  And, as I was meandering down the aisle…what should I see in the freezer…but Sweet Note Bagels – Poppy and Sesame variety.  The two that I hadn’t tried yet.  It was an omen.  It was a sign.  Yes…both flavors were in my basket, in my shopping bag, in my cooler, and then in my freezer.

With Poppy long gone, and a hectic and even more stressful week this week than originally planned…the Sweet Note Gluten Free Sesame Bagels made their debut in my kitchen (and my belly) yesterday and were polished off today.  Let me tell you…these were completely worth the wait.  I pulled the sleeve of Sweet Note Gluten Free Sesame Bagels out of the freezer yesterday morning, just as I was about to make them.  Why?  Because the bagel goddesses in charge of the Sweet Note Bagel Empire instruct per the packaging that you should not let these bagels thaw to room temperature…and instead, microwave them to perfect softness for about 60 seconds.  Allow to cool (or don’t) and slice in half.  Toast these bagel halves to perfection, either in a toaster, or, if you’re like me and don’t own a toaster, in the oven at 350°F for about…15-20 minutes.  What emerges is sheer toasty bagel perfection, all golden brown and ready for their liberal schmear of the vegan cream cheese that is in my fridge. Time to dig in.

I love anything with sesame seeds on it, honestly, and these get a nice toasting, making the flavor really…pop.  I was hooked at first bite, for real!!  The Sweet Note Gluten Free Sesame Bagels are what sesame bagels are meant to be like.  Perfectly coated, because bagel perfection is what Sweet Note Bakery is all about.  They hit up the top with a nice layer…and speckle that bottom.  No plain bottoms here.  No way!  Every bite gives you that sesame flavor that you love.  The bagel itself…a nice crisp on the outside with that soft, chewy center.  It’s amazing what a good bagel can do to start your day off right.  And the Sweet Note Gluten Free Sesame Bagel is not just a good way to start your day off on a sweet note (heh…see what I did there?), it’s a great way!  This bagel is everything you love about that sesame flavor, without having to go to your favorite Asian bistro at 5 am.  They aren’t open.  But your freezer is open 24/7…365 days a year.  So stock happy bagels in your happy freezer…whichever flavor makes you happiest.  But trust me, a good sesame bagel…no…a great sesame bagel like the one from Sweet Note…is a happy place and a happy food.  Even better, the inner bread, that soft, chewy part, is perfect.  No holes or airpockets, like those you can find in the gluten-free bagels in the supermarket.  You know what I’m talking about…so you don’t have that “I paid for holey products!” moment and feel like you wasted your money and you’re not getting your fill.  Sweet Note Gluten Free Sesame Bagels are, like all their bagels…love in a bag.  Every flavor has now been consumed with eager anticipation and foodie amazement…and everyone has left me satisfied.  Bagel perfection…in a gluten-free, New York-style way.  It doesn’t get any better than this!

So…let’s talk about ingredients, shall we?  The Sweet Note Gluten Free Sesame Bagels are made with LOVE (and you can tell!), water, white rice flour, tapioca flour, sweet white rice flour, sorghum flour, sugar, cane syrup, olive oil, molasses, yeast, xanthan gum, psyllium husk, sesame seeds, 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.  I also love that their ingredient list is all real food.  No weird chemicals and preservatives.  Just real…tasty…perfect ingredients.

And now…here is where we discuss the nutrition facts of the Sweet Note Gluten Free Sesame Bagels.  A serving size is 1 bagel (128 grams), and there are 4 bagels in a sleeve.  This one bagel will dish up 310 calories, 5 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 350 mg sodium, 62 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 7 grams sugars, and 5 grams of protein.  Seriously…this is a great choice for breakfast as it does keep you energized and full throughout the entire morning.  So much love.  Oh yes…a sesame coated love-fest for sure.

And guess what?  This is not where my Sweet Note Gluten Free Bagel journey comes to and end.  Nope.  For one thing…I intend to always have some of these delights in my freezer.  I’d be missing out on life if I didn’t.  BUT…more importantly…it is September and that means they have just released their limited time fall flavor…PUMPKIN SPICE!

And you know me…I love PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!  As my birthday is in 19 days…I think I’m going to have to celebrate by ordering some of their Pumpkin Spice bagels.  I mean, I’ve earned it, right?

If you are a bagel aficionado like me…and if you have to eat gluten free (or not…because you really won’t care.  These are awesome and my gluten-loving roomie LOVES these!), hurry over to their Web site and place an order.  OR…check your local natural food stores, as they might carry them.  Me…I still have to do the online order…but they ship fast and get here in amazing condition.  I am so glad that they pinged my tweet about my blog or I’d never know the goodness of a perfect gluten-free bagel.

Sweet Note…I am definitely a #CrazyBageler!!  Proud flag waver and supporter of your crazy-good, crazy-tasty, crazy-flavorful, crazy-that-they-are-gluten-free New York Style Bagels!!  Love is all I have, which works…because love is what you give us!  Thank you!

Sweet Note Gluten Free Sesame Bagels topped with a schmear of vegan cream cheese
Sweet Note Gluten Free Sesame Bagels topped with a schmear of vegan cream cheese

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