Food and Nutrition

Mushroom Bagels Are a Delicious Gluten-Free Bagel Sub, and They’re Filled With Fiber and B-Vitamins

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Photo: Getty Images/AlexPro9500
Onion, everything, cinnamon-raisin, or sesame seed—no matter your personal flavor preference, we can all agree that bagels are one of the most delicious, comforting breakfast foods out there. Unfortunately, for some, the relationship is not mutual (read: bagels don't love everyone back).

And how unfortunate, seeing as bagels are the go-to brunch of choice for any form of morning-after meal, including holidays, family gatherings, and late nights out with friends. Every time someone suggests hitting up the local deli for bagel breakfast sandwiches, there is always a gluten-free friend or guest whose stomach (or blood sugar levels) can't tolerate the refined wheat flour. And face it, nothing's worse than feeling left out of an epic bagel brunch. To this I say: No longer. Why? Because we just discovered mushroom bagels, and we are never going back.

The invention is from the mind of nutrition expert Ilana Muhlstein, MS, RD. Muhlstein just shared her fresh take on a bagel breakfast on Instagram, saying, “If you air fry a portobello mushroom for a few minutes—or roast it—and top it with some cream cheese and everything bagel seasoning, it tastes like a quiche.” Mind, blown. While we won't say that swapping a baked good for a portobello mushroom will give you the same texture or flavor as an actual bagel, we can certainly affirm that this dish is a delicious, gluten-free, fiber- and nutrient-filled option (more on the benefits below) that won't leave anyone feeling deprived.

How to make Muhlstein's mushroom bagel recipe

The steps are super simple. Muhlstein first air fries her portobello mushrooms for five minutes, and adds that the use of a traditional oven (or toaster oven) might call for a six to ten minute roast at around 375°F instead. To get a bit of delicious browning, coat the raw mushrooms in a bit of olive or avocado oil before you cook them.

You'll know the mushrooms are done with they're hot and tender all the way through. If the texture feels spongy, they will benefit from extra time; just make sure not to let them get too soft or soggy. Muhlstein tops her portobellos with a tablespoon of cream cheese—which could easily be swapped for a dairy-free option if desired—and then rains on the iconic Everything But the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe's.

“Don’t ask me where I come up with these things—just thankful that my constant hunt for yumminess and satisfaction lets me stumble across some winners every once in a while,” Muhlstein says after tasting her invention.

Health benefits of the mushroom bagel recipe

Substituting bagels for mushrooms has huge health benefits, as mushrooms are jam-packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals (including phosphorus, selenium, potassium, and copper). Mushrooms also contain antioxidant properties that fight inflammation and protect the body from free radicals that can lead for heart disease and cancer. Mushrooms are also rich in B vitamins, including niacin, which is crucial for healthy skin, hair, and digestion. Lastly, mushrooms are one of the rare food sources of vitamin D—a nutrient many Americans are deficient in.

That being said, the mushroom bagel is missing one important (but very easy to add) element: protein. The simple addition of an egg or smoked salmon would elevate this meal to a healthy breakfast any nutritionist would back. It’s important your first meal of the day contains a good balance of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein in order to provide you with ample energy, boost your brainpower, and support your long-term health goals.

Bottom line: in all honesty, nothing could take away from the love we have for good old-fashioned bagels. I’ll still be getting my bacon-egg-and-cheese-on-everything from my local bakery once a week. But it’s good to know that there is a healthy, easy to assemble alternative that will satisfy anyone's bagel cravings, keep us energized throughout the day, and not leave anyone who can't tolerate gluten or refined wheat flour behind at brunch time.

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