Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Canyon Bakehouse (Cinnamon Raisin Bread)

I am usually pretty upbeat about the GF living these days, excited about the vast improvements in products and number of GF-friendly venues. But there are a few areas that still need work for me, that I just can't get excited about yet, and I'm here to share one: Breakfast.

Breakfast just isn't as fun as it used to be - or as easy. Weekend breakfasts? Sure. I've got pancakes, french toast, all kinds of brunch-y goodness down pat. But weekday - workday - breakfasts are still a problem. Before celiac (B.C.), I'd grab something from the bagel shop around the corner most mornings. If I wasn't GF now, I'd be all over the neighborhood Brooklyn places, getting a bagel or an egg on a roll for under two bucks. (Yet another way I'd "eat local".)

But that just isn't an option anymore. Many years into the gluten-free life and I'm still casting about for a replacement for my 60 cent bagel from the corner store or $1.50 egg on a roll (2 bucks with coffee!). I've found wonderful GF bagels to toast at home, but the flavors are limited and a girl can't eat a bagel every single morning. Maybe it's the options I miss most, the ease of changing my mind on a dime, thinking all the way to the corner "everything bagel with scallion cream cheese" and leaving with a toasted cinnamon raisin with butter.

Sigh. Forget "maybe". I know that's what I miss. Now I need to plan ahead, to shop, to deal with my limited options. And some days, some days I just hate it - I resent the holy heck out of it. But I also don't want to be a bitter GF girl, so I plan ahead. I shop. And I stock my fridge and freezer with as many options as possible, so I don't feel deprived. Which, at (long-winded) last brings me to my suggestion for the day:

Canyon Bakehouse cinnamon raisin bread. (For when I'm in a toasted cinnamon raisin with butter mood.)

It is delicious. The first time I saw it at Whole Foods, I couldn't wait to try it - and ate two slices waiting in line to pay. It is soft - challah soft, not Wonder soft. It has just enough spice in its swirl, loads of raisins, and the bread itself has a good bite to it - an excellent mouthfeel. It has a little fiber, a little protein - 2g of each - something to help it be more than just a carb-y platform for toppings. Reminds me very much of the Sara Lee or Pepperidge Farm cinnamon raisin bread of my childhood, with its substantial swirl.

Butter on cinnamon raisin toast is lovely, as is cream cheese. But lately I've been subbing chevre from Trader Joes, letting it melt slightly between two slices of toast. Another option is baby swiss melted on top, if you have a toaster oven or time to use the oven in the a.m. Unexpected, but freakin' delicious.

I want to be this excited about breakfast every morning. Suggestions most welcomed and appreciated.

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