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Nutrition differs widely among bread spreads

Taste quality also separates flavored toppings

Consumer Reports magazine: March 2013

You’ve probably seen ads for several flavored toppings that have popped up alongside old standbys like regular cream cheese, Nutella, and peanut butter. Our testers compared the nutrition of a range of spreads and tasted some of the flavored ones. The nutrition can really differ.

Taste differs, too. The Laughing Cow Cinnamon cream cheese spread is thick, smooth, and dense, with only a slight cinnamon flavor. It would be good, tasters said, on breakfast breads or as a dip for fruits or vegetables. Philadelphia Indulgence Milk Chocolate spread adds caramelized-dairy and malt flavors to the taste of milk chocolate and cream cheese. (Other Philadelphia Indulgence versions include cinnamon, dark chocolate, dulce de leche, and white chocolate.) Indulgence would work well as a dip for fruits or pretzels, a frosting, or a waffle topping. Earth Balance Coconut has a fairly strong coconut flavor when tasted “straight up,” seems slightly salty, and feels like butter in the mouth. Jif Chocolate Flavored Hazelnut is creamy, thick, and slightly chalky; it tastes a bit less sweet than Nutella.

Bottom line. Be aware of how much you spread on bread. Our table (below) has figures for just 2 tablespoons.

Visit our Food & Drink Guide to find out more about other tasty spreads for your toast such as butter substitutes, jams and jellies, as well as bagels, breads and other breakfast staples.


   

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