I KNOW. Sounds impossible, right? But oh, is it possible! I have a new obsession…
Our friends at Zen Bakery have done it again! Well, OK, they’ve presumably been doing it for a while since the cinnamon rolls aren’t a new product, but I’ve just discovered them so they are new to me babe. And I am making up for lost time by buying bags of them at once. …And I will tell you to your face that I do not have a problem.
I discovered these things at TJ’s on the West Coast, but back here at home I’ve only been able to locate them at Whole Foods, and not all of them at that. For example, I know for a fact that they ARE at the WF on River Street in Cambridge, and they are NOT at the WF on Washington in Brighton. I keep forgetting to check Whole Foods Andover (which is, ironically, the one closest to my house). In any case, you can find them somewhere near you; and it’s worth it, I promise.
OK, now to extol their virtues. First, let’s look at the ingredients (there are only nine, and none of them are sugar!): Whole wheat flour, unbleached wheat flour, water, white grape juice, raisins, canola oil, yeast, cinnamon, salt. As if that weren’t good enough, somehow these few ingredients manage to pack in four grams of fiber and SEVEN grams of protein! Serving size is a whole roll (none of this “1/2 muffin” stuff) and it has less than 9% calories from fat. Winner in my book already, but if that weren’t enough, they are delicious!
They are also HUGE. Hello breakfast.
I don’t know what Zen magic they’ve used on the white grape juice to give it such sweetness, but it did the trick! I usually don’t even miss the icing, though there have been times of serious sugar withdrawal when I’ve made my own to pour on top. It’s got the texture of a whole-wheat dinner roll (the kind you might get in a classy restaurant’s bread basket), light yet chewy and doughy. The cinnamon layer is just right too – not cloying or artificial, just plenty of sweetness and cinnamon flavor. And the whole thing is chock full of raisins. Also, know how conventional cinnamon rolls taste way better the closer you get to the middle? None of that nonsense here. It’s consistently yummy from start to finish. And they are still peelable, layer by layer, providing just as much fun as the far-less-healthy (yet still somehow vegan?) Pillsbury ones.
The one thing you MUST take note of for proper enjoyment of these cinnamon rolls is that they are NOT to be eaten un-heated! Please, do yourself a favor and pop them in the toaster oven for a few minutes first. I’ve had a few bites of cold, untoasted roll and it is basically just cinnamon-raisin bread. I think the heat brings out the sweetness somehow. I guess it might still be good if you ate it cold, but it’d be so boring… Boring is not recommended! The good news is that these freeze and reheat just fine, so if you live far enough away from WF that you need to buy multiple bags at a time to stock up (*ahem*) that’ll work just fine for me. Um, I mean you.
So go get some! Pair with chai tea and a fall day for best results.
Zen Bakery cinnamon rolls can be found at select Whole Foods and (possibly) Trader Joe’s.
(As a disclaimer, I swear I am not a Zen Bakery rep and I did not receive a cent to write this post. Though… if they wanted to hire me, I’d seriously think about it. ;) Think of the perks!!)