Bagels get the short-end of the office stick: After they're stuffed and transported in stifling brown paper bags, the chosen few are slathered with cream cheese and eaten as respite from conference calls, while the rest sit patiently, often until the end of the day, when someone will decide they're past their prime, and toss them.
This is not the fate the bagel deserves—not to mention it's wasteful! Instead of tossing stale bagels at the end of the day, save them. Here's how to turn them into excellent (not-stale-at-all) lunches tomorrow:
The first thing you need to know about the bagel is why they harden at the end of the day. According to Serious Eats, this hardening is the reaction of both dehydration and staling. To slow both processes, the best thing to do is get them in the refrigerator in a plastic zipper bag as soon as possible. If you're planning on enjoying them for longer than an additional day, and have access to a freezer, store them there instead. Bagels can last for months in the freezer—so you can completely forget about them until you need a grab n' go lunch.
According to Kenji Lopez-Alt, there are three primary ways of reheating bagels to maximize their freshness and taste the next day.
There are several benefits to having a bagel for lunch: They're more filling than bread and sturdier, too, so you can pile more things on them: Marinara sauce and cheese! An egg! All of the leftovers in your fridge! It's all fair game. Once you choose your favorite topping, you'll have days and days of care-free bagel lunches ahead of you.
What's your favorite way to prepare bagels for lunch? Tell us in the comments below!