Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Feb 26, 2007 11:46 AM

Best store bought healthy bread?

I'd like your opinions on what you deem is the tastiest, yet healthful brand of bagged, grocery store bread you've found. I would prefer to buy whole grain breads that are not loaded with sugars, but still are flavorful and great for sandwiches or just plain toast. Trying to eat healthier this year. Please help me find a good brand. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. the ezekiel breads are all sprouted grains and seeds, with no flour, very dense and satisfying. delicious toasted. much lighter but also tasty is joseph's flax seed and oat bran pita. both breads have tons of fiber, no hfcs, are nice and chewy and freeze well.

      5 Replies
      1. re: hotoynoodle

        We tried one of the Ezekiels and wound up giving it to the birds - sorry, I know the stuff has its fans, or it wouldn't sell so well. We do like Trader Joe's own brand of flourless sprouted wheat bread, the version with salt. It makes excellent toast, and it's pretty nice for sandwiches, too, without the aggressively "THIS IS *GOOD* FOR YOU, DAMMIT!" taste that we found so unpleasant in the Ezekiel.

        1. re: Will Owen

          lol, step away from the bread knife, sir.. i'm not keen on nutritional sanctimony myself, but i liked it chewiness.

          i haven't found any trader joe's breads i'd buy a 2nd time.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            just a note (keep in mind that i DO really like their breads but), ezekial breads are not 'flourless' like they like to claim. their grains and seeds may be sprouted and they definately do not use any white, refined flours in most of the breads, BUT even the sprouted grains and seeds etc are ground into flour. no, its not white flour, or even the same as most finely ground whole wheat flours, but it IS still ground up grain, which is flour. it STILL spikes blood sugar levels. now, am i saying their bread is bad tasting, bad for you, or anything like that? No way. i just wish they wouldnt write flourless on some of their labels.

            1. re: ben61820

              I wonder how you know this about Ezekial breads? I believe their labels claim they use a sprouted wheat mash. I also believe they add gluten probably in a dry form. Making a flourless bread is certainly possible. We do it. We add no flour whatsoever to the mash or the starter and no gluten and we get a terrific sprouted whole grain loaf and we can make our flat bread without flour either. The only use we have for flour is dusting the peel when making our pita bread.

          2. re: Will Owen

            I like the Ezekiel bread toasted with peanut butter. It does take a littel getting used to and some varieties are better than others. Alvarado St. Bakery breads are more edible.

        2. When we lived in the midwest, our favorite bread was Brownberry (Catherine Clark) bread. I haven't found this in Washington, though Orowheat has something similar. Mostly though I buy Trade Joes 9 Grain.

          15 Replies
          1. re: paulj

            I'm a midwesterner, and Brownberry/Catherine Clark whole wheat bread is my standard sandwich bread. It's a bit sweet, and not as high in fiber as I would like (only 3 grams per slice), but it's a very nice bread.


            1. re: AnneInMpls

              I concur, Brownberry 100% Whole Wheat is as good as I've had for commercially made store bought bread. Makes terrific toast. Not so fond of their other offerings.

              1. re: AnneInMpls

                Hi, I suggest you write to and tell them you like it (as I did) because they don't make it any more. They replaced it with the cheap puffy junk bread like everyone else makes. So sad :-(

                1. re: Jack H

                  If you read Eldon Kreider below you will see that it's coming back!

              2. re: paulj

                I have bad news for you, folks: Brownberry seems to have discontinued the Catherine Clark 100% Natural whole wheat bread. I have been packing loaves in my suitcase to take my children in N.Y.C. and San Francisco, since they couldn't get it there! Now I don't know what I'm going to do. The Arnold's 100% that they're touting as a substitute is only a pale imitation.

                1. re: cchristi

                  That would be bad news, its their only offering I care for. Haven't bought a loaf lately but will look, thought it was still available locally (Iowa).

                  1. re: cchristi

                    Brownberry 100% Natural Whole Wheat Bread is still available in Minnesota. Maybe you could drive past the Twin Cities on your way to visit your children?

                    This store delivers, but you might be out of range. :-)


                    Me, I usually buy "natural wheat" rather than the 100% whole wheat. Don't know why, but I like it better.


                    1. re: AnneInMpls

                      Oh, woe is me! Ccristi had it right - the Twin Cities were just slow in making the change. Brownberry has now been replaced here by Arnold's (bleh bleh blech).

                      I'm now re-reading this thread closely for a new healthy bread, as I can't stand Arnold's. Has anyone else found a good replacement for Brownberry Natural Wheat bread?


                      1. re: AnneInMpls

                        The same thing has happened in Chicago. The Red loaf of Brownberry was the only commercial bread we bought. The Arnold "red" loaf is disgusting. Like tan wonder bread. Do I get the bread machine out and do the weekly baking from now on? Is there any other commercial bread out there to take the place of the Brownberry????? Help... someone!!!

                        1. re: twodales

                          Brownberry breads dissappeared from store shelves in Chapel Hill, NC in March. It's now Sept. Is the old bread comming back? I've written several emails to Arnold's to complain but cannot get a reply. I guess this country is going to out-source bread too.

                        2. re: AnneInMpls

                          Old formula is coming back week of June 11. Customer complaints backed with stopping buying is behind the switch. See
                          Story starts : "A consumer revolt by Midwestern baby boomers is bringing Brownberry's Natural Wheat bread -- original recipe -- back to store shelves June 11. Parent Arnold Foods Co. introduced an airier, sweeter version in April. Big mistake."

                          This is a rare case where debasing a product backfired big time and where the company admitted that they had made a mistake.

                          1. re: Eldon Kreider

                            Hooray! This is great news. I've tried every other whole-wheat bread that my co-op carries, and nothing else matches up to the original Brownberry "red-label" loaf. My local bakery's whole wheat baguettes are OK, but they're a pain to make sandwiches with.

                            Bread again next week - I can hardly wait!


                            1. re: Eldon Kreider

                              Thank goodness the company listened and made a good business decision, my confidence is nearly restored, pending a retest of the bread.

                        3. re: cchristi

                          Health Nut Bread and Dannon Yogurt… The Good Old Days-
                          I LOVED the Brownberry Natural Health Nut Bread back in the late 70s/early 80s. It was a small loaf (tiny) with wonderful taste and chunks of walnuts that really POPPED with flavor when you toasted it. I searched high and low and, a couple of years ago, found it at the Farm Fresh in Virginia Beach. It brought back such memories. No bread comes close to it and never will. :) Once again, I can not locate any. I live within driving distance to Raleigh, NC. Does anyone know where I can buy it and is it the original recipe??? Thanks, Nikki. P.S. I REALLY miss the old Dannon Yogurt that came in the cardboard container that you always had to stir the fruit up from the bottom. It had a WONDERFUL Twang (like yogurt should) and the texture was AWESOME. Most of the yogurt today taste like and feels like pudding. There was also frozen yogurt that tasted like yogurt, not ice cream. Where can I get that??? Any help? I have tried the Greek Yogurt at Lowes Foods... not happy with that. Has my taste changed that much???

                          1. re: NBBrooks

                            I am so confused. Years ago i loved Brownberry bread but a long time ago i switched to Healthnut Whole Grain bread which was wonderful. Two weeks ago i couldnt find it! It was replaced by a completely different packaging and had different ingredients- junky and not healthy, or nearly as healthy, basically. I am beside myself. I dont have the words. It's so twisted and sick i hate to even use my energy. It's like you have to break down the doors in this country not to be given bad things in have to fight so hard to get the good, healthy products and then they take them away...and there's not company integrity. Everything can be bought. A small company makes a terrific product, then eventually gets sold and the product is greatly reduced in quality. Kashi. Their great whole grain cereal products have gone down, much less healthy... (Kashi's Go Lean is the best but it gets confusing because i think they have two different versions and one is healthier than the other. I think the word crunchy might be the differentiating word on the packaging. I dont know! Like i said, it's confusing.) It's outrageous. The almighty corporate dollar is the concern, not peoples' health...

                      2. Bran for Life Bread is also very good, 5 grams of fiber per's a link for more information and what the wrapper looks like...


                        1. I like Whole Foods 100% whole wheat bread - sliced bread in a bag. I find there is a difference between the organic version and the conventional version. I prefer the conventional version because the texture is closer to good old american sandwich bread. The loaf keeps a long time and freezes well.