There's a new bread trend in food town: It's called cloud bread, and it's making big waves on Pinterest. The basic recipe has just four ingredients: eggs, cream cheese, cream of tartar, and sugar or non-nutritive sweetener. Some recipes add spices or herbs—or use the bread as a base for pizza. Also called "oopsie bread," it's especially popular with people following a gluten-free or low-carb diet.
"Cloud bread doesn't necessarily have a texture or taste that greatly resembles bread, but it does have the ability to hold lunch meat or serve as a crust for pizza for much fewer carbohydrates," says Kristen Smith, R.D.N., founder of 360FamilyNutrition. "My weight-loss surgery patients introduced me to cloud bread several years ago as a lower-carbohydrate, protein-containing option."
So is the trending bread healthy? Sort of. Let's take a look at the bread's nutritional content and how you can make it healthier. I asked a couple of my dietitian colleagues to weigh in.
A slice of cloud bread has 35 calories and 0.4 grams of carbs.
A typical cloud bread recipe contains three eggs, three tablespoons cream cheese, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or baking powder, and 1 packet of a non-nutritive sweetener, such as Splenda. This yields 10 slices of bread.
A slice of cloud bread contains about half the calories of a typical slice of bread and significantly fewer carbohydrates. A slice of whole-wheat bread, for example, contains 14 grams of carbs.
Many recipes contain non-nutritive sweeteners in place of sugar, which helps to lower the carb content. I like to advise clients to minimize their sugar intake but to use the real thing when possible. So unless you need to significantly restrict carbohydrate content due to diabetes or another condition, consider swapping the Splenda for two teaspoons of a natural sugar source, such as honey or maple syrup. This tweak adds a little more than 1 gram of carbohydrate per slice of bread.
Additionally, the bread contains no fiber, an important nutrient that is helpful for feeling satiated and keeping cholesterol levels in check. Consider amping up the fiber content by adding flaxseed to your recipe, suggests Smith.
A slice of cloud bread contains 2.2 grams of protein.
A main source of this protein is the bread's eggs; one large egg contains 6 grams of protein. "Eggs are an excellent source of protein and offer other nutrients like choline and vitamin D," says Smith.
However, cloud bread doesn't contain more protein than a typical slice of whole-wheat bread, which offers about 3 to 4 grams of protein per slice.
A slice of cloud bread contains 2.7 grams of fat and 1.2 grams of saturated fat.
Most cloud bread recipes call for cream cheese. "This is packed with saturated fat," says Angie Asche, M.S., R.D., owner of Eleat Sports Nutrition. "Although low in carbs, the bread is higher in saturated fat than regular whole-wheat bread." Consider swapping out the cream cheese for plain 2 percent fat Greek yogurt or 2 percent fat cottage cheese.
However you eat your cloud bread, pair it with other healthy foods—lean proteins (such as salmon or tofu), healthy fats (think avocado slices or almond butter), and fruits or vegetables.
Related: Check out these 9 Delicious Ways to Eat Cloud Bread on Shape.com!
Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D.N., is a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City, New Jersey. She is a nutrition consultant, motivational speaker, recipe developer, and journalist.