Every time I buy a box of Raisin Bran, I hesitate. “This is the second box of Raisin Bran I’ve bought this month. Where has my childlike whimsy gone? Have I gotten stuck in a routine? Stopped being spontaneous? Stopped growing? Stopped living? What is life?! What is a cereal?! How could I drift so far from them both?!?!”
Maybe it’s the shriveled raisins or the absence of a frosted coating, but I encounter this existential crisis every time, trembling to reach for the box as I come to grips with my mortality right there in Aisle 8.
But then I look at the purple box. I think of the whole grain, the slight honey sweetness of the flakes, the two scoops of raisins, and that happy-dappy little Sun-Man. How can I resist?
Obviously, I can’t. And I snagged a box of this new Raisin Bran with Omega-3 from Flaxseeds.
If you haven’t yet acquainted yourself, Omega-3s are high-octane fats that, according to oodles of researchers, Dr. Oz and my fishmonger, can do potentially great things like keep your heart in check, lower your cholesterol, and permit your brain and muscles to tick along, thus allowing you to pursue that dream you’ve always had to be an Olympian ice skater. Dare I say, Omega-3s are Magic Fats, and while flaxseeds may not be the most aesthetically beautiful seed out there, they hold plenty of Magic Fats, and what happens when you eat a Magic Fat? Well, let’s find out…
I poured a bowl and prodded a tentative spoon into the swamp of the dark brown whole grain. Would the flax give me an electric shock? Or make my body reel, cartoon-style, mutating me into an anthropomorphic animal bent on fighting for justice? I foresaw myself transforming into a crime-fighting llama. Or at least a My Little Pony.
Unfortunately, neither occurred. However, what did occur was pleasant enough to make me go back in for another spoonful. See those speckles above? Those are magical speckles of flax. While the flax itself doesn’t add much flavor, it does add a nice seedy texture, and, if I close my eyes, I can hear my cholesterol lowering with each flax-filled bite.
The old adage of, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” could be no truer than with Raisin Bran. It’s brown, shriveled, and, if you hold it at the right light, you may mistake it for mulch, but beneath all that roughage fringe, a layered flavor experience awaits. The flakes have a grainy, slightly nutty, almost rye-like wheatiness, a depth which is balanced well by a hint of honey sweetness. They’re more crispity than crunchity, mainly as a consequence of the slimmer flake profile.
With milk, the sweetness of the wheat, bran, and honey shine and the raisins plump up a smidge. While these flakes easily fall prey to the “Mushy glop of bran in milk” effect, they are well suited for a morning dry snack, especially with the chewy sweet of the red raisins involved in each handful.
And there are plenty of those little shriveled grapes. Each box holds the promise of “Two Scoops,” of raisins. While I can’t state for certain Kelloggs’ scoop size, I imagine it to be the size of at least five ice shovels, if not Muck the Bulldozer’s scooper. No matter the dimensions, the 1-3 raisins in every bite reinforces that the Sun Man is certainly delivering on his Two Scoops promise.
These new flakes reinforce one of the beauties of Raisin Bran: it’s a cereal not afraid to be itself. It doesn’t pretend to be a raisin-y Lucky Charms or bran-infused Cocoa Puffs. Nay, Kellogg’s Raisin Bran lets its grainy, bran-y Freak Flag fly, and the addition of flaxseeds, while not necessarily a milestone in cereal-making history, highlights that identity. It may not be revolutionary, but most of the time, I don’t need a revolution to be happy. I just need to plop my Cereal Lovin’ patootie into my sofa, watched some cartoons, and enjoy a bowl of crunchy goodness, and that’s what I did here.
If I get nit-picky, I’d say I could’ve used some more sweetness, maybe a little more crunch (Maybe some cinnamon almonds? Or peanut butter granola?), but if you’re in the mood for a quality Raisin Bran with some flaxseed mischief, you’ll love this.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 Cup – 180 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 140 milligrams of potassium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 5 gram of dietary fiber, 17 grams of sugars, and 4 grams of protein.)
Item: Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Omega-3 from Flaxseed Cereal
Purchased Price: $3.06
Size: 14.3 oz. box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Crispity flakes. A little honey sweetness. Fulfills promise of raisins. Not afraid to embrace its bran identity. Magic Fats. Muck the Bulldozer. Crime-fighting, anthropomorphic llamas.
Cons: Nothin’ bad, but nothin’ great. Could be too grainy for some. Could use one more crunch element. A little more sweetness wouldn’t hurt. Flakes get soggy in milk fast. Existential crisis in Aisle 8.