QUICK REVIEW: Nabisco belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits (Banana Bread and Cinnamon)

Nabisco belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits (Banana Bread and Cinnamon)

Purchased Price: $2.98 each
Size: 5 breakfast biscuits
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Banana Bread)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Cinnamon)
Pros: They smell wonderful and look good enough. Banana Bread flavor tastes pleasant and real. Cinnamon has a mild flavor with a hint of raisin. Soft like fresh cookie and not as dry as some other oatmeal treats. Has B vitamins and five grams of fiber. No HFCS or partially hydrogenated oils.
Cons: Regular crunchy belVita is better. Makes crumbs when grubbing on the go. A bit dry. Oh, geez, don’t dunk them in milk unless you like instant mush. Made on equipment that processes nuts. Dreaming that they came out with a pumpkin bread or apple variety.

Nabisco belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits (Banana Bread and Cinnamon) Comparison

Nutrition Facts: Banana Bread – 190 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, and a few vitamins and minerals. Cinnamon – 190 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, and a few vitamins and minerals.

Nabisco belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits Banana Bread

QUICK REVIEW: Nabisco Mixed Berry belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits

belVita Soft Baked Mixed Berry Breakfast Biscuits

Purchased Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 5 breakfast biscuits
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Good source of fiber. Moist. The Oats & Chocolate one tasted like a Fig Newton, but this one tastes even more so (which isn’t really a bad thing since I do enjoy them). Contains dried blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries. Doesn’t contain HFCS, artificial sweeteners, or partially hydrogenated oil. Better for you than a Pop-Tart.
Cons: Mixed Berry? More like Nixed Berry because there weren’t many of them. Makes a helluva lot of crumbs; probably not best to eat in the car unless you vacuum it every day. The way belVita is spelled. Makes my fingers slightly greasy. Strawberry must be pissed about it being left out.

belVita Soft Baked Mixed Berry Breakfast Biscuits Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 1 pack – 190 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 4 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 75 milligrams of potassium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, 10% thiamin, 10% niacin, 10% iron, 10% riboflavin, and 10% vitamin B6.

QUICK REVIEW: Nabisco Oats & Chocolate belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits

Nabisco Oats & Chocolate belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits

Purchased Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 5 breakfast biscuits
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Soft and chewy. Has a mild Fig Newton-like flavor (I like Fig Newtons). One bar has five grams of dietary fiber. Contains no high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, or artificial flavors. Easy to eat on the go.
Cons: Chocolate is in the right place in its name because there’s way more oat than chocolate flavor. Having five biscuits irks my even number tendencies. Eating lots of bacon would probably negate the nutritious side of these breakfast bars. Having to find other things to eat for complete breakfast. B vitamins help convert food into energy, but is only 10 percent of your daily recommended allowance enough?

Nabisco Oats & Chocolate belVita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 1 pack – 200 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 4 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 85 milligrams of potassium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, 10% thiamin, 10% niacin, 10% iron, 10% riboflavin, and 10% vitamin B6.

REVIEW: Nabisco belVita Breakfast Biscuits (Chocolate and Cinnamon Brown Sugar)

Nabisco belVita Breakfast Biscuits (Chocolate and Cinnamon Brown Sugar)

I’ve prattled on before about how, with two small kids and a propensity to stay up late writing dubiously amusing food reviews, I often don’t have a lot of time in the morning.  You’ve heard me talk about shoveling down a waffle while simultaneously emptying the dishwasher, and doling out Cheerios to a creature who knows “Daddy,” “purple,” and “shoe,” but not “Oh father, if I do not receive more toasted oat cereal immediately, I shall surely perish.”  (We’re working on it.) 

So I’m always open to a new breakfast product that promises I can eat it on-the-go without having to actually visit a Dunkin’ Donuts, because then you’re always like, “Do I put a dollar in the tip jar?”  They probably make minimum wage, but really: dude grabbed two donuts off a shelf and threw them in a bag.  It took four seconds, for that I’m going to tip 53 percent?  Then you feel bad and put in the dollar because seriously, you have a steady job at a place where you aren’t forced to wait on impatient, sleep-deprived assholes who are too cheap to tip.  Don’t be that guy.

Where were we?  Oh, on-the-go foods.  As we established, there’s value in something you can eat in the car while someone gleefully belts out “Welcome fame?  He’s ignored.  Action is his reward!” from the back seat.  Nabisco is already in that market with their belVita breakfast biscuits, and now they’ve introduced two new flavors — chocolate and cinnamon brown sugar.  The claim seems to be that these are health conscious and will provide “sustained energy,” perhaps meant as a wholesome alternative to those energy drinks everyone seems to love even though we all know they’re just radioactive goat piss.  The touted nutritional benefits include containing 19 grams of whole grain per serving.  Mostly they just use the word “natural” a lot, as in “chocolate natural flavor with other natural flavor,” which makes me nervous because technically cow patty is natural.  And don’t look now, but the calorie count isn’t minuscule and that’s a decent amount of fat.  Nothing ridiculous, but eating these instead of cereal won’t have you shedding pounds like it’s your job.

I’m intrigued by the fact that these are breakfast biscuits, which I’ve always considered a decidedly British concept.  Our biscuits are light, flaky things slathered in butter, whereas these are hard, thin oval-ish deals that crack and crumble.  Advantage: colonists.  Still, can’t judge a book by its cover.  You have to make certain concessions to the fact that these are supposedly healthy and natural, so if they taste decent while being nutritious and giving me gobs of energy, I’m prepared to call them a success.  Also, as noted in our earlier review, they’re made without high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, or artificial flavors or sweeteners.

Nabisco belVita Breakfast Biscuits Cinnamon Brown Sugar

First up is the cinnamon brown sugar biscuits.  As mentioned, they don’t look terribly impressive — the most visually interesting thing is two stalk-of-wheat imprints that subtly blend into the biscuit.  Texture-wise they’re coarse and unyielding, to the point where I’m tempted to use one to smooth down some spackle in our bathroom.  Biting down, it’s solid but not tough to chew.  It is, however, pretty plain.  “Cinnamon” and “brown sugar” is being a bit generous, in that I’m prepared to believe these were transported in a truck that also sometimes delivers Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  It has exactly one hint of cinnamon and no more, and I couldn’t swear in court that there’s any brown sugar in the mix.  Beyond that, the biscuit is fairly flavorless.  It doesn’t taste foul or anything, there’s just no pizazz.  (They’re also dry enough that you’ll want to have a drink handy.)  It’s certainly not doing anything to break down stereotypes about health food, that’s for sure.

Nabisco belVita Breakfast Biscuits Chocolate

Well, maybe the chocolate biscuits will be more promising.  The appearance is identical to the other variety, obviously aside from color.  You can pretty much just go back and read the last paragraph re: texture and consistency, too.  However, I’m pleased to report that the taste is a little better, and the smell is vivid and promising.  Before you get your hopes up, let’s be clear — it’s all relative.  Getting socks for Christmas is still better than getting nothing, and that’s basically what we’re dealing with here.  The chocolate breakfast biscuits are useful, and well intentioned, and under the right light they even look somewhat appealing.  But they’re still socks.

Of the two, the chocolate biscuits have to be declared the winner.  To be sure, it’s a hollow victory, like a fight that’s called after two rounds when one of the boxers remembers his doctor advised against getting repeatedly punched in the face.  Again, certain allowances have to be made for the fact that these are ostensibly nutritious and made with natural ingredients, and that’s reflected in the scores.  They also fill you up for what it’s worth, and that can mean a lot when you’re dieting.  But they aren’t going to be challenging Pop-Tarts, or even cold pizza, for the portable morning food crown anytime soon, and I can’t say I noticed any unusual bursts of energy after eating any of the packages.  And unless you’re all about the natural ingredients, you can certainly find tastier options out there for the same calorie count.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pack/4 biscuits – Chocolate – 230 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of total fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 4.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 190 milligrams of potassium, 35 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 11 grams of sugars, and 4 grams of protein.  Cinnamon Brown Sugar – 230 calories, 80 calories from fat, 8 grams of total fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 90 milligrams of potassium, 35 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 10 grams of sugars, and 4 grams of protein.)

Item: Nabisco belVita Breakfast Biscuits (Chocolate and Cinnamon Brown Sugar)
Purchased Price: $3.89
Size: 8.8 oz/5 packs
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Chocolate)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Cinnamon Brown Sugar)
Pros: Go whole grain or go home.  Chocolate flavor is decent, though not overwhelming.  Relatively filling.  Easy to eat in transit.  Can be used to sand down rough patches in drywall.
Cons: Deciding whether two donuts merits a tip.  The British concept of “biscuits,” even if theirs did come first.  No noticeable increase in energy.  Not remarkably low in calories or fat.  Cinnamon brown sugar is way too subtle.  Not knowing if it’s pronounced “bell-vyta” or “bell-veeda.”

REVIEW: Nabisco belVita Breakfast Biscuits (Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry, & Golden Oat)

Belvita Breakfast Biscuits

Much like The Office, America’s Got Talent, Celebrity Fit Club, Coupling, Men Behaving Badly, Prime Suspect, The Weakest Link, Skins, Undercover Boss, Top Gear, The X Factor, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Supernanny, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Hell’s Kitchen, and Wife Swap, Nabisco’s Belvita…Oh wait, I mean BelVita…No, that’s not right either…belVita Breakfast Biscuits were first produced in the United Kingdom and later brought to the United States.

(Really? It’s spelled belVita with the uppercase in the middle of the word as if a 12 year old typed it? Geez.)

The bElvita Breakfast Biscuits don’t look like the biscuits we’re used to here in the United States. Instead of the small, soft biscuits that sometimes come with gravy and sausage on top, these biscuits look like a fossil of some kind of prehistoric insect. In the UK, what they call their junk food are much more formal sounding than what we in the US call them. The British call potato chips “crisps” and cookies “biscuits.” So belvIta Breakfast Biscuits are really breakfast cookies.

I wonder if the UK has breakfast crisps.

The US version of belvitA comes in three flavors: Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry, and Golden Oat. Each box comes with five packs of four breakfast biscuits, each of which provides 18 grams of whole grain. A serving also has three grams of fiber and 10 percent of the major B vitamins. What belviTa Breakfast Biscuits don’t have are high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and artificial flavors or sweeteners.

The Blueberry bElvIta is the best smelling of the three, thanks to its strong berry scent that reminded me of what my kitchen smells like when I’m toasting some blueberry Eggo waffles; the Apple Cinnamon BeLViTa smells somewhat like Apple Jacks cereal; while the Golden Oat bElvItA smells like something I would feed a horse.

Belvita Breakfast Biscuits Closeup

However, the Golden Oat flavor doesn’t taste like something I’d feed a horse, unless it was a unicorn and I wanted to encourage it to let me ride it. It has a surprisingly sweet flavor that almost tasted like a graham cracker. The Apple Cinnamon’s flavor is weaker than it smells, but it also tastes like Apple Jacks. It’s good, but I prefer the Golden Oat over it. By far, my favorite of the three was the very tasty Blueberry one. Since there were bits of blueberry baked throughout the biscuit, every bite had a strong blueberry flavor.

While I enjoyed all the belVita flavors, I do have an issue with the crunchy breakfast cookies. The product’s packaging and the appearance of the biscuits make them look like they’re meant to be part of a healthy complete breakfast. But are they healthier than other breakfast options?

While they have more whole grain than a Pop-Tart, they have just as much sugar, calories, and fat as a Pop-Tart. Oh wait, now that I think about it, comparing bElViTa with a Pop-Tart isn’t really fair. I really should compare it with another recent British transplant — Kellogg’s Krave Cereal.

Hmm…let’s see. Kellogg’s Krave Cereal has just as much fiber as four of these breakfast biscuits, it has more than twice the amount of vitamin B, it also doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils, and it has less fat and sugar than the breakfast biscuits. The BElVIta Breakfast Biscuits do have more than twice the amount of whole grain per serving and you don’t need a bowl and milk to eat them. But a yummy cereal with a chocolatey center sure sounds healthier.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pack/4 biscuits – 230 calories, 70-80 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2-2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 or 220 milligrams of sodium, 85 or 110 milligrams of potassium, 35-36 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 11-13 grams of sugar, 3-4 grams of protein, 10% iron, 10% thiamin, 10% riboflavin, 10% niacin, and 10% vitamin B6.)

Item: Nabisco belVita Breakfast Biscuits
Price: $3.59 (on sale)
Size: 8.8 ounces/5 packs
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Apple Cinnamon)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Blueberry)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Golden Oat)
Pros: All were tasty. Blueberry has more flavor than the others. Provides 18-20 grams of whole grain per serving. No hydrogenated oil. No artificial flavors or sweeteners. Eating cookies for breakfast.
Cons: Provides less B vitamins than most sugary breakfast cereals. Silly spelling of belVita. Kellogg’s Krave Cereal has just as much fiber and has less fat and sugar. The cookies look like prehistoric fossils.