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.
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.