Because I’m not one myself, I can’t be absolutely certain what kind of cereal Power Rangers go shopping for. That being said, I’d imagine they’d probably be among the first to buy the new Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Chocolatey Almond Crunch.
Morning Energy Chocolatey Almond Crunch has all the nutritional components that allow Powers Rangers to summon Megazords and head-butt endless armies of Putty Patrollers. Each serving has important, energizing vitamins and minerals in addition to 2/3 of your daily dose of whole grains, not to mention six grams of protein to help fit into those slim-fit leotards for another busy morning battling a golden-armored lion people thing in the streets below Beverly Hills.
I won’t lie—that kind of energy supply is usually beyond the scope of what I look for in a cereal. Given that the most activity I get on an average morning comes from carefully timed strolls to the reception desk’s candy jar at the office, you might even say a cereal with 220 calories a serving is a bit overkill for someone who couldn’t execute a round-house kick in Mortal Kombat 3, much less morph into the Red Ranger.
Still, I’m not going to discriminate when it comes to adding chocolate to the hugely popular Honey Bunches of Oats line, especially since its been three or four years since Post pulled the plug on Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Chocolate Clusters, which before its discontinuation was one of my most loved “adult” cereals.
At first, I was skeptical. I may have loved the “real chocolate” clusters in the original chocolate rendition of Honey Bunches of Oats, but if there’s a synonym for “half-ass” in the cereal world, it might just be “chocolatey.”
At best the chocolatey pieces of partially hydrogenated oil and corn syrup in cereals like Special K Chocolatey Delight are a distraction; at worst, they’re enough to make Willy Wonka think about getting into the plastics industry. Styrofoamy, flat-tasting, and about as rich as the hobo you give your spare change to, those imitation squares of “chocolate” thankfully don’t show up in the new Chocolatey Almond Crunch flavor. Instead the tiny pieces of not-quite chocolate “chocolate” have a firm texture and semi-sweet flavor. It might not be Godiva or even Hershey’s quality, but for a cereal the substitute does the trick, even taking on an element of richness when eaten with whole milk.
The small “chocolatey” bricks are only a supporting element to the cereal, however, which brings together the classic, slightly malty honeyed glaze of whole grain flakes with the superior crunch of oat clusters the size of asteroids. And yes, these free-falling bricks of cocoa powder and toasted oats are definitely asteroid like. I encountered several large clusters in a random pour, and enjoyed the distinctive crunch and deep cocoa powder flavor both with and without milk.
There’s a brown sugar taste to them, but the cocoa powder is what dominates, blending in smoothly with the buttery anise undertones of slivered almonds. In that respect, the cereal reminded me a lot of Fiber One’s Nutty Clusters & Almonds, except with a much pronounced and irregularly shaped cluster and a cocoa flavor. Bits of crisped rice, barley, and wheat germ make an appearance as well, giving each spoonful a slightly exotic and toasted multigrain note that balances the 12 grams of sugar per serving.
Clearly, I’m very high on this cereal, although not nearly as high as Bulk and Skull were on a regular basis during the first three seasons of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Not only does the Morning Energy variety pack more cocoa and chocolate flavor than the old Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Chocolate Clusters, but they have a seriously “mealtime” feel to them which actually backs up the overt nutritional marketing ploys.
That being the case, you’ve been warned; as a granola-type cereal, there’s definitely a health halo involved here. Before I knew it I had munched my way through half a box, and all I had to show for this supposed influx of energy was three trips to the office candy jar and not a single withering Putty Patroller to my name. Still, I figure cereal sales can’t be upheld by a band of five ridiculously good-looking multicultural karate experts and faux superheroes.
So even though I may not be actively stopping the imminent takeover of the planet earth by Rita Repulsa, I like to think my newfound brand loyalty to the Morning Energy line might just keep Post from discontinuing their Chocolatey Almond Crunch flavor, thus ensuring that when future generations of Power Rangers head to the supermarket, they won’t be made to settle for the empty sugar crashes inspired by all the usual suspects.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – 220 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 150 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams potassium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 5 gram of dietary fiber, 12 grams of sugars, and 6 grams of protein.)
Item: Post Honey Bunches of Oats Morning Energy Chocolatey Almond Crunch Cereal
Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 12.5 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Great “meal” cereal. Classic Honey Bunches of Oats taste with malted cocoa and chocolate flavor. Oat clusters the size of asteroids. Buttery almonds. Actually enjoyable multigrain element. Actively supporting your local Power Rangers.
Cons: “Granola” effect kills health appeal. Chocolate pieces still not as good as actual chocolate chips. Searching for Bulk and Skull on YouTube.