REVIEW: Post Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain Honey Crunch Cereal

Post Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain Honey Crunch

How many grams of whole grains do nutritionists recommend you eat per day?

Like many of you, I have no idea and would like to use my brain’s capacity for numbers that are more useful in life and trivia games, like the number of U.S. presidencies (44), the late Tony Gwynn’s lifetime batting average (.338), and my debit card’s PIN number (1109).

But it’s not really a number one has to remember since it’s on EVERY product that touts whole grain. One can find it on the Whole Grains Council’s stamp that features what I assume is the image of a 1980s blouse with a belt. According to the stamp on this box of Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain Honey Crunch Cereal, it’s 48 grams of whole grains.

That sounds like a lot to eat in one day, but a one cup serving of Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain Honey Crunch Cereal provides 2/3 of your day’s whole grain. So what’s 2/3 of 48? That’s math I’m too lazy to break out a calculator for. So I shall refer back to the 1980s blouse, which tells me it’s 33 grams.

To give you an idea of how significant of a number that is in the Honey Bunches of Oats World, a bowl of regular Honey Bunches of Oats Honey Roasted Cereal has just ten grams of whole grains.

While a serving of Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain Honey Crunch Cereal has 2/3 of my day’s whole grain, it looks like 5/6 of it is made up of flakes.

Post Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain Honey Crunch Closeup

There weren’t a lot of honey bunches of oats in this box and it was noticeable with the cereal’s texture and flavor. Crunching my way through the box I mostly felt the texture of cereal flakes and it tasted like a slightly watered down version regular Honey Bunches of Oats Honey Roasted Cereal. But I’m fine with losing a little flavor so that Post can jam more whole grains into the cereal. Besides, I think if you secretly replaced regular Honey Bunches of Oats with this cereal, most folks wouldn’t notice they’re eating a whole grain-ier version.

Other differences between the two cereals? The whole grain one has nearly double the fiber, potassium, and protein. But at the same time also has nearly double the sugar and calories.

According to the Whole Grains Council, most Americans eat only 16 grams of whole grains per day. My Instagram page, which has a lot of French fry and Hello Kitty snack photos, proves I’m one of those Americans.

A nutritionist would probably tell me I should be eating oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa to get a day’s worth of whole grains. But I don’t have a nutritionist to tell me that, so if I want lots of whole grains with little effort I’ll probably reach for Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain Honey Crunch Cereal.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup no milk – 220 calories, 25 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 1.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 150 milligrams of potassium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 30 grams of other carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.)

Item: Post Honey Bunches of Oats Whole Grain Honey Crunch Cereal
Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 18 oz. box
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Tastes like Honey Bunches of Oats Honey Roasted Cereal. A serving has 2/3 of my day’s whole grain. Nearly double the fiber, potassium and protein than regular Honey Bunches of Oats cereal. Remembering numbers that’ll help you in trivia contests that may or may not happen.
Cons: Tastes like a slightly watered down version of Honey Bunches of Oats Honey Roasted Cereal. Lots of flakes and not a lot of honey bunches of oats. The Whole Grains Council’s logo looks like a 1980s blouse. Posting PIN numbers. Not eating enough whole grains.

QUICK REVIEW: Post Honey Bunches of Oats Crunchy Honey Roasted Granola

Post Honey Bunches of Oats Crunchy Honey Roasted Granola

Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: 11 oz bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Tastes fine by itself or with milk. Nice mild sweet honey flavor. Sort of like eating Just Bunches, which are the best part of any Honey Bunches of Oats cereal. Crunchy. Comes in a resealable bag. Would be awesome to add to Honey Bunches of Oats cereals to give it more Honey Bunches of Oats.
Cons: Tastes similar to other granola. Chewing it makes my jaw sore. 11 ounces of granola doesn’t last very long. Does the world really need more companies making granola? Probably not wise to take on hikes in bear country.

Nutrition Facts: 2/3 cup – 240 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, 10 milligrams of sodium, 140 milligrams of potassium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, 26 grams of other carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.

QUICK REVIEW: Post Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Mixed Berry Cereal

Post Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Mixed Berry Cereal

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 15.5 oz box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Mostly tastes like berry flavored yogurt, but at times it tastes like Fruity Pebbles. Good source of fiber. Fortified with vitamins and minerals. Low fat. Great source of whole grain. Granola doesn’t get soggy in milk; the granola’s crunch sort of makes up for the soggy flakes.
Cons: I don’t know if I got a bad box, but most of the cereal flakes were crushed into little pieces. Can’t taste individual berries; it’s more of a generic berry flavor. Flakes quickly become super soggy in milk.

Nutrition Facts: (cereal only) 230 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 1.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 140 milligrams of potassium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, 30 grams of other carbohydrates, 5 grams of protein, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.

REVIEW: Post Honey Bunches of Oats Crunchy Cinnamon Granola

Post Honey Bunches of Oats Granola Crunchy Cinnamon

Switch on the Simon and Garfunkel and dust off the lava lamp ‘cause Honey Bunches hopped on the granola train. Baked, fried, or composed from the wood shavings of an oak tree, I love granola.

I love granola. I will eat it on a boat, with a goat, beside a clown, upside down, with a moose, or rhyming like Dr. Seuss, and that rule remained stapled to the forefront of my mind as I swiped Post Honey Bunches of Oats Crunchy Cinnamon Granola at the Target checkout and strode home, fingers itching to peel back the resealable tab.

Post Honey Bunches of Oats Granola Crunchy Cinnamon in da bowl

And I wasn’t disappointed. Crunchy, sweet, and full of clumps the size of Frankenstein Grape Nuts, Honey Bunches put a solid foot forward. The oats are toasted without being burnt, bringing out a roasted, almond-like nature, But granola cannot live by oats alone. Fortunately, like a good high school band, there’s a drummer backing things up, and its name is cinnamon.

As with many spices, cinnamon holds the potential to overpower a dish. As I have discovered through many oatmeal-related accidents, a fine line exists between “Just right” and “Clouds of cinnamon are clogging my trachea!!”

Well, Mr. Robot that does the dusting of cinnamon at the Post factory deserves a raise: he mixed the cinnamon in throughout without being heavy handed, providing a warm end to the brown sugar highlights of the bits. In that special way, it reminds me of a crunchier version of the top of a streusel-ized coffee cake and, in that same special way, it’s pretty easy to down it all at once.

Post Honey Bunches of Oats Granola Crunchy Cinnamon Spoonful of granola makes the medicine go down

However, that would require some serious jaw-muscle action as this stuff is crunchy. As in, “I worry about my dental insurance,” crunchy. While the regular bunches in Honey Bunches of Oats cereal crumble easily, these nuggets are more akin to the densely compressed character of Nature Valley bars in clump form.

If I were hiking Mt. Everest, I’m 89.7 percent sure the echo ensuing from crunching would cause an avalanche. If you find yourself concerned about avalanche risk, just follow the rules taught to us by Smoky the Bear: 1) don’t start forest fires and 2) be considerate where you crunch your granola.*

*Smoky the Bear told me this directly while I was hiking through the Seattle forests back in 2007.

Granola, in its best form, can be enjoyed both on its own and muddled into other mediums and, indeed, after mixing in ice cream, I can affirm these clumps hold their own. The granola chunks and shards stayed crunchity, providing both texture and warm cinnamon to the chocolate Blue Bunny I spooned down. Separate, they are good. Combined, they become excellent, forming a bowl of sugary, smooth, cold, slightly brittle, cinnamon-dusted, creamed-up nonsense, and we all need more nonsense.

If I were to nitpick, I’d say potential pitfalls one might encounter here would be 1) most clusters are itty-bity, b) risk of dehydration and/or jaw ache is high, and III) 11 ounces of granola empties fast, but, when I’m complaining about something emptying fast, I know I’ve got something good on my hands. And this granola is good. Balanced, crunchy, and just sugary enough, it delivers the promise of cinnamon sugar in its own awkward, beautiful way, reminding me that I don’t have to pay for a ticket to Bonnaroo or jump in a time machine set for the 70s to enjoy plopping in the bean bag chair for a day and munching some granola.

(Nutrition Facts – 2/3 cup – 240 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 10 milligrams of sodium, 140 milligrams of potassium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugars, and 4 grams of protein.)

Item: Post Honey Bunches of Oats Crunchy Cinnamon Granola
Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: 11 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Good ratio of cinnamon to sugar. Well-toasted oats. Balance of clusters and crumbs. Crunchy. Resealable baggie. Reminds me of eating the top of an extra-dense streusel. Gets better with ice cream. Beanbag chairs. Dr. Seuss.
Cons: Wishing for more big granola chunks. Strain in jaw muscles. Echo from crunch could result in avalanche. Clogged tracheas. Dental insurance. It’s hard to find a time machine.

REVIEW: Post Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch

Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch

Honey Bunches of Oats are the sweatpants of the cereal world. The comfy ones that you wore just about every day in college/high school that are now kinda faded and torn and orange from that time you put too much bleach in the washer, and your mom keeps telling you to throw them out, but you never will (“We’ve been through too much together!”).

They’re simple, no-fuss, and as basic as they are beloved, and it was with that in mind that I yoinked this shining blue beacon of Bunches from a Target shelf for review.

For the uninitiated, Honey Bunches of Oats is a blend of flakes and oaty clusters that came to the public consciousness in the prime of the late 80s at a time of big hair, cheap lip balm, and Apple computers.

Since then, variations on the classic have surfaced, some for a limited time, and others, sticking around for permanent residence on store shelves. And it seems Post really wants to put a good run for this Greek Honey blend, which holds tight to the classic flakes while replacing the traditional cluster with a not one, but two yogurt-inspired clusters: one uncoated and one coated in palm oil and powdered Greek yogurt cultures, which sounds like a sea monster from a B-level horror flick…

But all fears of being eaten by powdered cultures are pushed aside as, upon breaking open that nitrogen-infused baggie, it smells of sugar, BHT, and confidence.

Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch Bag

If this were a car show for Honey Bunches of Oats, this would be the pimped up purple sports car with no muffler, chrome rims, and Superman wheels called the Boom Shacka-Lacka.

Whatever those powdered cultures are, they sure do taste good. Although there’s not much of the trademark sour-cream-like tang I find in real Greek yogurt, the clusters, both coated and uncoated, nail a special fake-vanilla-and-honey sweetness. The coating tastes a bit like a less-sweet Oreo frosting, which is certainly nothing to complain about, but it can get overpowering after a while. The clusters themselves are dense and lovable, even if they’re far too sparse and a little small. They somewhat remind me of amoebas.

Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch 2 Clusters

I was tickled to find that some of the coated clusters were smooshed. Smooshed clusters are the cereal embodiment of rebellion: the cluster escapee that somehow snuck through factory inspection and made it in. The more smooshed clusters, the better…which makes me think it’d be cool if Post [or any other cereal company, for that matter] composed a cereal called “Mistakes” in which they put all their conjoined/too big/funky looking/otherwise rejected chunks of cereal in one bucket.

Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch Mucho Cluster

I mean, just look at the towering fella on the left: he’s got personality.

But strongly opinionated product development suggestions aside, the flakes remain true to the classic, tasting more of straight sugar than floral honey, and hold a trademark crisp. For cereal analysts, they’re less dense than the flake you’ll find in Smart Start or even Special K, and are quite similar to the flakes in their main competitor, General Mills Honey Nut Clusters. At times, I would argue these flakes are wimpy (and they really show it when put in milk for more than 1 minute and 48 seconds), but, when dry, they taste of crisp honey-wheat shavings and offer a contrast to the denser granola. It makes it easy to eat a whole bag and provides a roller coaster for your teeth, which fills a niche as there’s really a lack of dental-themed roller coasters. Such a shame.

Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch Bowl

Some days you need to sit on your rump and watch a movie marathon. Other days, you need to whip out the power drill and repair your roof. It is on the latter of these days that you’ll need a breakfast with a lot of energy, and these Honey Bunches have you covered. With 230 calories, 47 grams of carbohydrates, and 13 grams of sugary goodness, you’ll have enough whole-wheat-and-sugar spunk to hammer your roof and probably your neighbor’s as well, so bring out the tool kit and your M.C. Hammer mix tape. It’s hammer time.

On the whole, this cereal’s sweet enough to make an angry raccoon tap dance on the ceiling. For a sweet tooth like mine, that’s a good thing. At the same time, this blend has far too few clusters and lacks the woodsiness provided by the cinnamon/pecans/toasted oats of other bunches that usually sets off that sharp fructose sweetness. I miss that.

But, overall, I have no regrets. Sweetness makes angry raccoons [and me] wanna dance and, at the end of the day, don’t we all need a good dance?

Yes, yes we do. So thank you, Post, for encouraging us to get out and dance.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup/58 g – 230 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 140 milligrams of potassium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugars, and 5 grams of protein.)

Other Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch reviews:
Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp

Item: Post Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 15.5 oz. box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Two types of clusters. Some clusters are smooshed. Yogurt coating tastes close to Oreo frosting. Great for eating dry. Makes angry raccoons dance. Boom Shacka-Lacka. Hammer time.
Cons: Lots of wimpy, crushed flakes. Not enough clusters. Can get too sweet. Holds up poorly in milk. Powdered yogurt cultures eating my brain. A lack of dental-themed roller coasters. Emotional connections to sweatpants.

REVIEW: Post Honey Bunches of Oats Banana Blueberry Fruit Blends

Post Honey Bunches of Oats Banana Blueberry Fruit Blends

Maybe it’s just me, but the combination of banana and blueberry seems weird.

Sure, the alliteration makes them sound like they belong together, but not even Yoplait has used this fruit combination in one of their yogurts. And Yoplait has stuffed almost every interfruity marriage into their conic containers that are impossible to eat out of if you have a large spoon.

Maybe Yoplait doesn’t combine them because when they tried to, it created something so unholy that it caused every Yoplait employee to simultaneously yell out, “sacrebleu.”

Because of my uncertainty with the banana/blueberry fusion, I opened the Post Honey Bunches of Oats Banana Blueberry Fruit Blends cereal with some trepidation. The last time any cereal gave me this much fear was when I ripped open a box of All-Bran cereal to help me with constipation.

Oh wait, there was also that time I ate this cereal while driving to work.

When I tore open the packaging inside the Honey Bunches of Oats Banana Blueberry Fruit Blends box, an aroma that smelled similar to a blueberry muffin wafted out of it. The pleasant aroma did ease whatever fears I had about combining bananas with blueberries and it also made me say, “sacrebleu.”

Post Honey Bunches of Oats Banana Blueberry Fruit Blends Closeup

The cereal is made up of crispy banana flavored flakes and crunchy blueberry flavored granola clusters. However, while all the granola clusters were blueberry flavored, not all of the crispy flakes were banana flavored, which caused some flavor inconsistencies.

Some spoonfuls had a noticeable banana flavor, but to taste the banana with other spoonfuls I had to concentrate hard, as if I’m trying to recall the multiplication table in order to show a sixth grader that I’m smarter than him. And during that time of deep concentration all the crispy flakes turned limp and soggy while sitting in the milk and my head began to hurt. I don’t like having to think when eating cereal. It’s why I don’t solve any of the word find puzzles or mazes on the back of kids cereal boxes or read Highlights Magazine when eating cereal. When I did taste the banana, it was that familiar artificial banana flavor that I know and love from banana flavored candy and Slurpees.

What makes Honey Bunches of Oats Banana Blueberry Fruit Blends really good are the crunchy blueberry clusters. Spoonfuls without them make me want to put down the bowl of cereal, slide it away from me, and then let out a disgusted “nay.” But, thankfully, there were a lot of blueberry clusters. The blueberry flavor was sweet, non-overpowering, and seeped into the milk while I was concentrating on the banana flavor.

Honey Bunches of Oats Banana Blueberry Fruit Blends is a really good cereal. Sure, it has as much actual fruit in it than a strawberry soda, but it’s fortified with a bunch of vitamins and minerals. But despite the lack of fruit and inconsistent banana flavor, I have to say it’s now one of my favorite Honey Bunches of Oats varieties.

Sacrebleu!

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup (cereal only) 120 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 55 milligrams of potassium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 18 grams of other carbohydrates, and 2 grams of protein.)

Other Honey Bunches of Oats Banana Blueberry Fruit Blends reviews:
Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp

Item: Post Honey Bunches of Oats Banana Blueberry Fruit Blends
Price: $2.99
Size: 14.5 ounces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: One of my favorite Honey Bunches of Oats varieties. Smells like blueberry muffins. Blueberry clusters gave the cereal a nice crunch, which makes up for the soggy flakes. Nice blueberry flavor. Contains vitamins and minerals. Blueberry milk.
Cons: Inconsistent banana flavor. Crispy flakes don’t stay crispy for long in milk. Doesn’t contain actual fruit, just natural flavors. Being dumber than a sixth grader.