REVIEW: Quaker Chocolate Life Cereal

Quaker Chocolate Life Cereal Box

What is Quaker Chocolate Life Cereal?

It’s the newest variety in the Quaker Life Cereal line that also includes (say it with me because I know you all know it by heart), original, cinnamon, vanilla, and strawberry. It gets its chocolatiness from cocoa that’s been processed with alkali and other natural flavors.

How is it?

First off, a disclosure. I’m not a regular Life Cereal eater. Oh wait, let me rephrase that. I’m not a Life Cereal Lifer. (That’s better, maybe.) I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve consumed any Life variety, and I had to look up what they were for the list above. With that said, I did enjoy eating Chocolate Life Cereal in milk or dry.

Quaker Chocolate Life Cereal Dry

Its flavor is mild, and there’s enough of it to recognize it’s chocolate. It’s not overly sweet and doesn’t reach the same cocoa level as Cocoa Puffs, Cocoa Pebbles, or any other choco-heavy cereal with a cartoon mascot. Also, the chocolatiness tastes darker than the others. I find it tasty enough that it’s got me thinking I should try the other varieties so that it’ll take three hands to count the number of times I’ve had Life Cereal.

Quaker Chocolate Life Cereal Wet

Unfortunately, unlike many of the cereals I mentioned above, it doesn’t make excellent cereal milk. Speaking of milk, this Life variety is okay at maintaining its crunchiness while sitting in the liquid.

Anything else you need to know?

Some of you might be wondering what those white crystal thingies are in the second photo above. I want to say cereal dandruff, but I’m absolutely sure that’s wrong and that Quaker doesn’t want me to describe them that way.

Quaker Chocolate Life Cereal Crystals

There was a bunch collected at the bag’s bottom of the, so I tried them. They look like salt but taste as if they’ve absorbed the cereal’s flavor. If you know what it is, let me know in the comments. If you don’t know what it is but have an absurd and incorrect idea of what it could be, share it in the comments.

A one-cup serving has 24 grams of whole grains, is an excellent source of five B vitamins, and is a good calcium source. Wait…is the cereal dandruff the source of the good source of calcium?

Conclusion:

Quaker Chocolate Life Cereal is a tasty addition to the Life Cereal line that also includes (say it with me again), original, cinnamon, vanilla, and strawberry.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product. Thanks, Quaker! Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 13 oz box
Purchased at: Received from Quaker
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 160 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Lucky Charms Just Magical Marshmallows

Limited Edition Lucky Charms Just Magical Marshmallows Pouch

The cereal aisle provides us with MANY choices. But the ONLY one I want to try with Limited Edition Lucky Charms Just Magical Marshmallows is Kellogg’s Raisin Bran.

Whyyyy?

Maybe I want to taint the wholesomeness of a healthy cereal pillar with marshmallows. Maybe because most of the cereals I’ve wanted to try with marbits already have them, like Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, and Cocoa Puffs. Or perhaps I want to add some vibrant colors to one of the most depressing cereals to look at.

Yes, I could’ve tried this years ago because dehydrated marshmallows have been available on Amazon for years. But I’m not going to trust no-name, boring-shaped marbits. I also could’ve transplanted the mallows from Lucky Charms into another cereal, but then I’m stuck with the sweetened oat pieces. Blech!

So I’m glad we now can purchase Lucky Charms cereal marshmallows sans-cereal in pouches for $3.99. Although, I’m not glad they’re only available at select retailers for a limited time.

Limited Edition Lucky Charms Just Magical Marshmallows Bowl

The marshmallows are what you’d get in regular and special edition Lucky Charms – red balloons, blue moons, green clovers, purple horseshoes, pink hearts, yellow stars, rainbows, and unicorns. They’re sweet, and, not surprisingly, have the same flavor as what’s in the cereal. Because they have a satisfying crunch and taste like I’m eating pure sugar, I’ve been enjoying the handfuls I’ve been shoving into my mouth. Although that could be the sugar talking.

So how are Lucky Charms marshmallows with Kellogg’s Raisin Bran?

Limited Edition Lucky Charms Just Magical Marshmallows Raisin Bran

The combo tastes naughty like I’m adding tater tots to a salad to be the croutons. They add crunchiness when the flakes’ somewhat crispy texture reliably flakes out within 30 seconds of sitting in milk. But, more importantly, the amped sugariness blocks out most of the bran flavor, which is what I hoped. It’s wonderful.

Limited Edition Lucky Charms Just Magical Marshmallows Raw

Because my snacking and cereal mashup-ing didn’t put much of a dent into the six ounces of magical goodness each pouch contains, I decided to create some General Mills synergy by smooshing some into Pillsbury’s Safe to Eat Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and baking them. Unfortunately, the batch I made didn’t taste or feel as if there was synergy. All the marbits added was a bit of color, no crunch or amped up sugariness.

Limited Edition Lucky Charms Just Magical Marshmallows Baked

I didn’t let my imagination run wild with these Limited Edition Lucky Charms Just Magical Marshmallows, but it’s a product with many possibilities. It also easily adds some color to any drab-looking food, like Kellogg’s Raisin Bran.

DISCLOSURE: I received free samples of the product. Thanks, General Mills! Doing so did not influence my review. Also, sorry, General Mills, for mentioning a competitor’s product and not adding these to your Total Raisin Bran.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 6 oz pouch
Purchased at: Received from General Mills
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (3/4 cup) 120 calories 0gfa 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 23 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: KIND Cereal

KIND Cereal Boxes

2020 is the year of many firsts, including what I’m calling “fancy cereal.” Starting with General Mills’ $13 Morning Summit cereal that made headlines earlier this year to KIND’s newest $6.98 box of cereal. We’re on a new level of bougie cereal, y’all.

Best known for its fruit and nut bars, KIND has quadrupled down with four new cereal flavors – Apple Cinnamon, Cranberry Almond, Dark Chocolate Almond, and Honey Almond.

These sound like standard, well-known flavors, but they’ve been amped with super grains (sorry Paleo-ers, they’re full of sorghum, quinoa, and amaranth). Two of the four flavors – Dark Chocolate Almond and Cranberry Almond – are also bar flavors, so there’s added familiarity.

The shiny, expensive-looking packaging helped a bit with my initial sticker shock. Perception is such a funny thing, but the cardboard’s heavier weight and beautiful food images were very appealing and helped me begin to rationalize the price.

After examining all four flavors, the concept seemed pretty formulaic: same base flake with fruit and nut inclusions. These base flakes looked like thicker, brown, and lumpy corn flakes. I guess that’s what happens when it’s made of super grains! They were generally plain tasting – lacking even the toasted fragrance found in usual cereal grains like corn and oat. But, it was a proper backdrop for all the added goodies as it has a non-intrusive, but unmistakable grain note.

But the Cranberry Almond and Dark Chocolate Almond included an accompanying colored flake – pink and brown, respectively. This plays an important role as you’ll read on later, but these did subtlety taste like their respective flavors.

But back to the formula. Inclusions aren’t game-changing as we’ve seen cereal jazzed up with marbits, two scoops of raisins, etc. for decades now. I find the fancy nut inclusions, like the pepitas in the Apple Cinnamon flavor, are more like something I’d find in muesli or granola.

But, what really stood out was the consistent delivery of each component with every pour. Usually, it’s a slim ratio of the expensive stuff to cereal bits, but there’s no skimping here. This is crucial because I found that the flavor comes from these inclusions — from the sweet pops of dried fruit to the rich, nutty almond notes.

With all the different textures from the dried fruit, nuts, and the super grain flakes themselves, it was quite crunchy. Even when I left it sitting just a bit longer, it didn’t turn immediately into mush. As an ice chewer, I personally enjoy texture over soggy cereal!

There was truly no bad egg of the four. However, the two that surprised and delighted me the most were Cranberry Almond and Dark Chocolate Almond.

KIND Cranberry Almond Cereal

KIND Dark Chocolate Almond Cereal

As I mentioned earlier, each of these included a different color flake and the plain base flake. The natural coloring washed into the milk and produced millennial pink-colored and chocolate-colored milk. So fun!

KIND Cranberry Almond Cereal Milk

KIND Dark Chocolate Almond Cereal Milk

The Cranberry Almond pink was purely visual as the subtle cranberry flavor was overpowered by the milk. The chocolate one seemed more indulgent as it did actually create chocolate cereal milk. The little, semi-sweet chocolate rectangles added a nice extra bit of choco-goodness as well.

KIND Honey Almond Cereal

Honey Almond, surprisingly, didn’t give me as much delight as the previous two. While it clearly listed toasted coconut as an ingredient on the box, I didn’t expect that to be the dominant flavor. I know they probably wanted to be consistent in saying that almonds are the number one ingredient across all four, but they should’ve at least named it Coconut Almond to reflect what it actually tastes like!

KIND Apple Cinnamon Cereal

Apple Cinnamon was more middle of the road for me – not offensive but didn’t surprise and delight like the others. The base flake did slightly deviate from the rest as it was the cinnamon flavor source, but it was very lightly flavored. So, it reminded me of good ol’ cinnamon Cheerios.

KIND Apple Cinnamon Cereal Red Puffed Rice

I didn’t think that I would like dried apple pieces in cereal, but I was proven wrong. Also, unlike the other varieties, there were some red puffed rice pieces. I was unclear what purpose they served as they didn’t really add any additional flavor or visual interest.

If I’m going to gripe about anything, it’s the prominent touting of 5-6 grams of protein per serving. Is that supposed to be a lot?! My usual nowadays, Special K Protein, is three times that! So, the nutrition isn’t quite there to replace my go-to, but a Dark Chocolate Almond bowl as a regular treat sounds like a great plan to me.

Purchased Price: $6.98 each
Size: 15 oz boxes
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Apple Cinnamon), 8 out of 10 (Cranberry Almond), 9 out of 10 (Dark Chocolate Almond), 7 out of 10 (Honey Almond)
Nutrition Facts: (55 grams) Cranberry Almond – 230 calories, 8 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 4.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein. Dark Chocolate Almond – 240 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein. Apple Cinnamon – 220 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Honey Almond – 250 calories, 11 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 4 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Funfetti Cereal

Funfetti Cereal Box

What is Funfetti Cereal

If you seek a socially acceptable way to eat cake for breakfast, Pillsbury is here to guide you with rainbow-speckled cereal puffs that recreate the taste of the company’s trademark sprinkle cake.

How is it?

Sugary cereals are one of my favorite comfort foods. I especially enjoy them as a snack between my third and fourth hours of languishing after work. While I often acknowledge kids as potential consumers when writing these reviews, I can’t help but feel like Funfetti Cereal was developed by Pillsbury especially for suckers like me.

If you purchase it, be sure to take a deep breath when you first open the bag. The vanilla aroma is wonderfully strong, the perfect imitation of Funfetti cake mix or batter. Because I have very few baking-related traumas, the scent evokes only pleasant memories of baking, birthdays, and other wholesome events worthy of a Pillsbury commercial.

Funfetti Cereal Sprinkles

The taste is equally spot-on: very vanilla-forward, not overly sweet, and with hints of buttery flavor. The colorful flecks — stand-ins for sprinkles — on the puffs themselves do not add flavor or texture, but are very visually appealing. The color presents opportunities to re-purpose the cereal in other snacks: as the base of a marshmallow cereal treat, part of a snack mix, or garnish on top of a confetti cake.

Funfetti Cereal in Milk

The cereal is made with corn flour, which I don’t typically prefer because the texture can turn gummy after a few bites, especially in milk. I was pleasantly surprised that the cereal pieces avoid this tendency, maybe in part due to their size. Each piece is about 1.5 times the size of a Cocoa Puff, so their lightly crunchy texture holds up pretty well in milk. Milk also seems to amplify the cereal’s sweetness, so if you really are debating between eating a bowl of cereal and a slab of icing-lathered cake for breakfast, choosing Funfetti cereal with milk might bring you closer to a reasonable compromise.

Anything else you need to know?

For those ambitious enough to cook their breakfasts, Pillsbury also offers a Funfetti pancake mix.

Conclusion:

Funfetti Cereal perfectly recreates the sweet vanilla flavor of its namesake cake. For anyone with a sweet tooth, it is satisfying, colorful comfort food at any time of day.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product. Doing so did not influence my review in any way.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 17 oz box
Purchased at: Received from Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 1/4 cup) 160 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Post Dunkin’ Cereal

Post Dunkin Cereal

Don’t even talk to me in the morning until I’ve had my Dunkin’ coffee…cereal?!

That’s right folks, Post and Dunkin’ have collaborated on a coffee-based cereal.

Why it’s taken this long is anyone’s guess. But it makes sense as both coffee and cereal (along with about seven other things) have long been part of “a complete breakfast,” according to commercials. Why not combine the two?

This isn’t Dunkin’s first cereal, but it’s the first time the brand has cerealized a beverage flavor. You can now try Dunkin’s famous Mocha Latte and Caramel Macchiato in a bowl instead of a cup. I mean, you can probably use a cup if you want. You do you.

Post Dunkin Cereal Marshmallows

The cereals consist of Cocoa Puffs-style pieces with flavored marshmallows that look like little foam swirled lattes, and feature real Dunkin’ coffee, so you can add an additional, but negligible amount of caffeine to your morning. Sounds good to me.

Post Dunkin Mocha Latte Cereal Bowl

Mocha Latte hit me with a huge waft of coffee smell, which is both pleasant and mildly strange coming from a cereal. As far as taste, the cereal pieces aren’t that far off from the Cocoa Puffs they resemble. They’re chocolate heavy, with a generic coffee flavor accompaniment. The marshmallows burst with the titular coffee drink’s flavor. They taste exactly like sugary coffee foam and syrup.

If I had to narrow down a description, I’d say this is Count Chocula if you swapped coffee for milk (more on that later). Imagine a cereal called “Count Coffula” or “Café Chocula” or “Count Chock Full o’ Nutsula,” OR, don’t imagine anything. You do you.

Post Dunkin Caramel Macchiato Cereal Bowl

Caramel Macchiato smells like, and forgive me for crossing company lines, a Caramel Frappuccino. Think of any caramel centric cereal you’ve had, but with a kicker – you get a nice little coffee flavor infusion.

Imagine one of those gourmet popcorn companies making a “caramel coffee” flavor. That’s the flavor profile I keep coming back to. To use this example again, think of when you get to the bottom of your caramel Frap and its mostly ice, whipped cream, and caramel drizzle. It tastes like that.

I could have gone for even more coffee flavor, but I guess they have to appeal to kids. The cereal piece shapes are a bit uninspired, but the marshmallows are cute, and they’re the star of the show for me.

As far as the cereal milk flavor, Imagine the drinks the cereal is based on, but swap the coffee to dairy ratio. They each tasted like a coffee drink that is 75% milk or whatever your preferred dairy is.

Oh, and just out of sheer curiosity, I tried this: both cereals with coffee instead of milk.

Look out, we got a wild man here!

Post Dunkin Cereal Mixed

Why not? I had some coffee left over, threw in my splash of half and half and mixed equal parts of each cereal in. It was a half and half and half and half. I kinda loved it. The coffee sopped into the cereal pieces and gave it that extra oomph I wanted, and the mocha and caramel flavors pushed through. If you’re feeling bold, give this a shot, but obviously, use cold coffee.

So yeah, these are ultimately a winner for me. There’s just enough coffee flavor to get your fix while also not scaring off the kids. I’m probably just gonna mix the two bags together at this point. I may even isolate a bag of the marshmallows and use them as ingredients in some kind of snack mix. Feel free to leave some suggestions on what I should add.

I’m hoping this leads to more coffee cereals. You have to imagine Starbucks will put something out if these do well. Hit us with a line of Frap cereals. As for Dunkin’, I’m not sure which coffees they can mimic next, but how about a Munchkin Cereal that features ALL the Munchkin flavors in one box?

DISCLOSURE: I received free samples of the product. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 11 oz boxes
Purchased at: Received from Post Cereals
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Mocha Latte), 8 out of 10 (Caramel Macchiato)
Nutrition Facts: (1 1/3 cup) Mocha Latte – 150 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Caramel Macchiato – 150 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 135 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Minecraft Creeper Crunch Cereal

Kellogg s Minecraft Creeper Crunch Cereal Box

Kellogg’s Minecraft Creeper Crunch Cereal is a cinnamon-flavored cereal with marshmallows. Oh, I’m sorry, not just any marshmallows, but something called Creeper Bit Marshmallows.

Full disclosure: Because I’m only allowed to use boring word processing and image editing apps on my computer, I’ve never played Minecraft. I did play Minesweeper…once. Apparently, they aren’t the same. So I don’t know what a creeper is.

I assume it’s a bad guy in the game who secretly takes photos of other characters in unflattering positions or steals their underwear. Again, I haven’t played Minecraft, so I don’t know. I’m only speaking about creepers from experie…um, experiments I’ve read about creepers in real life.

Kellogg s Minecraft Creeper Crunch Cereal Closeup

The multigrain cereal pieces have a pleasant and heavy cinnamon aroma, which isn’t surprising since the spice is listed as an ingredient. But when I first opened the box, the cereal’s shape bothered me. However, I couldn’t put my finger on why. I’m sure the pieces represent something in the game I don’t play, but after eating three-fourths of the box, I realized they remind me of dry cat food.

Like the box, the marbits are green, and although they look like they could glow, they do not, as you can see in the photo below.

Kellogg s Minecraft Creeper Crunch Cereal No Glow

So I have an online record of making fun of cereals with movie tie-ins because it seems 95 percent of the time they’re just sweetened oat or corn pieces with marshmallows. And I was ready to pounce on this cereal + marshmallow combo, but much like the cinnamon spice warmed my taste buds, it also warmed my heart enough to like this. Also, the marshmallows helped by enhancing the cereal’s sweetness. I mean, it’s not even close to being in the same universe as Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but I found it decent tasting.

Although I should add that it’s less decent when eaten dry, it smells better than it tastes, and it dissolves in my mouth in an odd way that I’ve never experienced before with a cereal.

Since many folks play Minecraft, I should mention every box unlocks a special in-game clothing item for your character. The code is inside the box, and since I don’t play Minecraft, here’s my box’s code — W73C2-K36QK-V6PRJ-YYFHD-PK2CZ (I hope that’s correct because some of the print was difficult to read).

You’re welcome, the first person to type in the code correctly. And, I’m sorry to everyone else after that person. But if you want your own code, go buy Kellogg’s Minecraft Creeper Crunch Cereal. Just remember to eat it with milk.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product. (Thanks Kellogg’s!) Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 8 oz box
Purchased at: Received from Kellogg’s
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 1/3 cup without milk) 140 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.