REVIEW: Kashi Chocolate Almond Butter Soft-Baked Cookies

Kashi Chocolate Almond Butter Soft-Baked Cookies

Some mornings, I wake up and make a list of the things I could do to be a better person:

1. Learn to play the bagpipes.
2. Engineer a machine that cures allergies.
3. Prove that a Hadamard matrix exists for every positive multiple of 4.

Somewhere down that list, I eventually land on the inevitable, “Eat more whole grains.”

Ah, yes, whole grains: the former foundation of the food pyramid (prior to its 2000 re-fashioning) and topic pressed by nutritionists, early morning talk shows, and grandmoms alike, and, well, grandma knows best. While I still love my white bread and peanut butter sandwiches, no doubt more whole grains are gonna help me live longer, so, if I find a product that fulfills my grainy requirement in the form of a baked goodie, you can bet I’m on-board.

This is where Kashi cookies came into my life. Aisle 7. Tip top shelf. There it was. In shining bold letters.

Kashi Chocolate Almond Butter Soft-Baked Cookies Kashi cookies have whole grains

“Whole Grains”!

First, I would like to take a moment of appreciation for this packaging. Like a miniature treasure hunt, these cookies are housed in a package within a wrapper within a box and let’s face it: there is no replacement for the utter joy brought about by ripping open a box then ripping open another package. It builds that bubbling, anticipatory suspense… slowly…slowly… until…

Kashi Chocolate Almond Butter Soft-Baked Cookies Look at that Kashi packaging


There it is. 8 little cookies all in a row.

Now, the gloves come off: it’s tasting time.

Well, slap me sideways and call me Cabbage McPhee. There are whole grains everywhere in this cookie. Inside each of these eight hockey-puck-shaped wonders is the dense, rocky road of Cookieland. Those classic “7 Kashi Grains” take up the majority of the cookie. The chew is a little too texturally challenging for my cookie preferences, but, if you’re a texture kid, pull out your adventure hat and hop in the Jeep Wrangler. This is an off-roadin’ cookie.

Kashi Chocolate Almond Butter Soft-Baked Cookies Oh, ye crumbly kashi cookie

This cookie’s flavors are much like a night of good jazz improv: all the components support one another. The nuttiness of those grains plays the bass beside the almond butter while the cocoa plays the saxophone, highlighting all that roasty-toasty swing (plus, who doesn’t want to play the saxophone?). It all comes together, with the chocolate being the main highlight and a hint of salty-sweet almonds at the end.

And did I mention there are chocolate chips? There are. And they’re especially soft. And especially good after microwaving the cookie for 5 seconds. Especially good.

Each cookie packs a double-punch of almonds with both almond butter in the cookie batter and whole almonds poking out from the jagged terrain of each crumbly offering. There were no noticeable almond butter swirls, but I was cool with that. The almonds echoed enough in the flavor that I trusted there was some almond butter in there doing its job.

While these rocked on taste combination, my particular box seemed to be suffering from a “Dry and Tough” disease. (Sad face) Although it wasn’t the soft chew I was hoping for, there was something I was rather fond of that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, so I ate another while listening to Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker in hopes that a holiday musical muse might descend from above and enlighten me. It was right in the middle of the “Waltz of the Snowflakes” that I realized (with a particularly dramatic gasp): these are cakey granola bars! In cylindrical hockey-puck form!

Talk about a way to energize the mid-day snack attack: whole grains, chocolate, and a recyclable box, which, after you dispose of said receptacle at your local recycling center, will give you good karma in days to come.

Within us all rests a desire to explore, and it seems the folks at Kashi channeled that urge into a cookie. While the multiple grains befuddled my child-like taste buds, I admire Kashi for what they’re doing. They like their 7 whole grains and, by gum, they’re not about to change them for anyone. There’s something admirable in embracing who/what you are and not being afraid to hide it, no matter what the cost.

At the same time, I do believe that these cookies could benefit from a tweak to the recipe that would allow them to transform from a tough granola-bar-like product into a softer cookie-like product, and I have faith that the good people at Kashi can and will do just that. In the words of that terrible 1990s parody of Star Trek, Galaxy Quest, “Never give up. Never Surrender.”

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cookie – 130 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 4 gram of dietary fiber, 7 grams of sugars, and 3 grams of protein.)

Item: Kashi Chocolate Almond Butter Soft-Baked Cookies
Purchased Price: $2.50 (on sale)
Size: 1 box/8 cookies
Purchased at: Harris Teeter
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Chunks of chocolate. Almonds and almond butter. Whole grains. Good karma from recycling. Learning to play the bagpipes.
Cons: Tough. Dry. A bit crumbly. References to poorly made 90s movies. The re-fashioned food pyramid. Not figuring out if a Hadamard matrix exists for every positive multiple of 4.

REVIEW: Kashi Caribbean Carnival Pizza

You know that expression: “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time?” Well, Kashi should just stop making pizzas, because they are pleasing none of the people none of the time. Seriously, I really wanted to like this pizza. I’m normally a fan of everything Kashi – their frozen meals, crackers, granola bars, cereals, etcetera, etcetera. But in the past I have been let down by Kashi pizzas. Yet, I decided to give them one more chance to make amends when I saw the new delicious-sounding “Caribbean Carnival” Kashi pizza.

Spoiler alert: While I expected Kashi’s “Caribbean Carnival” pizza to invoke delightful imagery like friendly anthropomorphic parrots and jovial dark-skinned men wearing brightly colored beads in their hair; this pizza was neither “Caribbean” nor a carnival in my mouth. (Discuss!) Being a healthful eater, I normally resent when others disparage health food as tasting like cardboard – however, tasting like wonderful, delicious cardboard would probably be a lofty goal for this pizza.

Its promise of plantains, kale, fire-roasted red onions, mangoes and a “sweet and spicy Guava-infused jerk seasoned sauce” yielded a smattering of toppings lumped all in one corner of the pizza, which I meticulously picked apart and spread about before putting the pizza in the oven. Below all of that was some of the nastiest pizza crust known to mankind. I would like to know what think tank thought it would be a good idea to make a pizza crust out of ingredients like buckwheat and brown rice. Poor Antonio Pizzarelli, the inventor of the pizza pie*, would be spinning in his grave if he only knew. Normally the crust is one of my favorite parts of the pizza, and I couldn’t even get it down. Even the dog gave me the stinkface when I tried to pass it off, as if to say, “I’ll eat this because it’s technically contraband people food; but only begrudgingly so.”

The “toppings” provided little relief to the gritty taste bud-assault that was the crust. The pizza was covered mostly in kale and diced tomatoes, and I think I saw a few specs of yellow that was supposed to be mango. The best part of the pizza was undoubtedly the plantains — as I have expressed my enthusiasm for Kashi products featuring plantains in the past. But unfortunately the pizza only contained four slices of plantains and two bits of something that were probably the bodily remains of brave, fallen plantains who likely fought to the death against being put on this terrible pizza. And as for this alleged sweet and spicy Guava-infused jerk sauce…Well, I did detect some kind of flavor between the cheese and the crust, but I don’t think it tasted so much like jerk sauce as it did like “a funk.”

What separates Kashi’s Caribbean Carnival Pizza from your garden variety “fail” to an “epic fail,” is that it’s not even particularly healthy. One pizza, which is a reasonable-sized meal for most people, clocks in at over 800 whopping calories. You could probably eat two slices of real pizza for that and not feel let down like a kid who gets socks for Christmas.

* Look it up!

(Nutrition Facts – 1/3 pizza (120 grams) – 280 calories, 8 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 590 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, 14 grams of protein and 10% iron.)

Item: Kashi Caribbean Carnival Pizza
Price: $6.99 [sale price, reg. $7.99]
Size: 12.7 ounces
Purchased at: Shop Rite
Rating: 2 out of 10
Pros: The bites with plantain on them were almost not terrible. Pleasing all of the people all of the time. Friendly anthropomorphic parrots.
Cons: Pizza crust tasted like puppies crying. No mango. Not enough plantains. Eating this instead of real pizza. Horrible taste plus not great nutritional value plus outlandish price like getting raped in three orifices. Getting socks for Christmas.

REVIEW: Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake

I am generally a fan of Kashi products — being a lazy pseudo-hipster who likes to buy overpriced food that’s touted as healthy without having to go through all of the effort of visiting hippie food stores and co-ops to make my own healthy food. It’s what I like to refer to as “The American Way.” And when it comes to frozen meals I’ve found that Kashi tends to be the Cadillac of the frozen food aisle. Or rather, should I say the electric Cadillac-hybrid with a solar powered espresso maker in the dash.

Kashi’s Mayan Harvest Bake was really no exception. Perfect for autumn, the harvest bake (or, harvest microwave, technically) consisted of plantains, kale, sweet potatoes and black beans over a bed of Kashi’s trademark 7 grain pilaf, polenta and amaranth — whatever the hell amaranth is — covered in a spicy Ancho sauce. It’s like, seriously Kashi? Sweet potatoes, plantains and black beans? (Oh my!) Those are only some of my favorite things in the food universe. The only way I could have been more content eating this meal would be if Kashi accompanied it with a warm towel and back rub.

Oh! Oh! Oh! And did I even mention the pumpkin seeds? The glorious, glorious pumpkin seeds? Indeed, the meal came with a generous portion of pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top, which I picked off and ate separately because I am what I like to call a “food separatist.” Seriously though, name me another frozen meal out there that comes with actual pumpkin seeds. See? You can’t even do it.

Lucky for food separatist me, the mish-mash of a food bowl was layered in such a way that I was able to eat the plantains, which were plump and delectable despite somehow coming from a tray out of the microwave, apart from the sweet potatoes, which were charred on the edges in such a way that I assume the product had once been, in fact, baked. The Ancho sauce complimented the meal well, which was sweet, spicy and delicious, although while the plantains and sweet potatoes were flavorful enough on their own, some of the parts on the pilaf underneath didn’t get much sauce on it, making it taste a bit bland.

The Mayan Harvest Bake is one of Kashi’s vegan meals, which means it’s also ideal for lazy pseudo-hipster vegetarians. It’s also all natural, which means Kashi didn’t want to make us have to pay another dollar for it by making it say “organic.” It’s really considerate of them, if you think about it. The Harvest Bake is also a nutritional smorgasbord, touting an impressive nine grams of protein (for something that doesn’t contain any meat), eight grams of fiber and 400 milligrams of potassium from the plantains, which is basically just a fancy way of saying “banana.”

Unfortunately, for the steep price tag of over $5.00 a box, regularly priced, it would probably be more cost-efficient to get your potassium intake the old fashioned way by just eating actual bananas.

(Nutrition Facts – 10 ounces (1 package) – 340 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 380 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 8 gram of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, 9 grams of protein and 20% iron.)

Item: Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake
Price: 2 for $6.00 (sale price)
Size: 10 ounces
Purchased at: Fresh Grocer
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Delicious. Sweet potatoes. Black beans. Fancy bananas. Pumpkin seeds, bitches.
Cons: No warm towel or massage with meal. Goddamn expensive regularly priced. Not stocking up on more Mayan Harvest Bake while they were on sale.

REVIEW: Kashi Honey Sunshine Cereal

I didn’t buy the Kashi Honey Sunshine Cereal because of Kashi’s world-famous seven whole grains, I purchased it because I’m hoping the sunshine it provides will protect me from vampires and the overwhelming hype surrounding Twilight.

If you don’t know about Twilight, it’s a book about vampires who live among regular humans and it’s popular with the younger crowd. The book was recently made into a movie that has attracted to theaters a whole lot of teens and pedophiles. I haven’t seen the movie or read the books, but I want to stay as far away from them as possible because I’m afraid of again getting sucked into reading books meant for kids under the age of 18. The last time it happen, it started with Harry Potter and eventually ended up with me reading Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, which caused me to occasionally chant out loud, “I must, I must, I must increase my bust.”

As many of you know, though books. movies, and television shows, vampires hate sunshine, it’s like kryptonite and Superman, milk and the lactose intolerant or men and Lindsay Lohan. The problem is that sunshine isn’t around 24 hours a day in most places and I need protection for those times when Helios, the Greek sun god, doesn’t have my back. I’m hoping that Kashi Honey Sunshine Cereal can defend me from blood-sucking vampires and the money-sucking freight train of Twilight, but even if it does, I don’t know how much of this cereal I can take.

While the cereal looks like Cap’n Crunch, it certainly doesn’t taste or have the same texture like Cap’n Crunch. The box says the whole grain cereal has been kissed with honey, but after tasting it I was hoping it would’ve been French kissed with honey, because that might’ve given it the honey flavor that would’ve tickled my tongue and occasionally shoved down my throat. But then again, I didn’t expect a super sweet cereal from the health-conscious Kashi.

Overall, for something that supposed to be good for you, it’s not bad. But again, I don’t think I could eat this on a regular basis if I wanted to protect myself from vampires, which actually doesn’t matter since I just found out that the vampires in Twilight aren’t affected by sunlight. I guess if I read the book, I would’ve known that. So I’m going to go read the book now and if you happen to see a 30-something male sitting alone in a showing of Twilight surrounded by pubescent girls, there a chance that he’s not a pedophile, it could just be me.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 100 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 70 milligrams of potassium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 13 grams of other carbohydrates, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Kashi Honey Sunshine Cereal
Price: $3.99 (on sale)
Size: 12 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: It’s not bad. Looks like Cap’n Crunch. Way healthier than Cap’n Crunch. Six grams of fiber. Kashi’s Seven Whole Grains. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Cons: Doesn’t taste like Cap’n Crunch. Doesn’t have a strong honey flavor. Being a 30-something year old male in the middle of a theater of teenage girls. Won’t protect me from vampire in Twilight. Vampires.

REVIEW: Kashi Cocoa Beach Granola Cereal

Right now, I am staring at my ass in the mirror because I am waiting for a rainbow to shine out of it.

All this time I’ve been afraid of the intense healthiness found in each super-powered Kashi product, which is so natural and healthy that I heard rumors it is a hippie aphrodisiac and it causes rainbows to shine out of your ass. Hence, here I am looking at my derriere in the mirror.

Until minutes ago, I was a perky Kashi Virgin, which is as unsexy as it sounds. But eventually I gave in and I lost my virginity to the new Kashi Cocoa Beach Granola cereal.

I guess I have some trepidation about foods that claim to be natural and healthy because I have been burned badly by them in the past. They usually taste like what I imagine rainbows that come out of my ass would taste like. However, there are people out there who adore all Kashi products and would marry them if it were legal or would bathe in Kashi’s famous 7 Whole Grains, if it did not get stuck in places it should not and did not itch so badly.

The Kashi Cocoa Beach Granola cereal consists of almonds, coconut, cocoa-infused clusters, and of course, Kashi’s 7 Whole Grains. Despite living on a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I am not a big fan of coconut, so I thought I would not enjoy this cereal very much. While trying this cereal, I could easily see the shreds of coconut in it, but could not taste the coconut. The cocoa flavor wasn’t like the chocolate flavor you might taste with the sugary cereals out there, it was better. The almonds and granola gave the cereal a nice crunch, even after spending a few minutes in milk.

With all the granola, almonds and coconut shreds, the cereal seemed really dense, like a stripper who doesn’t strip to pay for their college tuition. After eating a big bowl of it, my jaw was tired from all the chewing. The denseness was also the reason why this cereal comes in a box that is about one-third smaller than most other cereal boxes.

The Kashi Cocoa Beach Granola cereal is probably the healthiest food I’ve eaten in the last few years. One serving of this cereal has one-fourth of my daily fiber needs, two-thirds of my daily needs of whole grains, 400 milligrams of ALA Omega-3 and it is all natural, but most importantly it tastes really good.

So did a rainbow shine out of my ass? No, not yet, but I still have time to look since I’m preparing a tub filled with Kashi cereal and soy milk to bathe in.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 230 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 4.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 150 milligrams of potassium, 33 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, 16 grams of other carbs, 6 grams of protein, and Kashi’s 7 Whole Grain Goodness.)

Item: Kashi Cocoa Beach Granola Cereal
Price: $5.29 (14.3 ounces)
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Tastes really good. Fiber up and out the wazoo. 400 milligrams of ALA Omega-3. All around healthy. Whole grains. Despite not liking coconut, I didn’t mind the coconut in this cereal.
Cons: Makes my jaw hurt when I chew. Small box. Getting Kashi’s 7 Whole Grains stuck in between the body’s cracks and crevices. The movie Baby Mama.