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?


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: Quaker Limited Edition Gingerbread Spice Life Cereal

Quaker Limited Edition Gingerbread Spice Life Cereal

Gingerbread is one of the oldest cookie traditions known to man. The swirling baked concoction of ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, molasses, and honey was used to treat indigestion and painted as window decorations as far back as the 15th century. The hard spicy biscuits were not only delicious, but medicinal, and even though I’ve never eaten cookies to cure a tummy ache, I’ll gladly take that medication any day.

In true lineage with the old spirit of gingerbread, one of the oldest feeling adult-meets-kiddy cereals, Quaker’s Life, put their own spin on the multipurpose treat with this season’s Limited Edition Gingerbread Spice Life.

Quaker Limited Edition Gingerbread Spice Life Cereal 2

The funny thing about Life is that they all look the same, with no vibrant fake coloring or powder to indicate what they’re supposed to taste like. They’re just boring little criss-cross oat wheat squares that somehow Quaker packs some flavors into. Their appearance, however, is fitting for the drab-looking gingerbread, and the flavor follows suit. Crunching into these seasonal delights dry reveals immediate notes of ginger and molasses, accented by a soft, sweet finish.

My biggest concern was that it was going to be very similar to last year’s Pumpkin Spice Life, which I’m a fan of, but I’m happy to say they’re very different. Pumpkin Spice Life had a strong cinnamon flavor and this one is surprisingly not cinnamon-y at all.

Each chomp packs a different Christmas punch. Sometimes it’s ginger-heavy, sometimes it just tastes like oat-y cereal, and one bite even had a sharp black pepper kick, which was surprising, but not strange since it’s a key component in traditional gingerbread. The more I eat the squares, the more complex they get. And one handful gave me the distinct yeasty bread flavor of a soft pretzel — delicious.

Quaker Limited Edition Gingerbread Spice Life Cereal 3

The cereal holds up pretty well in milk too. The spiciness is dulled down a touch, but the creaminess of the milk helps bring the true gingerbread experience full circle, adding a hint of what’s missing without any gingerbread man icing decorations or frosting. The milk gets quickly absorbed into the pieces, softening them and taking away some of the signature crunch. Somehow the notes of cinnamon that I didn’t get from the cereal dry are a little more apparent with milk, but that may be the way my taste buds interpret less ginger-y ginger.

While Gingerbread Spice Life may not have the candy button whimsy of an actual gingerbread man, it definitely takes the wonderful spicy flavors of the traditional holiday cookie and delivers them convincingly to the cereal bowl.

This is the first gingerbread cereal I’ve ever had and I’m impressed. Hopefully, more companies latch onto this wonderful flavor profile and do new fun things, because after all, it’s a lot like pumpkin spice, just without all the oversaturated hate.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 120 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 18 oz. box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Surprisingly complex gingerbread flavor. Different bites yield different notes. Somewhat healthy.
Cons: Complexity doesn’t come through as much in milk. No cute candy buttons.

REVIEW: Quaker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Life Cereal

Quaker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Life Cereal

Let me be honest with you all – I think I’m basic.

Each year I eagerly anticipate the arrival of the cool autumn air and the changing of the leaves. Fall brings with it an excuse to wear my large collection of flannel shirts, strap on my boots (they’re not Uggs….yet), and head out to the countryside to pay extra money to pick my own apples that end up being smaller than anything I could buy at the grocery store.

And while some folks may believe that apple cinnamon is the quintessential fall flavor of choice, I am here to proclaim my love for anything and everything that is pumpkin spice. Sure, the latte has run through my veins from September through November in the past, but the grocery aisles have been my go-to for orangey and spicey products in recent years. 2015 brought us pumpkin spice kale chips (for basic vegans), pumpkin spice eggnog (for basic holiday combiners), and even pumpkin spice vodka (for basic drunks), and if you’ve read TIB in the past few weeks, you know that 2016 is shaping up to offer even more nutmeggy goodness.

As such, I jumped at the opportunity to review Pumpkin Spice Life Cereal. To be honest, I found it hard to believe that such a classic cereal would get on the pumpkin spice train, but the more the merrier. Next stop, my mouth. CHOO CHOO!

Life was never my first choice of cereal as a kid. I mean, when you’re competing with Cap’n Crunch and Count Chocula, a picture of wheat squares on the box wasn’t really appealing. As I grew older and wiser, my palette learned to appreciate Life and its cooler younger brother, Cinnamon Life. I eagerly dove into Pumpkin Spice Life, hoping that I’d be able to welcome it to the family with open arms.

Quaker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Life Cereal 2

Upon opening the box, I was concerned that I’d mistakenly grabbed a box of traditional Life in error. Pumpkin Spice Life is relatively dull in the package, even though the box screams OMG THERE’S FALL IN HERE. The cereal offers nothing that will remind you of a pumpkin pie baking in the oven or the colors of the changing leaves. In fact, I was only able to discern any sort of cinnamon or nutmeg scent when I brought a spoonful of cereal right under my nose, and it was a very weak smell at that.

My bites of the cereal were similarly bland. The flavor of Pumpkin Spice Life, like regular Life, is very grain heavy, with notes of oats and wheat at the forefront. The tastes of cinnamon and nutmeg are only faintly evident, but become amped up with the inclusion of milk. A word to the wise though – once you add milk, you’ll need to finish your bowl quickly, lest you enjoy cereal that is the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Quaker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Life Cereal 3

The best part about pumpkin spice flavored products is that they typically bring a strong punch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice right from the beginning. You want to feel like you’ve been slapped in the face with your Thanksgiving dessert spread, and Pumpkin Spice Life isn’t going to give you any of that. Unless you’re a fan of muted fall flavors, I don’t suggest you play the game of Pumpkin Spice Life.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 120 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 13 oz box
Purchased at: Star Market
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Witty board game references. Good for fans of regular Life. Flannel shirts worn unironically.
Cons: Hey Mikey, he hates it! Barely discernible pumpkin spice flavor. Mushy in milk.

REVIEW: Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime Multigrain Cereal

Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime Cereal

I’ve been having nightmares ever since I started eating the Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime Multigrain Cereal. Just look at the closeup picture below, but don’t stare at it too long or else you’ll be having scary dreams as well.

Maybe I’ve read too many issues of Fangoria Magazine, but I think they look like the deformed faces of evil demonic spirits who want to devour my soul. Yeah, they’re smiling, but that’s because feasting on some of my life force will make them happy.

Oh geez, I gotta turn the box around because they’re freaking me out again!

I really wish Life Crunchtime Cereal came in normal, boring square pieces, much like regular Life Cereal. Or what my imagination thinks Kellogg’s Honey Smacks look like. Or, at least, a shape that doesn’t remind me of Scream‘s Ghostface.

You’d think with the Highlights for Children-like puzzle on the back of its box, Life Crunchtime Cereal is supposed to appeal to children, but it’s really more of a cereal being marketed to moms who are worried about their children eating too much sugar and not enough fiber. I don’t know of any children who would get excited about the “30% less sugar than the leading kids’ cereals” printed on the front of the box, but I know of moms who would.

What are these leading kids’ cereals? If you happen to be the in cereal aisle with one of those sugar-fearing moms, the leading kids cereals are probably the ones her child brings to her and instantly rejects with a loud “No! Put that back!” These cereal might include Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, which has 11 grams of sugar per 3/4 cup serving; General Mills’ Honey Nut Cheerios, which has 9 grams, and Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries, which has 11 grams of sugar.

Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime Cereal Closeup

Speaking of Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries, that’s what Life Strawberry Crunchtime smelled like. However, I shouldn’t be surprised by this since Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries is also made by Quaker. Its flavor, however, was significantly less Crunch Berry-like. It initially tasted like nothing, but then several moments later the berry flavor, which didn’t taste like strawberry, lightly stroked my tongue. The strawberry flavor came, but in the form of an artificial strawberry aftertaste that lingered in my mouth for a little while.

For a cereal that has just six grams of sugar per serving, Life Strawberry Crunchtime Cereal is decent. If you’re expecting a Froot Loops- or Trix-level of fruitiness, your expectations will not be met. Just like Froot Loops, Life Strawberry Crunchtime Cereal doesn’t contain any fruit and is made using natural flavor, but unlike Froot Loops, it’s also made with artificial flavor.

Overall, I can’t say I’ll be picking up another box of Life Strawberry Crunchtime Cereal because its flavor doesn’t impress the sugar-addicted kid in me and their shape totally freaks out the easily scared adult in me, but, with its six grams of fiber (23% RDA), six grams of sugar, and vitamin content, I would recommend it to parents looking for a healthier breakfast cereal for their children.

Wait a minute…six grams of fiber, six grams of sugar, and is an excellent source of vitamin B6?


It is evil!

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup (cereal only) – 110 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 75 milligrams of potassium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 15 grams of other carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.)

Item: Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime Multigrain Cereal
Price: $2.99
Size: 7.7 ounces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Good for a cereal that has just six grams of sugar per serving. Provides 100% RDA of folic acid. Six grams of fiber.
Cons: Doesn’t contain real fruit. Puzzle on back of box is kind of difficult if you have morning brain. Cereal shape looks like deformed faces of evil demonic spirits. What my imagination thinks Honey Smacks look like.

Honey Graham Life Cereal

Honey Graham Life Cereal

(Editor’s Note: I’d like to thank all of those who sent me well wishes these past couple of days. I’m feeling better thanks to lots of orange juice, Airborne Effervescent, green tea, generic NyQuil, water, quality time with my bed, and apologies to Dr. Phil.)

A few weeks ago Impulsive Buy reader Editrix told me about Honey Graham Life Cereal, which she learned about from the ad in the back of a Cinnamon Life Cereal box. According to Editrix, the box said Honey Graham Life is, “the newest and most surprising Life cereal yet!”

Being someone who likes surprises, except the surprise of finding out the female prostitute I hired has both sexual organs, I had to find out what was so surprising about Honey Graham Life Cereal.

After eating the entire box, I have found there are three things that are surprising about it.

What’s the first thing that’s surprising about Honey Graham Life Cereal?

Mikey likes it, and he doesn’t like anything. However, if you think about and look at the other things Mikey likes, him liking Life Cereal isn’t so surprising.

For example, Mikey’s favorite board game is The Game of Life. His favorite soap opera is One Life To Live. His favorite TV show of all time is The Facts of Life. He also likes reading Life Magazine. Finally, young Mikey also likes to chug down a 40-ounce of Miller High Life Beer.

What’s the second thing that’s surprising about Honey Graham Life Cereal?

Despite looking almost exactly alike, it turns out that Life Cereal and Chex Cereal are in no way related.

Although I have my suspicions that Mr. Quaker and General Mills had the same cereal concubine and had several milky wet threesomes with each other, which probably led to the births of Life Cereal and Chex Cereal.

What’s the third thing that’s surprising about Honey Graham Life Cereal?

Honey Graham Life Cereal didn’t taste like honey or graham. Instead it tasted like some kind of sweet vegetable, although I can’t point out which one.

However, that sweet vegetable taste was surprisingly decent, but still too weird for me to consider buying another box of Honey Graham Life Cereal.

Item: Honey Graham Life Cereal
Purchase Price: $5.99
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Pros: Big box (21 ounces). Made with whole grain for my fat ass. Low-fat. Vitamins and minerals. Mikey likes it.
Cons: Weird sweet vegetable taste. Gets soggy quick. Life and Chex are not related (or are they?).