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.
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.
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.
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.
Quaker has added a new member of the Life family, joining Original, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Pumpkin Spice, Gingerbread, and (discontinued?) Maple and Brown Sugar. Strawberry Life is the only fruit-flavored version out there currently. Cinnamon Life is my all-time favorite cereal, so I was interested to see how this variation would stack up.
How is it?
When I tried a piece dry, it reminded me of Berry Berry Kix, a cereal I haven’t had in decades. But who eats Life dry?
As I ate the cereal doused in milk, I got the true experience, but it’s not much of an experience. For some of the bites, I could hardly taste the strawberry. It was just like Original Life. On other bites, I could taste the berry, but it had an artificial, almost chemical flavor, which is odd since it only uses natural flavors.
I was happy to finish my bowl(s) of this cereal, but only because of the standard flavor and texture of Life. The strawberry doesn’t do anything for me.
I did try real strawberries in the cereal, but personally I didn’t care for the combination.
Is there anything else I need to know?
I have a few lingering questions. Why do they use yellow food coloring for a strawberry-inspired cereal that is drab anyway? Like, what’s the point? And why is this new product being marketed with a minor character from a threequel that I predict will be forgettable?
I doubt I will ever buy this cereal again —- not because it’s terrible, but just because it doesn’t match its predecessors. When I go to the cereal aisle and see my beloved Cinnamon Life smiling at me, I have no need for Strawberry. Even Original is better than this version.
Purchased Price: $2.99 Size: 18 oz. box Purchased at: Target Rating: 6 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: 3/4 cup (32 grams) – 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, 85 milligrams of potassium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.
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.
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.
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.
Purchased Price: $1.00 each Size: 5.3 oz. cup Purchased at: Safeway Rating: 8 out of 10 (Splendid Strawberry) Rating: 7 out of 10 (Blueberry Bliss) Rating: 8 out of 10 (Luscious Lemon) Pros: Fruit mousse is light and creamy. Strawberry and blueberry have authentic fruit flavor and ingredients.. Lemon is very tart – could eat a whole cup of mousse alone. Mousse and yogurt textures work well together. Mousse-to-yogurt ratio is just right. Cons: Shape of cup can make getting mousse and yogurt in the same scoop difficult. Yogurt is bland without mousse. Blueberry mousse has a less strong flavor that makes it pedestrian with the plain yogurt. Lemon may be too tart for some.
Nutrition Facts:Splendid Strawberry – 140 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 22 grams of sugar, 7 grams of protein, and 15% calcium. Blueberry Bliss – 140 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 23 grams of sugar, 7 grams of protein, and 15% calcium. Luscious Lemon – 150 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 24 grams of sugar, 6 grams of protein, and 15% calcium.
When I think of potential names for artisanal, fancy-pants yogurt from Europe, I tend to think along the lines of classical homages to the aesthetic height of the Greek and Roman Republics. At least that’s what I imagine all those Voskos, Oikos and Fage brand represent. That, or some kind of pathetic European attempt to get a laugh out of my unrefined American accent.
The last name I’d expect from a fancy-pants European import brand of yogurt would be “Müller,” which mostly just sounds like the name I’d give a German Shepard or the big Nazi guy Indiana Jones beats the snot out of in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
These preconceived and potentially disastrous connotations notwithstanding, I tried to keep an open mind when sampling the new Müller “Corner” yogurts, which have invaded the Northeast United States with the kind of cross-continental fury not scene since the Soviets overtook us in the 1980s (and soon to be remade) cult classic, Red Dawn.
Thankfully, Müller isn’t coming to invade our high school footballs fields and disrupt our way of life. That is, unless eating candy within your yogurt is considered a threat to the American way of life, in which case you’re screwed. Sorry about that. As for the rest of us, the flavors of candy and crunchy mix-ins for Müller’s lowfat and Greek “Corner” varieties are pretty intriguing, especially if you’re looking for something different from granola or Oreos crumbs. I picked up three of these — including one Greek flavor — to try out.
Choco Balls comes with lowfat vanilla yogurt with a side of chocolate covered crispy rice. Right off the bat, I’m not impressed with the title. Maybe it’s that eighth grade sense of humor that never quite left me, but I tend to laugh when saying “balls.” Anyhoo, the balls clearly are quite small, dwarfed by the impressive artwork seen on the package. They have a nice crisp texture though, like little morsels of Nestle Crunch covered in an M&M coating. I liked them, but thought they were better off without the yogurt, which basically tasted like every overly sweet vanilla yogurt I’ve ever had. I would have liked a more assertive crunch and chocolate flavor to have countered the yogurt, and perhaps something a little less sugary. Mind you, this is coming from the guy who finds Froot Loops to be a bit sour.
Choco Flakes didn’t make me giggle like Choco Balls, but it did satisfy my appetite more than the latter. Featuring chocolate covered corn flakes, the flavor mix-in is everything Cocoa Krispies aspires to be. The chocolate coating is surprisingly rich and bittersweet, creating a wonderful contrast to the crispy flake underneath.
The downside is, again, the yogurt itself. It tastes far too sweet and doesn’t do anything to convince me that German cows are some how superior to our own (never minding the fact that Müller yogurt is produced in Batavia, New York.)
MY favorite of the three flavors I sampled was the Greek Corner with Caramelized Almonds. The almonds are just the right size, with a crunchy balance of sweet and buttery almond flavor to compliment the yogurt. Because the yogurt is plain flavored Greek yogurt the combination wasn’t as cloying as the regular yogurt flavors I tried, but was familiar enough in the contrast of textures and flavor that it more than hit the spot. With 13 grams of protein it actually even felt kind of healthy.
My biggest gripe with the Müller yogurt is the size and price. No doubt some of the flavor mix ins are good, but retailing for $1.25 each at my local Safeway, they’re a few coins more than the familiar YoCrunch yogurts featuring M&Ms, Butterfingers, and Oreos. Likewise, YoCrunch yogurts don’t come with the eerie looking Quaker man, who thanks to his new brand of yogurt, should probably be referred to as Mr. Müller. My suggestions? If you’re looking for a little bit of a different twist to your regular yogurt excursion and don’t mind something more than a little sweet, go to town on these. Despite the name, they’re not bad at all.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 container – Choco Balls – 210 calories, 25 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, 9 grams of protein, and 20% calcium. Choco Flakes – 220 calories, 25 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, 8 grams of protein, and 20% calcium. Greek with Caramelized Almonds – 220 calories, 35 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, 13 grams of protein, and 20% calcium.)
Item: Quaker Müller Corner Yogurt (Choco Balls and Choco Flakes) and Quaker Müller Greek Corner Yogurt (Caramelized Almonds) Purchased Price: $1.25 (on sale) Size: 1 container/ 150 grams Purchased at: Safeway Rating: 5 out of 10 (Lowfat with Choco Balls) Rating: 7 out of 10 (Lowfat with Choco Flakes) Rating: 8 out of 10 (Greek with Caramelized Almonds) Pros: Real chocolate covered corn flakes. Creamy yogurt. Eating candy in my yogurt. Caramelized almonds have great crunch and buttery sweetness. Red Dawn references. Cons: Lowfat yogurt is too sweet. Choco Balls would be better if each ball was chocolate. A bit pricey and small. Buying yogurt from Mr. Müller the creepy Quaker guy.