REVIEW: Cap’n Crunch’s Birthday Crunch Cereal

What is it?

Despite looking older than his age for several decades now, Cap’n Crunch is turning 60 this year, and as such, he has made himself a celebratory birthday cake-flavored cereal. What, you don’t make your own birthday dessert? Well, LOOK AT YOU, Mr. I-Actually-Have-Friends-and-Family-Who-Love-Me.

How are they?

Distinctly birthday cake-y. What is “birthday cake” flavor, anyway? Generic vanilla sugar cake? Anyway, the Cap’n manages to capture the flavor admirably with his multi-colored misshaped balls. If I had one complaint, it would be that the flavor is a bit muted; if a full-on grade school birthday party cake is a 10, these were about a 5. Depending on your love for birthday cake flavor, this is either a good or bad thing.

Anything else you need to know?

As mentioned above, this cereal is entirely composed of multi-colored, oddly shaped balls. There are no yellow pillows (barrels?) or brightly and solidly colored “berries.” File this under “mildly interesting.”

Also, it appears from the picture on the box that the irregularly shaped pieces are supposed to be singularly colored; maybe the dye wasn’t set when my box was packed because what I ended up with looks like a hippie’s shirt closet.

Conclusion:

If you like birthday cake-flavored things and Cap’n Crunch, you will likely enjoy this version of the Quaker classic. Just try not to get hung up on the fact that the 60-year-old Cap’n has no one who cares enough to make him a cake.

Purchased Price: $4.78
Size: 14.8 oz
Purchased at: Hy-Vee
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (38 g) 150 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 14 grams of sugar (including 14 grams of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.

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.

QUICK REVIEW: Quaker Life Strawberry Cereal

Quaker Life Strawberry Cereal

What is it?

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?

Quaker Life Strawberry Cereal 2

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.

Quaker Life Strawberry Cereal 3

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.

Quaker Life Strawberry Cereal 4

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?

Conclusion:

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.

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.

QUICK REVIEW: Quaker Müller Früt Up Lowfat Yogurt with Fruit Mousse

Muller Frut Up Strawberry Blueberry Lemon Lowfat Yogurt with Fruit Mousse

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.