10 April 10 • MAV

This dispatch contains part two of my cereal exposé. See part one here.

The first thing to report is that after a week of trying cereals the only box that is now empty and in the recycling bin is the box of Barbara’s Original Puffins. This should tell you a lot considering I have six boxes of cereal in my flat right now (meaning I have been eating a TON of cereal anyway so you can imagine that I’ve been doubling and tripling up on the Puffins!).

So why not just cut right to the chase … Barbara’s Original Puffins wins my top all around cereal prize hands-down.

I had it in soy milk, hemp milk and mostly on its own. It stays crunchy in milk, I didn’t need to add a thing to the bowl and each time it was delightful. It is, however, sweet. When I eat it my face gets all warm and flushed and I know I’m tipping my blood glucose levels. And this is why, ultimately, I will not be stocking Barbara’s Puffins in my cupboard. Interesting, right? Sometimes the winner takes home a prize but not the heart of the judges and that is just the case here.

I’ve had a great week with Puffins but I just don’t want it around. It’s not comforting to me and instead made me feel on more than one occasion sort of ‘bad’ to be dipping into the box again and again. This ‘guilt’ is something I never feel eating a big square of quality dark chocolate at the end of a meal or for an afternoon snack. I guess after this week with cereal in my world I have learned that although I’m happy to have a cereal box in my life again, I just don’t want to choose to this particular box of processed food that is so saccharine.

Make no mistake, however, I am still giving Barbara’s Original Puffins the top prize for overall yumminess!

Moving on with other major revelations: I had to disqualify Kashi Go Lean from the project entirely. I gave my box away this week because it was absolutely not for me. I had a few bites of a bowl in milk and felt, well, bloated. I wanted to understand the Go Lean craze but I did not. I love that there is something for everyone out there in the cereal world.

And you’ll be interested to know that I replaced Kashi Go Lean with a box of Nature’s Path Heritage Bites (as it was recommended by a dear friend while in the midst of my cereal-trial-week). And as fate would have it … this is the cereal I have chosen to stock in my home regularly! I LOVE it. It’s the perfect combination of everything I was looking for and it’s wonderful with and without additions; in and out of milk and to top it all off it has the perfect touch of sweetness (from cane juice). So welcome Heritage Bites (seen above). I think I love you. You have won my heart and a spot in my cupboard where very few other boxes of anything sit. Yippee.

And finally notes on the other three cereals are below (in order of favorites):

3rd place:
Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice — I really like this cereal. I contemplated stocking this in my home but I just don’t dig it enough on its own. It does, however, win the prize for ‘Best With Add-Ins’. I would recommend trying toasted coconut flakes + toasted almonds. Also currants + toasted walnuts. I did not have it with fresh fruit but I am sure that would be a winner as well. I grew to love how earthy this cereal tastes and the ‘crackling’ and ‘popping’ reminded me of being a kid. I will keep it in mind for recipes and I might switch to it for a while this summer when fruit comes straight to my table from the farms.

4th place:
Nature’s Path Fruit Juice Sweetened Corn Flakes — I just don’t reach for corn flakes anymore. This cereal stands up quite well in milk (very crispy the entire time) and it also does not have a weighted down feeling that other flakes can have but I couldn’t get over the aftertaste. I guess at this point in my life I also want a bit more than just corn meal in a bowl with milk on top. I would recommend this to someone who is trying to make the switch from a sugary corn flake though so keep it in mind if you want to get away from the sugar, malt flavoring and corn syrup you will find in Kellogg’s.

5th place:
Cascadian Farm Purely O’s — After winning last weeks dry cereal prize, I was surprised to find that I did not like how this cereal sat with me. I liked the taste in milk and it certainly would fit the bill for someone who might want to ‘Cheerios-like’ natural cereal but for me it sort of upset my system. It felt heavy as a snack and heavy as an addition to my regular breakfast. I would take a handful of this at someone’s house to be sure but I will not look this way again in the cereal aisle. Goodbye cute little O’s.

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Well that was quite a lot of talk about cereal, eh? For those who are completely bored I am sure I’ll be obsessing about something completely different next week. Hope you’ll come along for the ride. Cheers!