Review: Nature Valley Nut Butter Granolas – Peanut Butter & Honey Almond Butter

Nature Valley Nut Butter Granolas Review

Peanuts and almonds have an oligopoly over the nut butter market.

There, I said it. If Vladimir Nutin and his secret legume agents take me down, you’ll find my full manifesto buried 50 paces east of the old Siberian walnut factory.

All I’m saying is that, while peanut and almond butter is good and all, I think other nut butters deserve their moment in the sunflower oil-emulsified sun.

Cashew butter is delightful. Pecan butter is an underrated gem. And wingnut butter contains so much iron!

Yet General Mills and Nature Valley chose to use peanut butter and almond butter to flavor their newest pouches of granola. I’ll forgive them for now because they used honey in their almond butter granola, but if I’m martyred for this expository review, I’ll be leaving a scathing eulogy.

Oh well, might as well munch while I wait for my door to be punched down. Continue reading

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Review: Special K Nourish – Berries & Peaches Cereal (with Real Fruit & Yogurty Pieces)

Kellogg's Special K Nourish Peaches & Berries Cereal Review Box

Different foods do “chaos scoops” better.

You know, chaos scoops: when you grab a big handful of a mixed foodstuffs with blatant disregard for flavor sorting or portion control, slam it in your mouth with the grace of a Legends of the Hidden Temple contestant putting the Silver Monkey together, and relish in a lawless hodgepodge of melded flavors.

Trail mix is good about this (as long as you maintain a respectable nuts-to-M&M’s ratio), Skittles scoops are hedonistically sweet, and jelly beans are the definition of risk vs. reward—you get one black licorice or cinnamon in there and it’s a whammy for your digestive system.

That’s why I was curious about Special K’s new Berries & Peaches cereal, the third in their probiotic line of Nourish cereals (I hear if you eat them while taking an antibiotic, your gut flora unites to punch you in the colon). With so many ingredients—flakes, dried strawberries/blueberries/peaches, and yogurty bits, could Special K possibly pull such complex choreography? Or would it taste like a fire in my (Jelly) Belly?

Well it’s time to make a sacrifice for the people. If I start posting pro-bacteria propaganda next week, know that I’ve been compromised. Continue reading

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Review: Kellogg’s Super Mario Cereal

Kellogg's Super Mario Cereal Review Box Amiibo

You know I love you, Mario, but man: you need to work on your personality.

Sure, you can save the princess, grow a killer ‘stache, and kick Goomba buns in every sport (Olympic or otherwise), but plumbing anecdotes and an occasional “Wa-hoo!” isn’t going to make you a hit at parties.

Unless you whip out the big green wind-up boot and cue up Destruction Dance, of course. Just imagine the dance moves!

But really, on my list of favorite little red dudes, you’re pretty far down the list: Pikmin, Cool Spot, that smug M&M, heck, even the Noid would be invited to my wedding before an inarticulate Italian hero whose stats are average in every baseball game.

And that “Thwomp-of-all-trades, Bowser-of-none” problem persists with Kellogg’s and Nintendo’s new Super Mario Cereal, a much-hyped team-up of cereal and video game titans that nearly exploded my website, reputation, and inner child when I leaked news about it last year. Everyone’s excited about the box, which doubles as an Amiibo for Super Mario Odyssey, but since I’m still replaying Super Mario Sunshine on my GameCube and trying to figure out how Game Boy e-Readers work, I don’t have the modern tech to explore that Amiibo functionality.

I do, however, have a spoon, which means we’re all about to see why this fruity marshmallow cereal lives up to the flat (and I’m not talkin’ Paper) legacy of its namesake portly protagonist. Continue reading

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Review: Malt-O-Meal Double Chocolate Brownie Crunch Cereal

Malt-O-Meal Double Chocolate Brownie Crunch Cereal Review Bag

This review goes out to you, 54-year old Larry P. from Tampa Bay, Florida.

You don’t actually exist, Larry, but you are an archetype of consumer both I and countless underpaid cereal customer service reps have had to deal with for the past two decades.

You’re the guy who complains on every Monster Cereal post about how Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry just aren’t as good as they were during your childhood growing up in some rural place that resembles the house from Courage the Cowardly Dog. You’re the guy who lambasts the cereals’ change from oat flour to corn flour as borderline cataclysmic, a harbinger of dark times that probably brought us reality TV and bluetooth headsets, too. And you use General Mills’ blog comments section as your impromptu soapbox.

So even though you are a persistently vocal one, Larry: you’re right. Oat flour does rock, and Malt-O-Meal’s newest cereal, Double Brownie Crunch, proves it with a masterful blend of fudged flours. Continue reading

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Review: Annie’s Organic Cinnabunnies Cereal (Gluten Free)

Gluten-Free Annie's Organic Cinnabunnies Cereal Review Box

I’m gonna be real with you, Annie: you missed a huge opportunity.

Instead of the delightfully droll pun “Cinnabunnies,” you could have worked with the good folks at Cinnabon to craft an organic cinnamon roll recipe, melt those rolls into a fine paste (using only gluten-free fire), then used that base formula to glaze your wee little sorghum and rice flour bunnies.

Then you could have authentically called them “Cinnamon BUNnies.”

You see what I did there? Bun? Like the baked…good…?

Alright, I’ll shut up and review the cereal. Continue reading

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Review: Kashi GoLean Peanut Butter Crunch Cereal

Kashi GoLean Peanut Butter Crunch Cereal Review Box

I hope with a name like “Peanut Butter Crunch,” that Kashi’s newest GoLean cereal is at least made with crunchy peanut butter.

The creamy vs. crunchy debate has been waged for decades, with proponents of each texture so ardently supporting their preferred legume paste that I’d bet America’s political system was modeled after our competitive two-PB-party system. I mean, this civil war is so divisively volatile that the opposing sides can only agree on one thing: that the unspoken third party, chewy peanut butter*, is so abhorrent that it had to be wiped from the marketplace sometime after 19-dickety-two.

*Google may tell you chewy peanut butter isn’t a real thing, but that’s just what the Illumi-nutty want you to think.

I personally grew up sheltered: my parents only bought creamy. But after experimenting with crunchy in college, I’ve come out a changed man: one who loves his butter flecked with crisped chunks of roasted goodness. Perhaps it’s my destiny to make peace between the two PB camps, and I’m meant to start by reviewing this Kashi Peanut Butter Crunch cereal, which blends the flavor of creamy PB with crunchy bits.

No matter what, I won’t let anyone silence me. Well, except for the peanut butter that’ll inevitably gum my mouth shut. Continue reading

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Review: Cinnamon Toast Crunch Blasted Shreds Cereal

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Blasted Shreds Cereal Review Box

Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch the new Oreo? The new pumpkin spice? The new sriracha? The new activated almonds?

Yes, like all those hip and trendy flavors (well, minus maybe the almonds: I’m just fascinated by nuts that unlock monkish hidden powers when soaked in water), Cinnamon Toast Crunch seems to be popping up more and more, not just as a cereal, but as a phenomenon. A condiment abstraction, if you will.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites! Cinnamon Toast Crunch Granola Snack! Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shake! Cinnamon Toast Crunch the Flamethrower! Quite frankly, I’m surprised we haven’t seen actual Cinnamon Toast Crunch branded bread yet, made specifically for use in your Cinnamon Toast Crunch Toast Toaster.

Regardless of how long it takes to reach Cinnamon Toast Singularity, these new Cinnamon Toast Crunch Blasted Shreds are here to cinnamon swirl us one step closer. It’s one of two new Blasted Shreds cereals, and it aims to remix boring old shredded wheat biscuits by fire-hosing it with enough flavored powder to build a sweetened sugarcastle. Or perhaps a sugarhospital.

Anyways, let’s carve a new belt notch and carve into a box!

Continue reading

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Review: Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes Cereal

General Mills New Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes Review Box

I love crossovers.

Jetsons meet the Flintstones? Great. Scooby-Doo meets the Harlem Globetrotters? Awesome. Peanut butter meets jelly? Bodacious! Two different groups of my friends meet in the same bar and I respond by anxiously escaping to the bathroom? Fantas—wait, wait, no.

Okay, maybe Egon was right and some streams aren’t meant to cross. But that didn’t stop General Mills from capitalizing on Kellogg’s inability to trademark the too-vague term “Frosted Flakes,” pouncing on those two words like an enraged Tony the Tiger on a gazelle and making these Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes.

Seriously, I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but this has to be a deliberate move to incite a little friendly cereal competition. I fully expect Kellogg’s to fire back with “Cinnabon Toast Munch” within the month.

But regardless of why General Mills did this, Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes are here. The lion of sugar-coated corn flakes has laid down with the technicolor sugar nugget lamb, and now our dental health’s reckoning must begin. Continue reading

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