“Pshh, Kashi’s a health company. There’s no way their Chocolate Crunch cereal will pack enough chocolaty goodness to satisfy a certified chocoholic like me.”
“Oh, well, since they are a health company, surely Kashi’s Chocolate Crunch will contain satisfying, filling serving sizes.”
“Uh, at least there’s…surely no way I’ll plow through a whole box of Chocolate Crunch in one sitting and find myself on the floor, shamefully lying on my belly to hide the fudge stains on my overeager face!”
That’s three strikes, and you’re out. Please hang up your glove and hand over your Kashi Chocolate Crunch box to the proper authorities (i.e. my own hungry mitts). Despite Kashi’s reputation for clean, wholesome breakfasts, Chocolate Crunch is no minor league chocolate cereal. When it comes to cocoa-slathered goodness, this stuff hits harder than Babe Ruth wielding a king-sized Baby Ruth.
Don’t believe me? Join me in the dugout and we’ll dig into a box.
I’m intimately familiar with Kashi’s cereals: Honey Sunshine was my go-to healthy cereal until it sadly disappeared, falling like Icarus into the Sea of Discontinuation. It was then replaced by Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon, which still exists, but has since changed its recipe into something decidedly less cozy.
Why must every cereal I love suffer tragedies worthy of Greek mythology?
All Hellenistic tear-jerkers aside, when I first discovered Chocolate Crunch, I wondered where it’d fall on Kashi’s spectrum of crunchiness. Would it have the gravelly, molar-fissuring weight of GoLean Crunch? Or would it have the crispy, Orville Redenbacher-esque crackle of Vanilla Pepita Clusters? While the latter is easier on my dental bill, the former is certainly more fun.
And its deafening munch alerts nearby aircraft to my position.
I’m happy to say that Kashi Chocolate Crunch falls square in the middle: the initial crunch of its clusters (which are either massively McNugget-sized or tinier than McDouble gristle—never in-between) is pleasantly heavy, but it quickly dissolves into a creamy chewiness.
But enough about McDonald’s and mouthfeels. Let’s talk taste. Kashi Chocolate Crunch is one of the ugliest cereals I’ve ever had the challenge of attractively photographing, and it’s made from a list of boring-sounding whole grains that’s long enough to put a Jigglypuff into REM sleep: soy flakes, oats, red wheat, brown rice, barley, and rye.
But when you eat Chocolate Crunch dry, you won’t taste any of those. Why? Because this cereal lists “chocolate” or “cocoa” 4, count ’em, 4 (four)times in its ingredients list!
Aside from the generous, cocoa buttery coating slathered on every cluster, there are enough hyper-creamy, mega-milky semi-sweet chocolate bits scattered in Chocolate Crunch to populate every spoonful. I’m not saying Kashi snuck a tube of unshelled M&M’s Minis into every box, but these chipper gems certainly taste like it.
Combined with the heartier oat bits, this cereal collectively reminds me of a mashed-up Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bar—that was then basted with a little Hershey’s Syrup and thrown into a bag of Brownie Brittle for good measure.
With all this good news, you’d think Kashi Chocolate Crunch would taste even better doused in sweet, sweet milk, right?
Don’t make me bust out the big, red “Wrong!” again.
See, milk’s creaminess strangely vaporizes most of Chocolate Crunch’s delightful cocoa intricacies—and it doesn’t even leave any potent endmilk behind. Even worse, milk awakens the previously slumbering “boring whole grain” flavor, and the whole bowl adopts a sinister seediness that’s pretty bitter—and not in the delicious dark chocolate sense of the word, either.
If you’re a hummingbird looking for a good flavor of Cookies & Cream Birdseed, then eat this with milk. Otherwise, absolutely shovel it into your mouth by the dry handful…
…though this temptation to mouth-shovel a whole box of Chocolate Crunch is probably its biggest weakness, even more so than its “meh” milkiness. Servings of Chocolate Crunch are small and calorie-dense, and a box only contains 6 servings. So not only will this cereal challenge those without self-control (i.e. me), it’ll make those same people quickly rush to the store to buy another box of sweet, fudgy shame.
I applaud Kashi Chocolate Crunch for really packing in the chocolate flavor, but I’m sure I’ll curse it later when I’m packing on pounds.
Time to quarantine this stuff alongside my Cracklin’ Oat Bran in a locked file cabinet labelled “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”
The Bowl: Kashi Chocolate Crunch Cereal
The Breakdown: Abandon all milk and abandon all New Year’s resolutions before eating Chocolate Crunch: its delightful blend of four different, brownie-flavored chocolate ingredients won’t be earning your diet any brownie points.
The Bottom Line: 8.5 McNugget Cereals out of 10
(Quick Nutrition Facts: 220 calories, 7 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein per 3/4 cup serving)