More cereals from America, bought through iHerb, which offers reasonable shipping to the UK (quote QID159 at checkout for 5 bucks off your order.)
You might think:
“Meh… Another stupid healthy cereal. Another one of those replacements of sugary cereals catering to the health nuts who compromise on taste just for that wee bit of fiber that the cereal contains”.
Guess what – I thought the same, and boy, do I retract those words.
As many have noted, Kashi Honey Sunshine breakfast cereal is their version of Cap’n Crunch original, those crunchy square-shaped corn pieces that many have considered to have that “mouth-shredding” characteristic.
So here our impression of this cereal doesn’t start off on a blank slate; rather we’re starting with some expectations of how it SHOULD taste (I.e. With Cap’n Crunch as the starting point).
Nutrition-wise: whoa. Good job Kashi. A mere 90kcal / 3/4cup; Less than 10g of sugar (6g per serving), and with 6g of dietary fiber to boot. Not bad so far.
These are small. Nice and “cute-sy” (my new favourite expression) squares exactly the size of my thumbnail. They’re pretty thick too, resembling those sofa cushions that look so plush that you just want to jump into them, or dunk them in milk.
Yes: the milk test – the all-important factor. Different people have different criteria for this: for some it has to stay crunchy, for some it has to be mushy on the outside, but crunchy on the inside.
Kashi’s Honey Sunshine is the former. It stays crunchy for a solid 5 minutes. It doesn’t have a mushy outer layer (maybe a really thin one, but nigh-unnoticeable). I say: this has matched Cap’n Crunch in the crispy aspect. Imagine half the crispiness of cornnuts, and you should be right on target. Impressive!
Although one should note that the cereal does get slightly discoloured after a good milk-soak (which cereal doesn’t right?) But I thought it necessary to state that the discolouration is amazingly minimal, unlike Cocopops which lose their dark hue after a minute, and Reese’s Puffs which loose that bright orange after 2 minutes. The one on the left has been soaked, the one on the right fresh from the box.
I think this “non-discolouration” factor works in Kashi’s favour here; one tends to think that there isn’t any artificial colouring in this – and that its colour is truly, truly due to cornmeal.
I also liked the fact that you could fit so many onto a spoon, making the cereal incredibly more-ish (in a breakfast sense). On that note, my cereal drawer is right next to me at my desk, and I can’t help but reach for it in the middle of the day, owing to its size and crunch for that pick-me-up that is required on days of looong workouts.
The small size also allows small children to enjoy the cereal, since mothers may easily pop a piece or two into their mouths.
One may ask why, of all things, I would reach for this as a sugary-pick-me-up, when there’s chocolate and candy that I may rely on. That, is a question of taste.
Despite the lower sugar levels mentioned above, this cereal meets, and exceeds, the expectations set up Cap’n Crunch. In fact, I prefer its sweetness much more to that.
It’s not a plain sugar sweetness. Neither is it that indulgent, luxurious honey sweetness. Neither is it that Malt coating akin to Cascadian Farm’s Clifford Crunch, or Nestle Honey Stars. What we have here is a subtle but flavourful honey “lick“. You can tell that it’s TRYING to taste like honey, but that it simply isn’t. I don’t blame Kashi for this: achieving that honey taste would push the price of manufacturing through the roof. Then again, they’ve achieved a sweetness which other grocery cereals haven’t – I don’t have a word to describe it. What about this:
Subtle in intensity, and a lengthy sugar hit
Density provided by the heavier, substantial “corn” taste you get from the cornmeal used in this cereal.
There. I like this. I really do.
It’s reasonably healthy, and subtly but sufficiently sweet. It stays crunchy, and doesn’t stain your milk.
Go get it!
-The Exercising Male