Kara’s Chocolate Coconut Milk

It has been quite some time since we reviewed any “non-dairy” milks as part of our on growing cereal milk orientated reviews – I mean come on you want the best to top your tasty breakfast cereal or midday snack!

I remember as a child absolutely adoring chocolate milk and chocolate milkshakes, I could quite happily glug back pints of the stuff, unfortunately however with maturity also comes knowing about how unhealthy these treats can be, loaded with sugar and fat its not the type of stuff that I’d want to drink or pour on my cereal on a regular basis.

This is where Kara’s Chocolate Coconut Milk comes in; although it still obviously has more calories etc in it than in regular milk it is certainly a “healthier” version of some chocolate milks that you may be used to – with 61kcal per 100ml, 11g carbs and 3.6g fat it’s not the worst I’ve seen, plus it has all the healthy fats from the coconut, which seems to be popping up more and more as a new health food recently!

It isn’t a particularly thick chocolate milk, so if you are used to the likes of Frijj milk and other thicker milkshake like drinks then you may be slightly disappointed as like Kara’s regular Coconut Milk it is quite thin and has a slight watery feel to it on the tongue; certainly not thick and luxurious tasting.

Kara's Chocolate Coconut Milk

I decided to try this both as a drink and on a plain sort of cereal such as regular granola. Pouring myself a glass full of the chocolate substance and taking a whiff of it, it immediately reminded me of the cereal milk that Nesquik leaves behind when you’ve had a bowl full of it. This was reinforced when I took a slurp of it – infact it tastes pretty much identical to Nesquik cereal milk! Less sweet than Coco Pops cereal milk, with a deeper, richer cocoa flavour and not overly sweet whatsoever – infact verging on slightly bitter, more as if it were a finer dark chocolate than a sweet commercial milk!

I probably wouldn’t drink this just as a regular drink – it’s not the type of milk I’d want to take a drink out of the carton from; it doesn’t have that refreshing nor indulgent feel to it. However poured on top of cereal it made a nice change to regular milk and added a richer element to a more plain type of cereal. I imagine that it would also work really nice in oatmeal or overnight oats to make a delicious rich chocolate oat treat.

When compared with regular dairy chocolate milks I would probably have to take the dairy version over this as unfortunately I didn’t find it as appetising; nevertheless if you are lactose intolerant/vegan and are still looking to enjoy all the goodness of chocolate milk it’s still a good offering.

Kara’s Chocolate Coconut Milk
per 100 ml

61 kcal
0.6g protein
11g carbohydrates (8g sugar)
3.6g fat (1.9g saturates, 1.6g MCFA’s)
0.5g fibre

Bokomo Nature’s Source BeneFIT – Mixed Berry

Well, that was a long while away from the blog.

Apologies –  shuttling between Malaysia, and Singapore, and as an Intern in both locations, leaves barely enough time for oneself, let alone writing cereal reviews.

What have we today?

Muesli from Bokomo, which is being marketed as a healthier granola (by virtue of “Benefit”)

One word should convey the review: “Spartan”.

Bokomo is a company from South Africa, and dabbles in the breakfast cereal, processed grains, and hot drinks segments. They’ve got a pretty “medieval” style in their logo: the font gives Bokomo some ancient permance (note the “platformed” letters, with protrusions at the base and top of each alphabet)

The cereal box art is oddly sparse as well. It seems as if there was no digital touch-up done; on the photos of the cereal, such that all we’ve got is a picture of a bowl of cereal on a background. No funny mascots, nothing.

Clearly not targeting kids or teens or youths or adults who enjoy zesty packaging.

I wonder though: perhaps some might choose this cereal over others BECAUSE of the Spartan packaging; since it gives the idea of the “natural” / “healthy” / “less processed” choice over the other colourful sugary cereals.

The cereal in the box is equally spartan – raisins, some pittance of “mixed berries” grain, and some minor clusters here and there. The raisins aren’t the plump sort you get from expensive(ish) mueslies like Dorset; these raisins are smaller, shrunken, more like Alpen’s raisins. I even had some “dud” raisins (or were they berries??) which were way too dry to be described as anything other than a “burnt-out raisin” which came forth as a dull mass that you chew. Hoping to see some freeze dried berries? Dream on. I only recall biting into two or three dried cranberries. The rest were probably the “duds” mentioned above.

The bite that this cereal produces, primarily through its clusters, is a decent one, substantial, and more-ish. I was surprised that I enjoyed nibbling on the broken chunks / individual pieces of oats, when eating my platter of chocolate at night, as they gave a neutral yet wholesome flavour.

In milk? Plain. Exactly the same as eating it dry. It’s like a poached chicken breast. It tastes the same in soup, and the same when eaten plain. Soaking it in something does not change the texture, or taste of it.

I’ve warned you though; don’t expect much in the way of “crispy”, or “clusters” here. The largest “cluster” was the size of the nail on my pinky (my hands are small too), so it dwarfs in comparison to the large granola chunks that the more sinful cereals have.

I mean, look at this. They look absolutely boring and normal. No quirks about it – no large chunks of clusters, no odd rice krispies or nut pieces. 

The taste was plain – just as spartan as visuals and box art. The actual grain bits / cluster-remnants taste of lightly sweetened oats, albeit w/ some molasses added to bind them together. There’s also some fruit-juice sweetness detected.
The raisins are odd, poorly executed creatures; as mentioned above, the “burnt-out” raisins weren’t just a dull chewy mass, but left a bitter aftertaste as well.

Why, why do “healthy granolas” always fail? Has the bar which the “sinful” granolas have set, been set too high? Is it a standard that “healthi-fied” ingredients cannot achieve?

Either that, or I simply haven’t been exposed to any REALLY good healthy granolas.

Or, Bokomo’s Nature’s Source Benefit muesli has just failed, horribly.

The recommended serving size is a 1/4 cup, 30g, and that’s pretty dismal.

TYPICAL NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER DRY PRODUCT
1 Serving = 30g = 75ml
Nutrients  Per serving %NRV*
Energy (kJ)431
Protein (g)3.3 6
Glycaemic carbohydrate (g) 14
of which sugars (g)  4.8
Total fat (g)  3.2
of which monounsaturated (g) 1.2
of which polyunsaturated (g) 0.8
of which saturated (g) 1.1
of which trans (g) <<0.1
Cholestrol (mg) <1 <1
Total dietary fibre** (g) 3.9
Sodium (mg) 84
What I usually do with this cereal is to mix it with some other lighter, crispier grain (such as… Cheerios, or Rice Pops), so that the dense bite is complemented with some puffier exuberance.

That, I find, is the only way to eat Bokomo’s Nature’s Source BeneFIT with something else which is TRULY “light and crispy”, to offset its dense bite.

-The Exercising Male

Banana Nut Cheerios

Ah Cheerios; “so much goodness in those little Os” apparently, yet the original variety I find to be fairly displeasing, not particularly appetising and with not the best of nutritionals compared to other “healthier” cereals, I rarely find myself striding home with a big box full of things. However in the U.S. of course everything is always bigger and better and the Cheerios market is no exception with various different flavours to choose from! Although not being a huge fan of regular Cheerios I just knew that I had to sample one of the wonderful varieties the U.S. market had to offer.

Banana Nut Cheerios

Looking through the supermarket aisle I decided upon “Banana Nut”; I rarely have the chance to sample banana flavoured cereals back home, other than the odd occasional instant oatmeal, so I knew that this was the one that I had to try!

It seems to be that, looking at the packaging, this is once again marketed as a “healthier” cereal to appeal to those that want something “nutritious” for breakfast but aren’t too keen on a bowlful of bran what with “wholegrain” and “flavoured with REAL banana”. However marketing, as we all know, can be deceiving and looking at the nutritionals of these they actually weigh in at a whopping 32g of sugar per 100g! Maybe not the healthiest choice after all.

Banana Nut Cheerios

Unlike other more calorific cereals – granola etc, the good thing about these Cheerios is that despite their higher sugar levels they are actually pretty light, so although you may pour yourself a large bowlful they’ll probably only end up weighing in at around 30-40g and leave you feeling as if you’ve had a decent portion despite minimal calories.

Banana Nut Cheerios

Anyway enough about the nutritionals! How do these taste? Well actually they are quite nice; the banana flavour is fairly authentic and real tasting and don’t worry there is no horrific artificial aftertaste burn to be had here! It is pleasantly sweet and mixes nicely with the well known oaty corny flavour of the standard Cheerio with a slight nutty background flavour element to be experienced.

They hold up pretty much the same as regular Cheerios in milk; staying crunchy/firm for a reasonable amount of time whilst the outside slowly softens up leaving a faint banana flavour in the milk – unfortunately the cereal milk left in the bowl isn’t ground-breaking, it’s lightly flavoured of banana but certainly nothing to write home about, I wouldn’t wanna buy a carton full of the stuff!

Banana Nut Cheerios

I ended up eating the rest of this box of Banana Nut Cheerios as I would the standard ones; either as a yoghurt topper or mixed in with other bits n bobs. I don’t know what it is about Cheerios but they never really appeal to me to have as a full bowl of cereal , I guess I just don’t find them exciting enough. Never mind, they were nice to try.

Banana Nut Cheerios
per 100g

357kcals
3.6g protein
85g carbs (32g sugar)
3.6g fat (0g saturates)
7g fibre