Alpen Dark Chocolate Muesli

It seems like Alpen are constantly bringing out new varieties of muesli; and what with many brands seemingly hopping on the “chocolate” band wagon it was only a matter of time before Alpen decided to bring out a chocolate variety complete with dark chocolate curls, the usual blend of wheatflakes/rolled oats, raisins, sliced almonds and hazelnuts.

Dark Chocolate Alpen

I absolutely fell in love with the past release of Apricot & Almond Alpen so I really hoped that this variety would equally meet my high expectations and deliver a delicious morning bowl of cereal.

It has the same “dusty” sort of look as the various other Alpen varieties – slightly akin to wood chippings that may be found after a woodwork class; albeit this variety also has really good decent sized dark chocolate curls dotted around, its nice to see these aren’t measly little flakes but actually provide a good sustenance to them and make themselves known in each mouthful!

Dark Chocolate Alpen

As usual once pouring the milk on the Alpen, due to the addition of milk powder, produced it’s usual wonderful creamy consistency/flavour; however I really felt that something was missing, to me Alpen should be fruity, exciting and full of flavour and I just was left feeling that the dark chocolate variety was lacking something. The fruit/nut/chocolate combo does work, of course it does, but its not spectacular, there’s nothing that makes it stand out and I just felt that with so many other varieties of muesli to choose from I doubt I would go back to this one.

Dark Chocolate Alpen

I found that it was improved upon when adding it to other cereals as a sort of “pick ‘n’ mix” bowl of cereal, but on it’s own it was just a bit unexciting; despite this if you’re a fan of Alpen then at least you can be assured that this still carries the delicious texture/milk flavouring properties as the other varieties..and you never know it may prove to be more of a wonderful experience on your taste buds than it was on mine!

Alpen Dark Chocolate
per 100g

389kcal
10.6g protein
64.3g carbs (24.5g sugars)
8.3g fat (2.8g saturates)
7.4g fibre

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Tesco Cinnamon Squares Breakfast Cereal

We’re back to the cinnamon cereal streak here in the UK. It beats me why we’re observing this trendhere. A year ago only Nestle made their Curiously Cinnamon squares, which are similar to Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the US. We aren’t just limited to “mere non-textured cereal squares” though; ¬†several weeks ago we had Sainsbury’s Cinnamon Malties with its Chex-like pattern. What have we today?

Tesco’s Cinnamon Squares, with cute gopher-chipmunk-animal-thing to boot.


These are pretty large squares, and textured with lines, similar to Cinnamon Toast Crunch. They fit nicely in your mouth, 3-4 to a tablespoon (with milk).

2 things to note about the texture though;

1)Each square is thick. Like: so thick that it crunches in your mouth, as if it was the chunky outer surface of a freshly-baked baguette. I mean, look at it; it’s almost half the thickness of an old-school-sized thumbdrive (note my love for all things “thumb”)

2)Cinnamon sugar absolutely adorns these pieces, though not to the extent of the sugar coating in Nestle’s Curiously Cinnamon or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I’m not sure about this, but the sugar GRAINs themselves seemed more coarse than other cinnamon-themed cereals, complementing the above “chunky” squares even more.

Awesome; especially when some Os are thrown into the mix (Tesco brand, of course)

Taste is hard. It’s sweet, with that simple white sugar sweetness. It has a light (too light?) tinge of cinnamon in it that is just enough to “inform” you that you’re having a cinnamon treat. I like the subtlety here, because it matches the wheaty, almost BISCUITy taste of each square.

Cinnamon biscuits. That’s what we’ve got here. Put them in milk? You get bliss.

At 410kcal/100g, it isn’t TOO bad, neither is it good. “A source of fibre” and “wholegrain” is advertised on the box, which isn’t a lie per se;¬† though I’d take that with a pinch of salt. I’ve calculated the 100g equivalent for Cinnamon Toast Crunch, in order to get an approximation of the serving size in volume. 30g of this should be somewhere between 3/4 of a cup to 1 Cup.

Certainly beats eating Granola (to me at least; i’m sure my compatriot would disagree!), since here you get a luscious biscuity bite, without that hefty calorie-count that usually comes with it!

-The Exercising Male

Dorset Cereals Toasted Coconut & Wheat Flakes

It’s always appealing to me when cereal companies produce small one serving packets – either for on the go, or just to try before you launch into buying a big box and end up eating a cereal that you’re not too keen on for weeks on end! Dorset Cereals started out just making various different muesli but recently they have expanded into granola, wheat flakes and the like.

Dorset Cereals Toasted Coconut & Wheat Flakes

The thing that really appealed to me about the Toasted Coconut & Wheat Flakes variety was the fact that it seemed to be a mixture of all three: oats, oat granola clusters, wheat flakes, pieces of dried coconut, dried fruit & sunflower seeds; it was like a cross breed between various different types of cereal.

I am pleased to say that there was no scrimping on the amount of dried fruit here with a decent 38% consisting of raisins, flame raisins, dates & dried apricot; meaning that every spoonful had a succulent sweet piece of moist juicy fruit. Unfortunately however this is about where the good points end for this cereal; yes the coconut flakes and the sunflower seeds add a nice earthy element to it and yes, the granola adds a bit of body against the lighter toasty wheat flakes and oats, but ultimately its just extremely average.

Dorset Cereals Toasted Coconut & Wheat Flakes

The flavour I found to be quite bland and unexciting and for all of you people out there that think that eating “boring” cereals like muesli etc is just like eating cardboard/rabbit food then this is probably one of the culprit cereals to re-enforce this image. The state of affairs becomes slightly worse when left in milk for a while with the wheat flakes becoming like soggy pieces of cardboard floating in a pool of milk dotted with delicious pieces of dried fruit that deserved such a better background cereal base.

Dorset Cereals Toasted Coconut & Wheat Flakes

You’d think with this being quite a “bland” cereal that it would be relatively healthy/low calorie..to make matters worse..its not! At 381kcal per 100g its hardly the lightest of cereals on the waistline and for that many calories you certainly could get a lot better.

Dorset Cereals Toasted Coconut & Wheat Flakes
per 100g

381 kcal
8.2g protein
54g carbs (28.2g sugar)
8g fat (3.5g saturates)
8g fibre

Kellogg’s Nutri-grain cereal review

Kellogg’s Nutri-grain is a breakfast cereal in Australia, and a cereal bar in the US. The breakfast cereal variant isn’t commonly reviewed: hence the choice to write about it today.

The box is brown. Brown. Brown. Brown. Doesn’t help that the cereal is brown too. Essentially you’ve got something on the cereal shelf that looks like a block of wood, and doesn’t appeal to kids, or adults.

A quick search on the Australian Kellogg’s site revealed the target consumers.

Sportsmen. Nutri-grain Iron men, as they are dubbed. There are several Kiwi and Aussies athletes sponsored by Nutri-grain. As a triathlete myself, I have to say that I absolutely love this one.

Each piece is individually-shaped, piece-by-piece in a waffle-crisp way. I have no idea what the holes are for, since the cereal itself is porous and absorbs milk. Perhaps it adds to the “home-made” / artisan feel that the look for in that comforting bowl of cereal in the morning.

I liked the way each pieces gets soggy in milk. It becomes mushy, and contrary to the conventional notions of a good cereal; the fact that it retains absolutely ZERO “crispy-ness” is what I enjoy most. You’ve still got the shape of each individual piece – the holes in each are still recognizable, except that it COLLAPSES instantly on any pressure exerted by your teeth, or tongue (this is kinda gross, I know. But how else do I describe it?)

Taste is one-dimensional. I guess you can’t expect much from something which isn’t bursting with added sugar. It tastes very wheaty, in the “cheap wholemeal bread” way: and I am inclined to believe that this ties in with the higher-than-average protein content derived totally from wheat (more on that below). There’s a mild malt-taste in this cereal which was enjoyable when taken together with milk (albeit not as strong as a malt drink per se) that provided some depth to the cereal that is (thankfully) unrelated to sweetness.

For 120kcal per cup of dry cereal, you get 6g of protein. This is more than Special K, and the bran cereals out there. You’ve also got a hefty dose of carbohydrate here, perfect for a pre or post workout snack.

I love this cereal, and is one of the few which I’ll make purchase again and again.

Good on’ya Kelloggs Australia.

Now: how do I get a hold of this in the UK when the University term starts?

-The Exercising Male