Friday, May 24, 2013

REVIEW: Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds Cereal

In today's vast cereal market, it's perfectly easy to find a brand that your taste buds will agree with. It is, however, slightly harder to find a cereal that your dietitian will agree with. And it's even harder to find a cereal that agrees with both!
Thankfully, the breakfast lineup from Fiber One consists of eight cereals with crazy-high levels of fiber, the highest being 57% of your daily value, and the lowest being 35%. Even then, the lowest fiber count is still high. And whether you (and your bowel system) are old or young, fiber isn't something that should be ignored.
And take it from me, Fiber One cereals don't taste bad either! Their Original brand has been a pantry staple of mine for more than a year now. While it looks far from appealing (I call it "goat feed" in front of my friends), it has a surprisingly sweet taste, for only 60 calories a serving. All the students at school who have been skeptical to try it said Fiber One actually tastes pretty good. Even my junk-food obsessed friends find it yummy! And it tastes even better with a pinch of cinnamon mixed in.
With that being said, the Original Fiber One can get stale. (In both ways). Sooo, today I set out to try one of the several other cereals Fiber One has to offer: This time, I'm attempting to review their Nutty Clusters & Almond Cereal!

One thing I've noticed with Fiber One is that, with the exception of their Original cereal, they seem to focus on making copycats of major cereal all-stars, only theirs are amped up with a higher fiber count. Like Fiber One's Frosted Shredded Wheat: obviously a makeover of Frosted Mini-Wheats (which I guess is a makeover of Post's Shredded Wheat in and of itself). Fiber One's Chocolate Squares? Taste just like Cocoa Puffs, even if they don't necessarily look the same. The Raisin Bran Clusters? Raisin Bran... der! The Honey Squares, I'm guessing, are supposed to remind us of Honey Nut Cheerios. Hungry Girl says Fiber One's Caramel Delight tastes similar to Cinnamon Toast Crunch, even. (Sounds like I should go pick up a box of that one over at the supermarket... STAT!) Finally, the Honey Clusters and the Nutty Clusters & Almonds cereals both seem like doppelgangers of Honey Bunches of Oats and Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds, respectively. Ahhh... Honey Bunches of Oats... I remember when I believed THAT to be the epitome of healthy cereal. I guess now we know who really rules the roost round' here... Look, the Nutty Clusters has 11g of fiber per serving! That's a huge amount, especially when compared to Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds', which is only a measly 2g (Waa, waa, waaaaa...) Nutty Clusters & Almonds also has 180 calories per 55g serving, 3g of fat (with 2.5 of those being from healthy fats), 45g of carbohydrates,, 12g of fiber, 4g of protein, and different percentages of various vitamins and minerals. Not too shabby in the stats department...
Through the translucent bag, we can see a big majority of flakes, along with clusters dotted throughout the mixture. We can also see some real, honest-to-goodness almond slices poking out already. Well, let's open this bag up and get a closer look...

The flakes are a light shade of brown and have a noticeably shiny, slightly sticky coating on their exterior. They're all rather big in size and are the main component in the Nutty Clusters cereal. Trying out a serving of them dry, I found the flakes to have a somewhat bran-y flavor, just like the taste of Raisin Bran flakes, but this flavor was, after the first initial bites, disguised by the coating, which was sugary sweet- more or less like an icing... It was like Raisin Bran AND Frosted Flakes at the same time... Hmm... Frosted Bran Flakes! Anyway, the Fiber One flakes were quite delicious, felt hearty, and had a subtle nuttiness. They had a nice crisp crunch and melted in the mouth fairly well. I especially enjoyed the sugary coating. It was a nice touch that kept the flakes from getting too boring or too bran-y. It distracted you from the fact that this was, indeed, a healthy cereal.

Now, let's move onto the nutty clusters and the almond slices. The nutty clusters appeared less frequently in my portion of cereal than the flakes did, and the almond slices appeared even less frequently than that. The clusters had a much more prominent taste of almonds than the flakes, even more than the almonds, dare I say- The taste instantly reminded me of almond extract. Ya' know- even small teaspoons of extract have a very intense flavor.
Even though they contained oats, the clusters weren't exactly like granola- A lot of them consisted of pieces of puffed rice cereal, the kind cereals like Honey Smacks are made from. This gave the clusters a rather puffy and airy texture. I didn't enjoy the bits with puffed rice as much as I enjoyed the bits of just oats. Save for a couple of chosen clusters, most of the ones I found were very small.

The almond slices were rare, but I appreciated them nonetheless. They were long, but cut very thinly. They tasted like any other almonds- The flavor of the slices wasn't messed around with or anything. A good, solid almond-y flavor. Nothing added to them in an attempt to improve the taste. I feel, with nuts, the taste is spectacular as it is. No reason to go changing it up!

All in all, Fiber One's Nutty Clusters & Almonds is an exceptionable cereal dry. It made for a great snack between breakfast and lunch. Not only was it healthy, but it was all-around tasty too. Now, how about some milk?                                                                           
First, here's what a serving of the cereal looks like. It's actually a pretty big size! While most cereals' serving sizes are around 30g, this one was a whopping 55!

Ahh, fresh, ice-cold milk! It can either make or break a cereal.... For the Fiber One, I'd totally go with the former. The milk made the cereal taste super sweet, and enhanced the nutty, almond-y flavor ten-fold! It even reminded me of the days of delicious, not-so-nutritious, Honey Bunches of Oats. The cereal did its part too: It held up very well in the milk, and it took about 10 whole minutes before the flakes became soggy. Not bad! I don't know about you, but to me, soggy, mushy cereals are the worst. I think that's why some cereal purists just CANNOT eat their cereal with milk. Milk ruins the texture of most of em', making good milk-cereals hard to find. Thankfully, this nutty cereal from Fiber One passes the milk test! Whoo-whoo! Not everyday you find a cereal that tastes just as good, if not better, once doused in milk. You know what always tastes good in milk though? ALMOND SLICES. I don't know why, they just do...

Overall, I enjoyed Fiber One's Nutty Cluster & Almonds a whole bunch! I'm glad to have found a cereal that is a healthier alternative to one of my not-so-healthy favs. The taste of this cereal was great- You won't even remember that it's supposed to be full of fiber. A very likable cereal indeed! However, if I could change anything about it, I'd add more clusters and almonds into the mix. I would've liked to see more of them!
Anyway, I wouldn't mind picking up a box of this again sometime soon, when I get bored of regular Fiber One but still need to include something fiberous into my diet. Or maybe, I'll just grab another box when I have a hankering for a good cereal! This is one I don't even mind having for dessert.

A solid 8/10 for Fiber One!!!

Fiber One's Nutty Clusters & Almonds Cereal

  • Pros: Tasty flakes that melt in your mouth, flakes have a hearty bran taste and smooth sugar coating, clusters have an intense nutty flavor, clusters contain oats, almonds are kept decent, chock-full of fiber, sweet, tastes great and holds up well in milk, big serving size, reminds me of Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds
  • Cons: Small clusters, puffed rice, clusters and almonds are infrequent
Well, that's all I've got to say! But what about you readers? Have you tried Fiber One's Nutty Clusters & Almonds? What did you think of it? Are there any other Fiber One products you recommend or enjoy? Any you'd like me to review? Post your comments down below!

Till' next time, this has been RiRi Ri-porting!

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