April 21st, 2008
Naturally Flavored Banana Nut Whole Grain Cereal

Post Selects Banana Nut Crunch cereal

What first attracted me to this cereal the first time I laid eyes on it about 10 years ago was… the design of the box . Before the redesigns over the past decade, the beautiful, warm and inviting design of Post Banana Nut Crunch was in a class of its own. At that time cereal box designs can be classified into two main categories — cartoon characters on garish colours for kids or a close-up of a spoonful of cereal on a white background for the healthy adult set.

A Banana Nut Bread Inspired Cereal

Post Selects Banana nut crunch is a cereal inspired by the taste of home-baked banana nut bread. This cereal consists of multi grain flakes, walnuts and banana-flavoured clusters. Clusters that look like rustic pieces of pie crumb topping and nuts chopped to about the size of chocolate chips dot gritty-textured flakes, provide a wholesome visual treat.

With milk, the flakes, being quite thick, retain their crunch longer than the average cornflake, providing a nice texture to carry the banana and nut flavors. Indeed the best part for me are the flavored clusters which are bursting with a wonderful banana flavour. The flakes if eaten separately, taste kind of bland. You may argue that all the pieces are supposed to be enjoyed together however, in my household it is common to be left with just a box of dull flakes because everyone seems to love picking out the banana and nut pieces first.

A Healthy Snack

The good thing about Banana Nut Crunch is the fact that it tastes as good without milk which is why I often snack on handfuls of it out of the box. In fact, this has become my substitute for popcorn. Though quite high in calories (240 kcal a serving) compared to other cereals, the box have the words “Whole Grains”, “13 essential vitamins and minerals” and “Naturally Flavored” on it, which I decide to blissfully translate to mean “a very healthy snack”.

Photo: Kraft Foods

Good-tasting, healthy snack

Taste: 7 | Visual Appeal: 9 | Health Factor: 9 | Value: 8 | Packaging: 7
Snacktimes Rating:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 59g / 1 cup
Serving Per Pack: 7.4 Net Wt: 15.5oz (439g)
per 100g
per serve
  Saturated Fat
Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Sugar, Walnuts, Brown Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Canola Or Sunflower Oil), Rice Flour, Dried Bananas, Corn Syrup, Rice, Salt, Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Whey (From Milk), Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Caramel Color, Bht (Added To Preserve Freshness).Vitamins & Minerals: Reduced Iron, Niacinamide, Zinc Oxide (Source Of Zinc), Vitamin B6, Vitamin A Palmitate, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D

April 9th, 2008

Apparently the history of how the ANZAC Biscuits came about is a fuzzy one. One story tells of the biscuits being made by Australian and New Zealand women for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) soldiers during World War I. They were reputedly called “Soldiers’ Biscuits” at first, and then renamed “ANZAC Biscuits” after the Gallipoli landing.

Word has it, Anzac biscuits are now an institution as recognised around the world as being as Australian as Vegemite, kangaroos, great outdoor barbeques and Kylie Minogue. (She is after all yummy Australian, right?)

ANZAC biscuits, cookies Unibic Australia

The wrapper is quite handsome, wrapped in the colors of Australia and featuring a nice photo of three pieces cookies baked to golden brown perfection. A note at the bottom left corner of the wrapper reminds the buyer that a percentage of its sales goes to supporting veterans who have served in Australia’s armed forces. You can’t mistake the Austalian-ness of this one.

The biscuits are about 6cm in diameter, in a very beautiful deep brown colour with surface that reminds me of rock biscuits — hard and bumpy. The truth is, I bought this expecting something similar to rock biscuits, texture and taste-wise. In actual fact, they are not as hard and taste of a deliciously well-rounded combination of oats, golden syrup and coconut. I’d normally steer away from biscuits with coconuts, but these bikkies are surprisingly pleasant-tasting. Another plus point is, because of the rich coconut taste, two or three biscuits are more enough to satisfy me, a good thing as each cookie is 62 calories.

Photo: Unibic

Nice one, mate

Taste: 7 | Visual Appeal: 7 | Health Factor: 6 | Value: 7 | Packaging: 7
Snacktimes Rating:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 12g
Serving Per Pack: 25.0 Net Wt: 10.6oz (300g)
per 100g
per serve

March 26th, 2008
Yoghurt Coated Almond and Apricot Snack Bar

I didn’t plan on going to McDonald’s today.The day started with a glorious amber light, sifting through the netted windows of my bedroom . I made a cup of coffee and ate a hearty bowl of cereal with low-fat milk. I felt healthy and happy. It was all good.

At about lunch time, I decided to do a snack review. As I’ve started the day on a healthy note, a wholesome energy bar sounds like just the thing to continue my healthy streak. Little did I know that it was this decision that led to a total downward spiral to fast food.

Go Natural Yoghurt Almond Apricot Gluten Free Snack Bar

Go Natural Yoghurt Almond & Apricot Snack Bar. The name sounds healthy and the tag line — “Tastes good, naturally” — convinced me that the product would score high on the taste department too. But health food usually taste like cardboard or sawdust so I proceeded with caution.

The yoghurt looks dry and crumbly and tastes like sugar frosting that had been standing in the open for a few hours. But that is not the bad part of this bar… nooo…

I don’t have a problem with coconuts. I love them in curries and biscuits and young coconut juice is a refreshing treat on a hot day. I don’t have a problem with coconuts provided I know that I’m going to eat coconuts. The wrapper on this say almonds & apricots in yoghurt, so I expected a fair amount of almonds, apricots and yogurt, maybe a touch of honey as energy bars are inclined to have. But what do I get when I bite this mother? Coconuts. Specifically desiccated coconuts, the worst form a coconut could exist as. What looked like apricots tasted like coconuts and what I supposed are almonds tasted like, you guessed it, coconuts. This tasted a lot like a Bounty bar, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except for the fact that this is supposed to be a yoghurt-coated fruit and nut bar! For your information, coconut is NOT a nut. And it doesn’t end there – the coconuty after taste lasted even after I drank 2 cups of water and sucked on a Mentos. What will it take to drown this horrible taste?

Which brings us to McDonald’s. I’m sitting down in the cool air-conditioned comfort of this fast-foot outlet with a coke and large fries. My healthy day ruined by a health bar.

Photo: Go Natural

Apricot & Almond Yoghurt Bar? More like Desiccated Coconut in Sugar Frosting.

Snacktimes Rating: -

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 0
Serving Per Pack: 0.0 Net Content: 0
per 100
per serve
Yoghurt Compound (Sugar, Vegetable Fat (Hydrogenated Palm Kernel), Yoghurt Powder (From Milk), Non-Fat Milk Solids, Emulsifiers (Soy Lecithin, 492), Citric Acid.) [30%], Almonds [17%], Dried Apricots (Apricots, Rice Flour, Preservative (220)) [14%], Coconut (Contains Preservative (220)), Honey, Glucose (From Maize), Puffed Rice (May Contain ¡V Sugar, Salt, Vitamins, Minerals, Emulsifier (471)), Chicory Extract (Inulin), Soy Grits (From Soy Beans)