Monday, 22 February 2010

Dorset Cereals Tasty Fruit and Fibre Flakes

I've already tried and been won over by the taste of Dorset Cereals porridge (as you'll know if you've read this review here ) so I was keen to try out the two boxes of Tasty Fruit and Fibre that I was sent to review. The box promises "500g of unadulterated breakfast pleasure" in each box, so I was expecting a seriously tasty breakfast - and I wasn't let down.

The breakfast cereals market has gone through a bit of an overhaul over the past few years. You used to have a choice of tasty but sugar-packed kids' cereals or healthy but boring grown-up brands that tasted like eating sawdust. Well, these days, you really can get the best of both worlds - cereals that are packed full of healthy dried fruit and that are easy on the sugar and fat content but big on taste. Pretty much everyone has jumped on the bandwagon now, offering luxury, delicious mueslis and cereals that appeal to grown-ups, so this new product from Dorset Cereals already has a lot of competition.

So is it as good as the other similar brands I've tried ? Yes, definitely. Is it any better ? Well, I haven't sat down and studied the ingredients and calorie/fat/sugar figures on each packet to see how they compare but taste wise, it's on a par with the competitors. What I did really love however was that even at the very bottom of the box, there was no yucky dust. Also the chunks of juicy fruit went right down to the bottom of the box - they weren't just on the top so it looks impressive when you first open the box but soon gets boring and tasteless, as is often the case !

I tried two different varieties : "delicious dates & almonds with chilean flame raisins" and "exotic pineapple & papaya with toasted coconut". I liked both but my particular favourite was the tropical fruit one - the chunks of pineapple and papaya were great for adding a few rays of edible sunshine to my breakfast bowl on a grey rainy morning and were guaranteed to put a smile on my face first thing in the morning. The flakes don't go soggy in the milk - they stay nice and crispy and combine really well with the sweet, chewy, gooey chunks of fruit.

The Dorset Cereals website shows how seriously they take their products. "To make this healthy, crisp and scrumptious breakfast, we've sourced the finest natural ingredients we could find. We've taken the crunch and goodness of wholegrains, the malty taste and high fibre of bran, then we've added delicious fruits including the exotic taste of pineapple, papaya and coconut. Finally, we've blended them carefully to create a cereal that's light but satisfying - and utterly delicious." If that's not enough, it's Vegetarian Society approved and they cover the green angle by declaring that "the card for our packs is unbleached and made from 100% recycled fibre".

And if that's still not enough, you can go on the website to discover fascinating facts while you eat your bowl of cereal like this one : " In the wild, the natural pollinator of pineapple is the hummingbird, though some types that only open their flowers at night are pollinated by bats" ! Bet you didn't know that !

A bowl of 40g of this cereal with skimmed milk will provide just under 200 calories. There is also a low fat option, with just 2% fat, but the nutritional information about this variety seems strangely ambiguous. The writeup says : "With Tasty Low Fat Flakes, you’ve got great taste. We make this deliciously low fat, light to eat breakfast cereal with a blend of moreish flakes including barley and wheat, which we toast and malt to bring out their flavour. Then we add the perfect mix of fruits, and that’s it – tasty low fat flakes and delicious fruits, a seriously satisfying breakfast that’s only 101 calories a bowl with just 2% fat." However, the chart just below says that a 30g bowl with skimmed milk will provide 159 calories - and it seems strange that a serving of this variety is given as 30g whereas for the other two varieties it is 40g. Hopefully it's not just a deceptive ploy to make it look low-calorie, because if you compare the calorie content per 100g, they're pretty much identical (338 for the low-fat flakes, 349 for the dates & almonds variety and 321 for the pineapple & papaya variety). With the slogan "Simple, but then the best things in life usually are", my one little criticism would be that I'd prefer to have some more transparent nutritional information at my fingertips.

star rating : 4/5

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