A few weeks ago I was asked by Kellogg’s if I would like to review some of their new baked muesli. I’m a big muesli lover and even eat it for lunch if I’m in a rush to get to Uni and so happily said yes. I was expecting maybe one or two sample packets to try, so I got a great surprise when a huge parcel turned up on the doorstep containing a lovely wooden chest containing a full sized box of each of the four new mueslis (two fruity ones and two nutty ones), complete with my own bowl and spoon with which to eat them with! I couldn’t wait to taste them and ended up opening all four boxes at once.
The muesli base is a mix of oats and barley, sweetened with honey and a little sugar and baked into small clusters. Baking toasts the grains making them taste wonderfully nutty with a good crunch that remains crisp even after a few minutes soaking in milk. The honey adds just the right amount of sweetness, making the baked muesli a sort of less sweet take on granola.
I was really impressed with the generous quality and quantity of the added fruits and nuts. They were in big chunks rather than little pieces and full of flavour. They have also been more adventurous than your standard muesli, including ingredients such as dried blackcurrants, freeze dried cherries and cashew nuts. There was also no small dusty bits lurking in the bottom of the packets as can sometimes happen with muesli.
The packaging also impressed me. The boxes are made of a sort of rough cardboard that gave them a wholesome natural appearance. The ingredients were also clearly displayed and I was pleased to see that the list was short and contained nothing I didn’t have in my kitchen cupboards. The colour is kept simple with the pictures on the front making it clear what each box contains. I couldn’t wait to get tasting, and my opinions are listed below.
Apple & Blackcurrant
The oats were golden in colour and stayed nicely crisp and crunchy in the milk. They had a nutty toasted flavour with sweet hints of honey and a generous sprinkling of mixed spice. As you chewed, the flavours developed filled your mouth with a wonderful spiciness that went perfectly with the apple. My idea of heaven! I loved how the dried apple slices were in nice big pieces and that the red skin had been left on which gave a very natural look. They softened in the milk and had a great sweet flavour while the occasionally dried blackcurrant added a good sharp fruity burst. I have never had dried blackcurrants before so they were a nice surprise. This one was by far my favourite. Whoever came up with this combination of fruits and spices for muesli is a genius, I couldn’t stop eating it.
Raspberry & Cherry
This one was nicely sweet with a strong toasted oat flavour. It had large pieces of freeze dried raspberry and cherry along with a few cranberries mixed in. The raspberries and cranberries were quite sharp and at first I was a little surprised by this, but the more I ate the more it grew on me and now I love it. I thought the addition of pumpkin seeds added a nice crunch and I loved how the milk turned a pretty shade of pink from the fruits.
Almond, Pecan & Cashew
The first thing I noticed was how nice and big the pieces of nut were. The cashews and pecans were in generous chunks and the almond cut into slivers. It all looked golden in colour and smelt nutty. This one was slightly less sweet than the other mueslis, as it had no added fruit, so would be a good choice for nut lovers. The nuts added a subtle creaminess as you chewed and a lingering nutty flavour. Despite this, I felt it needed another texture, as every mouthful ended up tasting the same. The nuts used are naturally softer nuts than say hazelnuts or bigger chunks of almonds and as this muesli is a fruit-free-zone there was no contrasting texture. It still tasted great but for me I felt it needed lifting, maybe with the addition of some flaked coconut, spice or even chocolate chips. But it’s bound to be a hit with purists.
Almond, Pecan & Raisin
I really enjoyed this one. It had the creamy nuttiness of the mixed nut one, but with the addition of some fat chewy raisins. Great flavour and a great take on the traditional classic muesli.
Overall I was very impressed and I am sure the boxes will be a regular feature on my shopping list, particularly that apple and blackcurrant one with the mixed spice – yum! Click here for more info.