Nature’s Path Cereals (Wheat-Based Varieties)

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Version:
Flax Plus (Maple Pecan Crunch, Multibran Flakes, Pumpkin Raisin Crunch, Raisin Bran Flakes, Red Berry Crunch, Flakes with Cinnamon), Heritage Crunch, Heritage Flakes, Heritage O's Cereal, SmartBran, Kamut Puffs, Optimum Power Blueberry Cinnamon Flax
Price:
$4.49 per box

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On February 15, 2008
Last modified:November 23, 2016

Summary:

Perhaps my favorite brand of "treat" cereals, these bridge the sweet-wholesome gap with ease. I've trialed and enjoyed several varieties, but always forget to take notes! That said, the Red Berry Crunch was particularly memorable with its wonderful, kid-friendly berry infusion of flavor and very crunchy flakes. We also enjoyed the Optimum Power for over a year, but the mighty name is a bit deceiving - it doesn't provide as much lasting "fuel" as we had hoped!

 My earliest memories of Nature’s Path Cereals include their Optimum Power. The name and the sale price sucked us in and we were hooked for quite some time.
Nature's Path Cereals - dairy-free, vegan, wheat-based varieties (Review)

In fact, Tony was a devotee to Optimum Power for a solid year. But eventually, despite the name, he found that it just wasn’t giving him the energy he needed in the morning. Yet, I couldn’t resist their Red Berry Crunch when it emerged. It exceeded my expectations, and would be my top pick from the wheat-based varieties among Nature’s Path cereals.

As I awoke, groggy and with blurry eyes, the only part of my body that seemed to be wide-awake was my stomach, grumbling away. I entered the kitchen and even through my narrow squint, it was impossible to miss the bright and cheerful box of the Red Berry Crunch cereal from Nature’s Path.

Though it didn’t greet me as I opened the package, the familiar scent of Captain Crunch Berry cereal emerged when I poured these flakes into my breakfast bowl. Truthfully, I haven’t even come within close range of Captain Crunch in decades (scarily true, decades). And even then I only tasted it a few times. But that scent is unmistakable, and it instantly shocked my senses to attention.

Nature's Path Cereals - dairy-free, vegan, wheat-based varieties (Review) - Flax Plus Red Berry Crunch pictured

Luckily, this cereal tasted not a thing like that over-sugared candy, which is often confused with breakfast. The thick flakes packed a nice crunch that bought me a good amount of time, not allowing the almond milk to turn my breakfast to mush while I scrounged around for a spoon.

The berries were actually what I would call berry bits. Though I must confess that this really was a good idea for both taste, and I am guessing on the company’s end, cost savings. Using the smaller bits allowed the berry flavor to be nicely scattered throughout the cereal, and made for easy rehydration in my “milk”.  Really, it was a win-win situation.

The flakes had a hearty taste and crunch, with just a hint of sweetness, relying on the berries for most of the sweetness. The overall flavor hit my palate just right in the wee hours of the morning, as the last thing I need to start my day is a sugar-induced coma!

Nature's Path Cereals - dairy-free, vegan, wheat-based varieties (Review) - Flax Plus Red Berry Crunch pictured

Of course, I must mention the health benefits that this tasty cereal promotes. It packs 800mg of Omega-3’s per serving (and really, who can eat just one serving?) plus a fair dose of fiber and protein.  It is also vegan, certified organic, and the ingredient list is littered with those healthy buzz words like whole wheat and oat bran.

While this cereal could easily be a delicious and healthy option for breakfast cereal enthusiasts, I must confess that it is still more of a “treat” for me. I am a purist at heart, enjoying that hearty bowl of rolled oats, or a fresh fruit smoothie first thing in the morning. Nonetheless, for traveling, this is one cereal I will definitely keep in mind.

The Facts on Nature’s Path Cereals (Wheat-Based Varieties)

Certifications: These Nature’s Path Cereals are Certified Organic and Non-GMO Verified.

Dietary Notes: By ingredients, these Nature’s Path Cereals are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, vegan (I didn’t note any with non-vegan ingredients, but double check!), and vegetarian. Select varieties are made without nuts and peanuts. Nonetheless, read the label and check with the company on their manufacturing processes before consumption if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.

For More Product Information: Visit the Nature’s Path website at naturespath.com.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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