Don’t knock ‘em til you try ‘em
I recently came back to my desk to find three boxes of cereal. Now, this is a pretty normal occurrence for an editor at a breakfast website, but this time, the cereal was different. These cereals were made with red lentils and chickpeas.
Lentil and chickpea flour aren’t new ingredients in the world of breakfast. The legume-based flours are high in fiber and protein, as well as being gluten-free. Their nutty flavor and pleasant texture have earned them spots in many a gluten-free quick bread, cookie, and pasta recipe. The cereal—it’s Kashi by Kids, by the way—was one of the more unique applications of these flours I’ve seen. Known as “Superfood Combos,” Kashi has created a line of three cereals all made with either red lentil or chickpea flour.
I typically manage my expectations when I try anything with “superfood” on the label. It usually means the contents of the package will taste like honey-coated twigs or grass. This was 100 percent not the case with the Kashi cereals. In fact, the boxes are still sitting on my desk for emergency snack moments, and most of the Extra Crispy team has come by for a handful on more than one occasion.
The Cocoa Crisp flavor (a mixture of chickpea and corn flour-based balls and chocolate-filled pillows) basically tasted like Cocoa Puffs, a cereal that I very much love but was never allowed to have as a kid. I love Cocoa Puffs so much I can’t keep them in my house for fear of demolishing an entire box in one sitting. This was roughly the same case with Kashi’s version. I love this cereal. I would bring a bag of it, perhaps mixed with a handful of toasted almonds, anywhere. This was the one box I did not keep at my desk, because even hours after the original tasting I found my hand going back into the box. I’d highly recommend this one.
Honey Cinnamon was my second favorite, probably because the corn and red lentil flour-based honey and apple-filled pillows are accompanied by cinnamon puffs that actually look like little cinnamon rolls. They reminded me of Mini Swirlz Cinnamon Buns, another cereal I was not allowed to have as a kid. This was bar far the cutest, and had a good flavor to boot. I still preferred the chocolate cereal, because I always prefer the chocolate thing.
Berry Crumble was my least favorite of the three cereals, but that’s only because I don’t love fruit-flavored cereal (except for Froot Loops, those are good). The corn and chickpea-flour based berry puffs and apple-strawberry-filled pillows were perfectly tasty. They’d be really good with vanilla almond milk, I bet.
Ultimately, the lesson here is that even when using atypical ingredients, cereal is wonderful. One thing to note: These Kashi cereals aren’t certified gluten-free (though the berry crumble is vegan). If you need GF certification, I’d recommend Freedom Foods Pro-Teen Crunch or Love Grown Power O's.