Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Monday Munchies

I'm going to try and start this blog series every week. Inspired by Detoxinista's "What I Ate Wednesday", I wanted to try and do a regular post to give some more insight into my (eating) life and get a conversation going. I hope to do it every Monday (so I can write "Monday Munchies" every week), but most likely I will post on random days whenever I get the chance (like today)...

Last week, I grabbed a single box of Cascadian Farm's oats and honey granola cereal and some 8th Continent Original Soymilk for breakfast. I poured the granola into my coffee cup (standard 11 oz mug) and it filled about halfway. That is a good amount. The box (54 g) has 230 cal (50 from fat), 6g of fat (1g saturated, 1 g polyunsaturated, 3.5g monounsaturated), and 5 g of protein. It has 14 g of sugar, which I think is pretty high in comparison to Honey Nut Cheerios (9g sugar). The flavor of this granola was spot on. The sweetness was not overpowering like you were eating dessert for breakfast and tasted natural. The crunch of the granola was well-maintained after sitting in the milk for several minutes. Even when softened by the milk, the texture still appealed to me.

The ingredients are:
(taken from their website)

The molasses and honey and vanilla melded together into a great natural and complex sweet flavor. I liked the use of crisp rice to give it an extra texture dynamic.

What made me like this granola much more than Nature Valley or other granola is the lack of after-taste and after-texture. Whenever I eat Nature Valley granola bars, the bars are just way too crunchy and I am always left with some strange grainy sugar-oat coating in my mouth. Not with Cascadian Farm's granola cereal.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly unless you eat the two side-by-side, but I never liked granola so much as I did with this box just now. Next time and all future times, I think I'm just going to buy this brand. The only thing that makes me hesitate to buy it in the future is the high calorie content for just 2/3 cup (230 calories). I think they could reduce this by reducing the sugar content to maybe 9-10 g. Then again, granolas are typically high calorie and somewhat high sugar content, so this is not that bad for its market.


Silk is the most common soymilk brand throughout the US, but I prefer a different brand. I've been all into almond milk lately, not for dietary reasons or restrictions, but because I like the flavor. The original almond milk is just really tasty and they get the texture nice and creamy by using carageenan (polysaccharide extracted from seaweed). I'm a researcher so I'm not bothered by these chemical or polymeric extracts used to enhance food (unless they adversely affect your health or their extraction is not eco-friendly).

My favorite brand of soymilk is 8th Continent. I used to drink this more often back in high school, but during my undergraduate years, I had more trouble finding 8th Continent Soymilk. My favorite brand was being edged out by this Silk stuff.

The reason I like 8th Continent better is that it retains more of its soy identity than Silk. I feel like Silk Soymilk was made to really be a milk substitute, whereas 8th Continent is solely trying to be soymilk. It hints at more of the natural soymilk you find in Asian grocery stores. In Asian markets, soymilk is made fresh from real soybeans, water, and sugar. Pandan flavoring may be added as well. 8th Continent gets a bit more of the natural soy flavor than Silk does, and this is why I prefer this brand over Silk.

If you want to taste true soymilk, and not "soy-based milk substitute", I recommend trying out 8th Continent. But don't just take my word for it; 8th Continent is preferred over Silk 2 to 1 in taste tests. Other people know what I'm talking about!


Another breakfast item that I'm totally digging is the Muller FrutUp Yogurt. I just picked up the strawberry and blueberry flavors at my local HEB for for $1 each. These are lowfat yogurt topped with fruit mousse on top.

Can I just start with OHMYMUFFINS!?!?!?

The flavor and texture of these yogurts are AMAZING. The mousse on top is airy but not empty like what eating Yoplait Whips are like. They have substance. And flavor. I like to spoon straight down from top to bottom to get both layers in each spoonful. The bottom yogurt layer is so silky too. Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh. I already am thinking of how much I need to go back to HEB and buy a buttload more before the sale ends! Lemme just say, forget you, Greek yogurt fangirls. Mousse yogurt is where it's at!

As I was licking the remaining bits of yogurt from the cup (I wanted it all!), I looked at the nutrition facts.

140 calories for a whole cup...not high fructose corn syrup, check...blueberries actually in the ingredients, yay!...23 g of sugar, a bit high...dextrose...gelatin...Contains...TILAPIA!?!?

Ok, so I was not that shocked. Rather, I was more intrigued. I just thought it funny that tilapia would be inside my yogurt. Never saw that before. I looked back at the ingredients and reread "gelatin." Gelatin is a gelling agent often used in food (think Jell-O) and is typically derived from animal collagen. The FAQs report that gelatin is used in maintaining the texture of the mousse. I had thought the gelatin was used to give the creamy gel texture to the yogurt and that the last ingredient (nitrogen) was used to give the fluffy texture to the mousse. I would imagine nitrogen gas would be bubbled into a fruit puree to aerate it and give it pores. But I guess I was wrong.

Even if nitrogen and tilapia are contained  in this yogurt, I really don't care at all. It's damn tasty.

So those are some products that I've been munching on and really enjoying.

Question of ze day: 
What are your favorite breakfast items? What is a typical breakfast like for you?

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