Right about now a lot of us are reconsidering our New Year's resolutions, especially those annoying ones that require us to eat less refined carbs and sugar.
Helping lead us astray are the folks who make processed foods. This past weekend newspapers carried coupons enticing us to try yogurt topped with Oreos or baked crisps with the flavor of Cinnabons.
Perhaps most tempting of all is a new addition to the Cheerios lineup: "Multi Grain Dark Chocolate crunch."
We've observed in the past that some purists think that 13 flavors of this iconic cereal are 12 too many. We take it back. Clearly, any food that contains dark chocolate is a good thing, right?
The list of ingredients starts with whole grain corn, sugar and something that General Mills calls "cluster," which consists of some 25 components, including natural flavor (whatever that is), added color and BHT "to preserve freshness."
A ¾ cup serving of the cereal is 110 calories (150 calories with ½ cup skim milk), with 23 grams of carbohydrate, two grams of fiber, nine grams of sugar and two grams of protein.
The dark chocolate angle is provided by cocoa powder. While the box carries a blurb advising us to "savor every single bite of dark chocolatey, 5 whole grain deliciousness" we actually couldn't detect much of any specific flavor, chocolatey or otherwise. The taste was just sugary, in the cloying way of most sweetened cereals. But by the time we approached the last spoonfuls, the "O's" and clusters were, indeed, floating in chocolate milk.
According to USA Today, General Mills recently announced that the company will no longer use genetically modified ingredients to make its original Cheerios, the basic ones in the classic yellow box.
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SHOW ME HOW
The white and purple box for this new-fangled flavor gives no indication if the cereal does or doesn't contain GMO ingredients.
Maybe that's what gives it the crunch?
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