Friday, December 2, 2011

the cereal experiment: Kashi U

I have often seen and been intimidated by Kashi U Black Currants & Walnuts. Its solitary presence, a brown box among white, has always made me hesitate. I assumed it would be weirdly healthy or abnormally expensive. Certainly, something that warranted an entirely different packaging, right?  Turns out, Kashi U makes an absolutely delicious addition to the cereal experiment. And that box is simply Kashi's attempt at 'vitality', the apparent theme of Kashi U - a box printed with soy-based inks, is 100% recycled, and contains 80% post-consumer recycled content.

Results. Remember my previous addiction to Special K Fruit & Yogurt cereal? Well, Kashi U is all too reminiscent of my previous love. This is, hands down, the best tasting cereal so far in this lengthy cereal tasting assessment.

Kashi U contains crunchy, wholesome flakes, tart black currants, decadent walnuts, and surprising bits of granola goodness. This cereal is close to perfect. I may be in love.

Please allow me me to talk a little more about these currants. I can't say I have ever really eaten black currants before, so I don't blame you if you are feeling a bit skeptical at the concept. Black currants are, indeed, fantastic. They are slightly sweet and perfectly tart. They are little bits of flavor explosions. Each currant-containing spoonful brought a smile to my face. And, when I noticed that some of the currents burst and their juice was running into the milk transforming it into a sweet, tart, purple backdrop - I almost licked my bowl.
Honestly, most of my remarks about Kashi U regard its brilliant taste. The serving size is satisfactory (200 calories per cup) and the texture of the flakes, currants, nuts, and granola clusters is above average. Sadly, despite consuming an overly-heaping cup of this stuff, it left me feeling hungrier than normal come late morning. Depending on your priorities, this unfortunate side effect may or may not deter you from the tasty goodness U provides.

Kashi U fairs about average in terms of nutrition. Per (delicious) serving you get 7 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. The sugar (must be what makes it so delicious) content of U is among the highest of the cereals ranked so far at 20%. But, keep in mind that compared to most traditional cereals, 20% is quite low and still within my evaluable range (cereals had to be <25% calories from sugar to be included in the experiment). Kashi U is a bit more expensive than the others and the box runs out quickly. All variables considered, Kashi U earns a 6th place finish.

One thing is certain, Kashi U will show up in my cereal bowl more times than once. Despite its delicious flavor, its mid-placed ranking and inability to satisfy my hungry belly means Kashi U probably won't be a regular breakfast eat. But, when my Special K Fruit & Yogurt craving kicks in? You better believe I will turn to this brown box instead.


  1. My boyfriend (the fruity pebbles lover) bought a box of this in an attempt to be healthy and actually got me hooked on it. I've never bought my own box...but I sure helped him plow through his ;)

  2. This cereal rocks, it is a staple in my breakfast cuisine.

  3. I love currants. I think they have great flavor, and am surprised you don't see them more often in American foods!

    I haven't tried Kashi U. I don't buy too many dry cereals because I am such a die-hard oat bran gal, but once in a while I love a good handful of it.

  4. I've never tried Kashi U. Like you, I've always been a little turned off by the look of the box (I have no idea why!) It does look yummy though. I rarely see currants in cereal!
    Thanks for sharing your review. :)

  5. When I was in the US this Summer I saw that Kashi U cereal but didnt get a chance to try it..but it looks pretty good! :)
    Thanks for the review!

  6. I love kashi cereal, but I haven't tried that one yet. It looks tasty! :)