I think it’s fair to say that keeping up with a strict Paleo diet (or many other “clean eating” diets) requires a lot of planning, preparation and time. Unfortunately these days many people are time poor, and time has become a real barrier to good nutrition. At least in my household, this is most evident in the “mad morning panic” of taking shifts in the shower and getting into the kitchen to make lunches and have breakfast. Thankfully, the business and hospitality worlds seem to be waking up to the new opportunity to provide convenient and healthful foods, and there has been a recent proliferation of cafés, cookbooks, and ready-to-eat meals become available for those of us who are increasingly concerned about proper nutrition. I’ve always been nosey, so I’ve been trying a few of these ready-to-go Paleo foods recently and thought I would share my findings!
Today I’m trying the Pure Delish Raspberry & Maple Nut Nograin-ola, which was a finalist in the 2013 New Zealand Food Awards.
What you need to know:
No grains, gluten or dairy / No refined sugar / Paleo friendly / No cholesterol or trans fats / Diabetic friendly
I found this cereal in my local New World, and at $16 for a 400g it is definitely on the high end of cereals available there, but this weekend I thought I would give it a go due to having a chocka-blocked schedule, and I haven’t been disappointed. You can also find it online here.
What is it all about?
It’s a mix of nuts and seeds, with some freeze-dried raspberries thrown in, and has a seriously delicious flavour. The main thing I love about this “cereal” is that it tastes like normal cereal, rather than being obviously “healthy”, which frankly some mornings I just don’t feel like. As the pack says, it contains a “generous sprinkle of raspberries” which give nice bursts of fruity flavour and sweetness throughout, and unlike many cereals, you don’t have to hunt through to find the berry bits!
On the pack it lists its ingredients as: almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut, honey, pure maple syrup, olive oil, chia seeds, freeze dried raspberries and natural vanilla bean extract.
I think the most important thing to note with this nograin-ola is that it is primarily nut and seed based, which means you don’t need your standard cereal serving size. When you think of it this way, $16 isn’t so bad for 400g of mostly nuts, and 8 servings in total. $2 per serve isn’t exactly cheap, but you could pay five times the price or more for this in a café, and it is definitely at that calibre.
Along with some yoghurt, this cereal accompanied me to A&E for 4 hours on Saturday morning (I was performing a “random gravity check” okay? Someone’s got to check the universe is in order!) and one serving sustained me the whole way through that, which was a surprise as I usually need to eat constantly. So it’s pretty filling even for a small bowl. I also snacked on a few handfuls straight from the bag whilst studying throughout the weekend, so I can attest to the fact that it is rather moreish all on its own.
The main advantage of this product is convenience. The ingredients are similar to DIY versions I have made, but this saves the time of throwing that all together and toasting the nuts etc. which is a huge advantage for busy mornings. I also think it would appeal to fussy kids who aren’t keen on weaning their tastebuds of cocoa pops and the like- just make sure you break it up a little in the bag before serving, as there are some larger clumps of nuts which may be hard on little teeth.
Overall, I think this was a great product, and would highly recommend it for a convenient breakfast alternative. However, due to price point it won’t be becoming my regular morning breakfast, though I might keep a packet in the pantry for the odd occasion where the mad morning panic gets the better of me. Today wasn’t one of those mornings, but I enjoyed it nonetheless with a delicious blend of frozen blueberries, strawberries and a banana, topped off with some extra coconut and freeze dried berries- divine!