Tidbits: granola, cereal bars, red velvet

  • Article by: AL SICHERMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 31, 2014 - 10:40 AM

Warm granola

Quaker, which pretty much owns the supermarket’s oatmeal aisle, now offers what it calls Warm & Crunchy Granola. The box of eight packets has a see-through corner, allowing you to see through to one of the see-through packets and verify, if somehow you were doubtful, that it contains granola. There are three flavors: cranberry almond, honey almond and apple cinnamon.

You make it warm by adding milk and microwaving. The box insists that you use milk. Mr. Tidbit prepared a second packet with water; it didn’t explode or anything, but Mr. Tidbit didn’t care for the result. (Truth-in-dining declaration: Mr. Tidbit doesn’t like granola, so he also didn’t care for the version he made with milk. But the one with water was, well, watery.)

 

More Nutri-Grain

Over in the breakfast-bar aisle, Kellogg’s has expanded its Nutri-Grain franchise, which already had eight flavors of cereal bars — each consisting of a fruit filling wrapped in what Kellogg’s calls “soft whole grains.” Now there are two other ways to experience Nutri-Graininess.

There are new Nutri-Grain Fruit Crunch granola bars, in Strawberry Parfait and Apple Cobbler, each a crunchy sweetened oatmeal-fruit mixture atop a thin strip of what Mr. Tidbit would characterize as “yogurty something.”

And there are Nutri-Grain Fruit & Oat Harvest bars, in Country Strawberry and Blueberry Bliss. These (which the label describes as “hearty fruit & oat bars”) consist of a granola layer and a fruit purée topping.

Unlike regular Nutri-Grain cereal bars, all four new products list peanut flour as an ingredient.

 

Something Velvet

Mr. Tidbit isn’t sure what has caused the recent upwelling of Red Velvet foodstuffs (cake and cupcake mixes, ice cream, yogurt, valentine and Easter candy, etc.), but there’s a new development.

The original Red Velvet cake, long ago, got its unusual color from a reaction between un-alkalized cocoa and an acid ingredient (buttermilk or vinegar). These days it usually comes from red food coloring. Do you see what’s coming?

Yes. Duncan Hines, in addition to its Red Velvet cake and cupcake mixes, now offers Pink Velvet and Blue Velvet cake mixes. The boxes describe both as having “buttery vanilla” flavor.

Al Sicherman

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