“ Brand: Sainsbury's / Type: Muesli „
I had been a muesli breakfaster for many years but switched to toast due to experiencing some degree of lactose intolerance. I was recently given a small packet of the big name brand though and both really enjoyed it and my tummy behaved itself. Full of hope, I went to Sainsbury's where my Alpen craving warred with my absolute value for money requirement and a massive differential in price and previous good experience of Sainsbury's Basic range led me to choose Basic. My bank balance was happy with the choice but otherwise, I chose... badly. I do have somewhat fragile and accident weakened teeth. This muesli does admit to containing hazelnut and indeed, it does. However, these hazelnuts are so hard and tough that there are some which do not respond to chewing and I fear the inevitable bill from the dentist too much to risk using my teeth as nutcrackers. The nuts only make up one percent of the ingredients but as they are so unyielding, they feel far more and unpleasantly so. The fruit content comes from sultanas and raisins but suffer from the sunflower oil they are coated in not working especially well with my trusty semi-skimmed milk, even though they only form five percent of the ingredients. The bulk of the muesli is made up of oat and wheat flakes, which each form thirty-seven percent of the ingredients. Barley flakes add an additional eleven percent with the addition of some toasted wheat flakes. This as a whole makes for a very fibre rich breakfast, which is great for regularity, at 4.6g of fibre per 50g serving. Without milk, this will cost only 178kcal and even with whole milk 50g of this muesli will cost only 244kcal and indeed I have lost weight while eating this for breakfast. Unfortuntely, I have not enjoyed the breakfasts at all. The padding out of the mix with grain and oat flakes makes for a very dull and bland experience insufficiently balanced out by tasty edible nuts or enough fruit of decent quality and variety. The sunflower oil on what fruit you do get worsens the taste of the whole and not only does each bite make me worried for my fangs but the mouthfeel is stodgy and the flakes somehow manage to become both bland and stodgy but also to leave my mouth feeling dry. Because I chose badly, I have a sack of 1kg of muesli cluttering up my kitchen cupboard. I hate waste enough that I am continuing to work my way through it as even though I only spent £1.18 for the 1kg plastic sack I do try not to waste food - even if it tastes blegh. Though I am eating each breakfast very carefully. To its credit, the plastic sack it comes in is tough and resilient and needs a good pair of sissors to break into. I just wish I did not suspect that the plastic sack might taste better than the contents. So, choose wisely. Chose differently than I did. Go for the good stuff. This is most definitely not the good stuff.
I eat muesli most days for my breakfast and usually buy Jordan's fruit and nut muesli but as it is quite pricey I decided to try Sainsbury's basic version as it is more than £2.00 cheaper and you get more in a pack too. At just £1.18 for a 1 kilogram bag this is so cheap that I was wondering if it was worth trying however after a quick look at the ingredients I decided to as the ingredients seemed pretty good - quite basic but everything you'd expect to be in muesli. The thick plastic pack that the muesli comes in is white and orange which is the usual Sainsbury's basics colour scheme. The pack has the product, brand name and a basic picture of a bowl of muesli on the front and the back has information such as the nutritional values and ingredients. The bag needs cutting open and is not re-sealable so I transferred the muesi into an air tight storage jar to keep it nice and fresh. The muesli is very fine rather than chunky which is not too much of an issue, but it is quite dusty which I found kind of odd and when I put some into a bowl I can see tiny dust-like parcticles. The muesli has what tastes like cheap mushed up bran flakes in it and a few raisins here and there which are glazed in sunflower oil - kind of defeats the point of having fruit in it really. Sainsbury's claim that there are chopped hazelnuts in this but I am not able to see or taste them and the main flavours are the oat flakes and wheat flakes. The texture isn't very chunky and after adding my soy milk it becomes soggy very quickly. The smell isn't that nice either and bizzarely enough it has a faint cardboard smell which is off putting. I don't find it at all tasty or enjoyable nor do I find it as filling as the brand of muesli that I usually buy. I don't recommend this muesli and I will not be re-purchasing it, I would rather pay more for a tasty and good quality muesli. On a plus side it only has 178 calories per 50g serving, but it isn't very tasty or filling so it's kind of a waste of calories!
I do like to ring the changes with my choice of breakfast food but mainly on weekdays I stick to porridge when it's a cold day and muesli once the weather begins to warm up. The original Muesli was created by Dr Bircher-Benner in the late 19th century and the name Muesli is a derivation of a Swiss German word, mus, meaning mixture or mush. Depending on the country, variations of this recipe mix of oats, wheat, fruit and nuts is known as Muesli, Bircher or Granola. Whatever you choose to call it, Muesli has a lot going for it healthwise: it's made from completely natural ingredients, is high in fibre and contains wholegrains, all of which add up to a bowl of filling food which is very low when measured on the Glycemic Index and will keep your digestive system in full working order and also help to keep your heart healthy. My preferred brand of muesli is Alpen with no added sugar but in these difficult financial times, I've been looking around to see where I can cut costs and have frequently found that substituting Sainsbury's Basics products for high end branded ones hasn't made much difference either to taste or in quality but has made a considerable saving with regard to making my money stretch that little bit further. The packaging for the Basics Muesli is a strong tear-open style plastic bag in the usual orange and white livery. The bag is manufactured from a plastic which is recyclable in the usual way (if your local authority accept various plastics) or can be recycled at larger branches of Sainsbury's. Cost With Alpen currently costing £3.75 for a 1.3 kilo pack and the Basics Muesli retailing at 96p for a 1 kilo pack, which works out at 29p per 100g and 10p per 100g respectively, it was a bit of a no-brainer as to which I'd buy. However, I should have taken heed that cheapest isn't always necessarily best. Ingredients and nutritional values The ingredients for Alpen and Basics Muesli aren't hugely dissimilar. Both contain oat flakes, wheat flakes, dried fruit and chopped nuts. The only difference, it seems, is in the quantities. It has to be said that Alpen are far more generous with their fruit and nuts than Mr Sainsbury! The only additional ingredient to those I've given is Vegetarian Whey Powder manufactured from cows' milk. These ingredients, of course, have certain allergy implications and it's definitely not going to be suitable for anyone with a wheat, nut or dairy allergy. The packet also indicates that it may not be suitable for people with a sesame allergy either because of where the product is manufactured. The nutritional values given on the packet quotes for a 50g serving plus 100 ml of semi-skimmed milk. The amounts to 222 calories per serving which is broken down into 9.2g protein, 35.1g carbohydrate (of which 7.2g is sugar), 5.0g fat (of which 1.7g is saturated) and 5.1g fibre. Although there is 0.10g of salt, this is naturally occurring sodium. My opinion Once opened, it was pretty obvious that this muesli has not only a difference monetarily but also with regard to appearance. The colour is much paler than Alpen and also has much fewer toasted wheat flakes and far more raw oat flakes. There does appear to be plenty of dried fruit, however, although these seem to be restricted to the top 50% of the packet. Appearance isn't everything though so on to the taste test. Because of the amount of raw oat flakes the milk was very quickly soaked up and took on the appearance of raw porridge with added lumps and, quite frankly, the taste wasn't much better. Again, because of the high percentage of oat flakes, even with the added milk, there was very little crunch and each mouthful felt dry and dusty and was very difficult to swallow. In fact not only did this look like raw porridge, it tasted like it too. I really didn't like it. I know many people regard any muesli as looking and tasting like budgie food and in this case they'd be right. The packet remained in the cupboard for several weeks until I hit on a brainwave. As it looked and tasted like bird food, why not give it to the birds. Without more ado, I started supplementing the sunflower seeds and peanuts with added muesli and the birds couldn't get enough of it. Nowadays, although I don't eat Basics Muesli myself and have gone back to good old Alpen for which there really is no substitute, I do still buy this for the birds because they absolutely love it. There is one drawback to using it as bird food though. It seems it's every bit as good for clearing out their digestive systems as it is for humans!
I am on a bit of an economy drive at the moment and food shopping is one of the areas I am trying to cut down a bit. Because of this I have been trying more of the Sainsbury's Basics range and this week I decided to try Muesli. I usually buy Sainsbury's own brand Muesli which I really like but this time I decided to look at the Basic's Muesli. It comes in a 1kg plastic bag and costs 58p. The bag is decorated with the usual Basic's brand colour of orange and just the relevant information on the front such as "simple blend of cereals, fruit and nut" and the nutritional and allergy information on the back of the packet. On inspecting the ingredients, I was quite impressed as it does not contain extra salt or sugar which I considered a plus as the Sainsbury's normal brand is quite sweet. ==The ingredients it does contain are as follows== Mixed cereals, oak flakes, whole wheat flakes, toasted wheat flakes) Sultanas Raisins Vegetarian Whey Powder Nibbed Hazelnuts. ==Nutritional information per 100g== Calories 333 kcal Fat 5.2g Sat Fat 1.0g Naturally occurring sugar 4.5g Salt trace When I got home I opened the packet and poured some of the Museli into a bowl eager to see if my purchase had been a good one as regards taste and price. I was actually pleasantly surprised as I had expected there not to be many nuts or fruit but in fact there were quite a few, although I have to admit not as many as in the regular brand. I poured some milk on and started eating. The texture was quite crunchy, which I like and the taste ok if a little bland. I could taste the hazelnuts but I prefer there to be some other nuts as well, such as almonds and some other fruits. However, I decided that this could soon be rectified as I had some flaked almonds in the cupboard and some chopped dates and dried apricots. I mixed a handful of each into the Muesli and tried some more ............ perfect! The almonds added a bit more crunch and the dried fruit added a little more flavour and sweetness. Although I have now tampered with the original product I still think it provides a cheap and tasty alternative to the Sainsbury's regular brand which works out at £2.56 for 1kg against 58p per 1kg for the Basics product. The handful of nuts and fruit and I added would not equate to anywhere near the difference in price. Also, another positive for me was that I now have the muesli that is tailor made for me as there is usually something I don't like about the other brands - too sweet, too much fruit, not enough fruit etc. Overall, a very good product for the price which is fine as it comes but can be enhanced easily and cheaply to suit taste. I will certainly buy again.
I bought some Basics Muesli as I was eating Jordan's Muesli that was on offer and it is about 50% fruit. I'd tip out my 50g serving and it'd be all pineapple and raisins and melon and not a pinch of actual oats or flakes. It was very infuriating. I figure I could get some cheapo muesli and mix it in, producing less fruit in the serving and making the expensive stuff last longer, too. This, I felt, was a brilliant idea, in theory. It was also brilliant in practice. I opened this packet just a minute ago. Not really. An hour, perhaps. I really hate cereal packets and this is no exception. You haev to use a knife. They design it so it seems like a crisp packet opening but it is impossible to open this way. So I used a knife and it went into a slit and now there is a gaping hole down the side. Yay. This happened to my other packet of muesli, also opened today. How annoying. This fault is not individual, therefore, to Basics Muesli. It is the fault of all muesli and all cereal in existence! The evil there is in the world! WOE, etc. Anyway. You know that dust at the bottom of cereal packets? Really annoying? I was a bit turned off at first when opening this as the flakes are very, very dusty. Like sawdust. Really odd. Even the raisins have gone a tint of yellow with so much oaty dust coming onto them (er, poor phrasing, sorry.) Never mind, though. I munched on a few raisins and flakes, dry, and thought them deliciously crunchy - not the soft sawdusty taste of real flakes at the bottom of a packet. I then decided to put some into a bowl before executing the...experiment. It was hardly any, to be fair. A bit in the bowl. Tipped some milk in. Very, very nice. Flavoured the milk really quickly and still had the nice crunch. Goddd, I think, I love this muesli, aghhh, etc. I am very enthusiastic about food. And breakfast food, in particular, although this was the afternoon. The only fault of this cereal is that there is hardly any raisins. 90% flakes or so. This suited my purpose but it would not suit you, if you wanted it all for breakfast - just plain ol' bowl of Basics Muesli. Won't do, I don't think. I mean, if you like flakes and plainyness then it's very good. To be honest, I did enjoy the bowl of Basics Muesli just now. Sure, there wasn't a lot of sweetness but there still seemed to be a lot of flavour. That all said, I think you'd get bored of it quickly. I then decided, as it was so nice, to begin...the experiment. I tipped a bit into the Jordan's bag and began to mix. It is now perfect. Mixes in perfectly with the other muesli. Sure, gives off a little of its yellow dust to all the fruit but never mind - who cares? Not I. And now I tip it into a bowl and I get a great, lively serving of oats AND fruit AND nuts. There are some nuts in the Basics muesli but they are so few and far between I couldn't see them, really. I'd DEFINITELY recommend this, particularly for bulking out other packets of muesli. But I'd eat this on its own, to be honest, if there was nothing else. In fact, I may even eat it if there was something else. It is nice, simple, yummy. Definitely recommended - especially as it's only 58p for a whole kilogram of its awesomeness. Worth checking it out for a change. That said, I eat muesli every day. I cannot get myself to eat anything else as it is so delicious.
Since I have joined the gym I have come to understand the real importance of having breakfast. The first time I went to the gym was on an empty stomach and I came out starving and ended up feeling so crappy I went into a corner shop and bought my own body weight in snack foods! So nowadays I'm much more sensible and before heading out of the front door I fill up on as healthy a cereals I can find and this one is that! The Packaging: White plastic squarish bag (you can sort of see-through) and on the front I'm told is is Sainsbury's 'Basics' Muesli which is a 'Simple blend of cereals, fruit & nut' and is high in fibre, no added salt and contains wholegrain and is suitable for vegetarians, there is an at a glance nutritional chart on the front and a scribble of the cereal on there. Other information on the bag includes a full nutritional chart, ingredients and allergy advice and the size is stated (1kg). It is a cheap looking bag and the only issue I have with this is that whilst it is informative enough (it even tells me a little bit about fibre, salt and wholegrain on the back of the bag) it doesn't have a way of resealing it so if you do rush out to purchase this after reading my review do also buy some sort of container to store it in and keep it fresh or grab a peg off your washing line (as I did lol). The Cereal Itself: Well upon opening the packet (and some flying everywhere in the process) I was met by what I can only describe as a light milk smell. The cereal itself is really flaked and sort of two tone light brown colours but all of it reminds me of the texture of wood chips. They are dry and again all of it is covered in like a white flour (which is of course simply is the cereal dust). Taste wise it is ok. It is made up 89% of oat flakes and whole wheat flakes. As I said these are dried and really small and thin and then as a sort of after thought 5% sultanas and 2.5% raisins are added. Again these are small and dried and really very few and far between. Now I put about a 50g portion in a bowl and my milk went instantly a light beige colour and I counted 2 sultanas or raisins or whatever. Taste wise it was ok. It all went a bit stodgy and sort of drank the milk and by the time I got to finish my bowl it was a bit like the consistency of porridge really and rather gloopy and sad looking. It wasn't too sweet or salty or anything and was a bit bland and really could do with the cereal being more chunky with more fruit in it....and where were the 1% nibbed hazelnuts hmmm? The fruit within it gave a nice natural sweet taste to it all but really, there wasn't enough in there by a long shot. It isn't the worst ever cereal I have ever tasted to be fair to it but it isn't one that makes you feel joyful as you eat it! It does a job and that's fill your tummy up and quickly at that but it couldn't be raved about in my opinion! lol. An economy cereal in every way that is a bit bland but oh so sensible! Allergy Advice: Contains nuts, milk, wheat gluten & oat gluten. Not suitable for sesame allergy sufferers due to the methods used in the manufacture of this product. Nutritional Advice Per 50g Serving (with 100ml semi-skimmed milk): Calories: 222 Fat: 5.0g Saturated Fat: 1.7g Salt: 0.10g Total Sugars: 7.2g Only available in Sainsbury's stores in this size and costing 58p a bag.