We Tried The Cereal School, a Weirdly Instagrammable Sugar-Free Breakfast
I am all about sugary cereals. They're one of my go-to breakfasts and desserts, and I've even been known to indulge in a bowl in place of dinner when I'm feeling extra lazy.
So when I was contacted by The Cereal School, a company that makes sugar-free, high-protein breakfast cereals that are just as sweet as the competition, I couldn't resist the offer to try them. They sent me a bundle of their two flavors so I could put them to the test.
The Cereal School's products are all about what makes them different from the competition. They're completely sugar-free, with just one gram of carbs and a whopping 16 grams of protein per 100-calorie, .78 ounce bag. They contain no gluten, grains, soy, nuts or lactose, and they manage to get around using sugar by using all-natural monk-fruit as a sweetener.
The cereal comes in Cinnamon Bun and Fruity flavors, both of which have already sold out four times this year. One-time orders cost $29.99 for 12 portion-sized bags or $49.99 for 24 of them. You can also subscribe to The Cereal School, having boxes delivered at regular intervals for a slight discount.
When I opened up the Fruity Cereal School flavor, I was thrilled to discover that the vibrant red and orange puffs smelled exactly like other fruity cereals I've had in the past. I decided to try it dry, first, and found that it had a similar impossible-to-place but vaguely fruity flavor I expected, except a little bit better. When it comes to cereals, I usually go for something frosted or chocolate-y, as fruity cereals are far from my favorites. But I didn't mind this cereal at all, despite the fact that it had a slightly artificial aftertaste from the monk fruit sweetener. I got used to it quickly, though I can see how it might turn others off from the cereal completely.
I also found the texture interesting. The cereal certainly had crunch, but I didn't immediately associate that type of crunch with breakfast. The texture more closely resembled that of a cheese puff, which I didn't mind at all in combination with the fruity flavor. What also surprised me was how full I felt after eating just half of the bag. These bags may be small, but they are filling.
Next, I tried them with a little bit of almond milk. If you like milk with cereal but like the cereal to remain nice and crisp, you'll love the way The Cereal School holds up. If you're like me and prefer it to absorb a little of the milk, making it slightly soggy, you'll have to wait a little bit for it to soak, but it does get there eventually. The Fruity flavor is colored with natural paprika and beet juice, which also dyed the milk a bright pink—a classic cereal trope. I also found that the artificial sweetener aftertaste was masked by the milk. If you're bothered by it at all, I recommend going the traditional milk and cereal route.
Once I'd ripped open my first pack of the Cinnamon Bun cereal, the powerful scent of cinnamon left me with no doubt that it would be packed with flavor. I wasn't wrong. Dry, the cinnamon taste was almost spicy at times, combining with the sweetness of the monk fruit fo recreate a classic cereal flavor. Again, it had a hint of that artificial aftertaste, but it didn't prevent me from enjoying the flavor.
It had just the same texture as the Fruity flavor, and I somehow found it to be even more filling. Again, I found that having my second serving with a bit of almond milk hid any weirdness in the monk fruit taste, which helped it go down easily.
I enjoyed the taste of both of The Cereal School's selections, but I think that whether others love them or can't stand them will depend a lot on their tolerance to the taste of monk fruit as well as their response to the texture of the cereal. If you can temper your expectations, remembering that it won't taste exactly like traditional cereals because of the health benefits, chances are you'll be able to enjoy it a lot more.
And then there's the matter of price. Depending on how much you buy at once, the cost of the cereal is going to be in the ballpark of $2 to $2.50 per bowl, which is likely a lot more expensive than what you can currently buy at the store. While it won't be within everyone's budget, if you're trying to be more health-conscious or have dietary restrictions, this price might be totally worth it for you. If you're curious, order it once and try it out for yourself.
Trying to cut out sugar? Click HERE to read our review of Wink Frozen Desserts, which also use monk fruit for a delicious sugar-free experience.