Product Review: Vanilla Chex Gluten-Free Cereal

General Mills' Vanilla Chex Gluten-Free Cereal
General Mills’ Vanilla Chex Gluten-Free Cereal

Product: General Mills’ Vanilla Chex Gluten-Free Cereal – $3.29+

It’s been awhile since Chex cereal came into my pantry.  Honestly.  While I have previously touted it as one of the more affordable gluten-free cereals, the fact of the matter is that some of the ingredients just don’t fit into my lifestyle anymore.  While I’m not doing Clean Eating 100%…where I can cut out the processed food and the additives and such that I don’t need to be consuming…well, I cut them out.  There are better, healthier cereals out there.  Yes…I might have to pay a little more for them, but I feel better about the ingredients.  Peace of mind.

That being said, I also know that since I heard about the newest and latest Chex cereal flavor…and that it was one of their gluten-free options…I did want to try it.  I didn’t really go searching for it, but one day while in a local grocery store, I spotted a couple boxes on sale…mostly because the boxes were dented.  Hell, I don’t care what the box looks like.  As long as the inner packaging is still sealed…

So, into my arms came General Mills’ Vanilla Chex Gluten-Free Cereal.  And home it went in a grocery bag.  I put it into the pantry, as I was polishing off an all natural chocolate cereal at the time (which was SUPER yum!).  But yesterday was the big day for the Vanilla Chex.  I had used up the last of my previous cereal and this one was about to have its moment to shine.  It had a few spoonfuls to win me over.  So, I wished it luck and poured out a serving of the cereal, snatching a few pieces to try dry before adding my unsweetened almond milk to the mix.

First of all, this cereal, as with the other flavored varieties of Chex cereals, is a blend of regular Rice Chex, and then the flavor-dusted cubes.  The vanilla variety has this dusting of a sugary-sweet vanilla powder on them.  My first taste, without the almond milk, was not one to win me over.  While the flavor is awesome…think…Rice Krispies meet Nilla Wafers…it was really, really, really sweet.  I mean…SWEET!  And I love sweets.  This was almost a little too sweet though.  And it’s not often you’ll hear me say that.  Trust me.

I was about to head to the gym for an hour of cardio and strength training, so I hoped that the almond milk tamped down the sugary-sweet flavor and also prayed that it wouldn’t revisit me after the workout.  I poured in a splash of almond milk and settled in for breakfast.

Adding the milk helped.  Probably because some of that vanilla sugar on the squares washed off and into the milk.  That was fine.  It definitely made the cereal easier to eat.  And it really, for the life of me, tasted like I was eating a bowl full of Rice Krispie treats.  Now, I love Rice Krispie treats (thank you gluten-free Rice Krispies) as much as the next person…but I like them in moderation.  And this serving feels almost too big (though it is a standard serving) given the sweetness factor of this particular variety of the Chex cereal.

So…for me…this one is okay…but I’d rather snatch up the Honey Nut or Cinnamon or Chocolate varieties first.  This one…while good…just was…too much for one sitting.

But, as always, I have to break this down for you.  Why doesn’t Chex Cereal come into my house much anymore?  Well, it’s this little additive called BHT.  This version also has a lot of sugary ingredients, including sugar, fructose, and molasses.  No wonder it tastes like a never-ending dose of Rice Krispie Treats.

As for the nutritional information, a serving of Vanilla Chex is 3/4 cup, which will provide you with 120 calories and 2 grams of fat.  In addition, this cereal is cholesterol-free and only contains 190 mg of sodium.  For being so sweet, the fact that it contains only 8 grams of sugar is shocking…but that’s what the nutrition panel tells me.  Finally, you will be consuming a scant amount of fiber and very only 1 gram of protein, so expect to feel hungry soon after you eat it.

For a sugar rush or an occasional treat, I think Vanilla Chex would be a good stand-in for something.  I also think it would rock some gluten-free Muddy Buddies and the like.  But as a cereal I found it way too sweet for my liking.  So, now that I’ve tried it…I’ll polish off the box and move on to the next gluten-free cereal to come my way.

It’s good.  It’s just too sweet for me.  That’s all.

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