GF Fruit free clusters – a review

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 Permalink

This is not a paid review, rather one I decided to do…. just because I felt like it!

I’m not a big cereal eater. In fact, other than a brief flirtation with Weet-Bix, coffee sugar and hot milk while at University, and Coco Pops sprinkled with Milo when I was a youngster; I’ve managed to avoid the stuff for most of my life.

Since my coeliac diagnosis in 2005/2006, cereal has become even more problematic. I realise I’m fortunate that I wasn’t diagnosed 20, even 10 years ago given the choices available at the time… indeed I’m appreciative of the attention that gluten gets (in a ‘gluten is evil like Darth Vader’ kind of way) nowadays because the variety of options available is constantly growing. (There are negatives to that attention, but more on that another time!)

After my diagnosis I bought GF cornflakes on occasion (to eat with yoghurt) to vary my breakfast menu, although quite frankly, the cornflakes just aren’t filling and I’m hungry almost as soon as I’ve finished downing them.

I’ve been keen to find a breakfast alternative as I tend to eat the SAME THING EVERY DAY, which I don’t actually mind (given my ritualistic nature!); but recognise that I should be having a bit more variety in my diet. Over recent years and months, I’ve noticed more and more GF cereals appearing on the market (including faux Coco Pops and the like). However, while Coco Pops and equally unhealthy options appeal to me, I occasionally remind myself I am a grown-up and so need to put some decent stuff in my body from time to time!

So, on Saturday, having been forced into grocery shopping by my visiting mother (resulting in more than a 5 minute dash into a supermarket) I pondered over the health foods / GF range. The supermarket near me (a Coles, for my Aussie readers) has a great supply.

As there’s oft been debate about oats (GF vs not GF) muesli hasn’t ever really been on the agenda for me. Plus, I don’t like dried fruit IN things. I know, I know… yet another weird nuance making me the strange and eccentric little being I am… While I can eat sultanas by themselves, I cannot eat them in things (cakes, biscuits, cereal etc).

So, in the absence of oats and fruit, muesli just hasn’t been a possibility. Until now.

Although it’s not called muesli, it kinda looks like muesli – which makes me think it’s healthier for a start. Food for Health’s Fruit Free Clusters (with Chia) look like little clusters (funnily enough!) of grains and nuts and things. Although ‘health food’ (in general) usually scares me off, the clusters visible through the box looked quite edible and I decided I’d give it a try, despite the fairly hefty price tag (at $9 for a 475g box).

As I’m generally pretty grumpy on Monday mornings anyway, I figured a tasteless cereal couldn’t possibly make things worse. So I pulled out the cereal and mixed it with some of my favourite Greek Yoghurt. (I LOVE this yoghurt although I don’t eat it often and in this instance I’d only bought it to make the cereal more edible. )


But, I could not have been more surprised!

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In fact, I responded to a response with….

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The clusters AREN’T the lowest kilojoule option on the planet at 1801 kj/100g (18g fat, 54.8g carbohydrates, including 18.2 sugar), but they’re made out of lots of good stuff I’d not otherwise eat. Listed ingredients include: buckwheat, puffed rice, sunflower seeds, organic raw sugar, rice bran syrup, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, puffed mullet, psyllium husks, chia seed, flaxseed and canola oil.  The texture is great with the yoghurt and the cereal’s chewy and crunchy at the same time.  It’s sweet but not too much so and would be fine just with milk.

I noticed from its website, the company features a range of products, including muesli bars and the like.

I’m hugely excited about my new discovery, although given the calories (fat and carb count) and cost I probably won’t have the cereal EVERYDAY, but perhaps I’ll have it on alternate days to inject a bit of goodness into my body.

Am I the only one who gets a thrill out of liking something that’s vaguely healthy?

In other news, the goodies have arrived for my blog competition which will kick off in a couple of days. A sneak preview of the prizes is available on my Facebook page!


  • nondiscrypt
    May 16, 2012

    While I don’t have to go gluten free, I loooove the Food for Health range. I’m particularly fond of 25 grams of fibre cleanse museli mixed wit a tub of yoplait forme vanilla – it is often my breakfast of choice. I leave it in the fridge for 30 mins and let all the museli bits go a bit swollen and squishy. While I’m not entirely sure what bircher museli is, it reminds me of bircher museli !

    The bars with the cranberry bits are really nice too when you want something sweet !

    • Debbish
      May 16, 2012

      I looked at the bars when I was there the other day, but decided in the end it was breakfast I needed… plus sometimes there are better snack options (I usually have almonds and sultanas at work). Although… yesterday I took a little container of the Clusters & Greek Yoghurt in for a snack – just cos I was having my ‘usual’ breakfast but didn’t want to miss out on their yumminess!

  • countingmoments
    May 16, 2012

    We don’t have to avoid gluten here, but we do avoid cereal as a rule. However, when I do want cereal or just some crunch in our yogurt, I make homemade granola, which is pretty easy to do, and just happens to be gluten free. I make a basic recipe, and then we add dried fruit later if we want it.

    • Debbish
      May 16, 2012

      I have to confess I had to google granola and think it’s similar to what we call muesli. I was starting to think I’d have to make it myself (but never ever would as it would require me to buy too much stuff!!!) but this is perfect cos it has heaps of things in it that are good for me.

      Like you, I sometimes want a bit of ‘crunch’ in my yoghurt as I find it a bit unfulfilling to eat by itself!!! (I am prone to eat too much of it!)


  • Mel Kettle (The Cook's Notebook)
    May 16, 2012

    I’m not coeliac, but have been eyeing this off at my local Coles too. Which I suspect is also your local Coles 🙂

    I’m an egg for breakfast girl, but do love crunchy yumminess mixed with yogurt, so might have to give them a go.

    • Debbish
      May 16, 2012

      Do Mel… it’s delicious. The texture is just great and when mixed with yoghurt it’s tangy and a bit sweet at the same time!

  • KCLAnderson (Karen)
    May 16, 2012

    I love those kinds of cereal/granola/muesli type products…although I can’t put them in yogurt any more unless I want to have a bowel disturbance. My goal is to choose products with as little sugar as possible. Over the years I have found that really good-for-you food tends to get an undeservedly bad rap in the taste department.

    • Debbish
      May 16, 2012

      As I said, I loved the taste of this but it did have a bit of sugar… but for me the goodness included outweighed any other concerns. It did occur to me that it would also be nice for dessert if ever required and as a daytime snack!


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