Product Review: Coconut Flakes

Product Review: Coconut Flakes

Over the next few weeks I am going to be doing some reviews of Paleo friendly pre-packaged products by Julian Bakery. I am always keen to try out new Paleo products and have had my eye on Julian Bakery products for a while. I have used their Paleo Wraps before and have been really impressed (I even used then to create a blog recipe for Paleo Spring Rolls).

I was therefore very pleased to hear that more Julian Bakery products are becoming available in the UK. You can find out more about Julian Bakery and the products that they make in the Guest Blog that was featured on the website last week.

Today I am going to be reviewing the Julian Bakery Coconut Flakes, a Paleo friendly cereal. Look out for reviews on Paleo Wraps and Paleo Turmeric Wraps coming over the next couple of months. Alongside the reviews I will also be creating some recipes to give you some ideas and inspiration as to how you can use each product.

Initial Thoughts

I have to say that it has been so long since the thought of eating cereal has even crossed my mind that I didn’t know what to make of having a Paleo friendly version. I am so used to my breakfasts being made up of eggs and vegetables (which is often my favourite meal of the day) that I was not too sure if I could replace with a cereal. I then realised that I do like to have some Paleo granola as an occasional treat for breakfast and cereal is really not that different! It also got me thinking about how I could use it in recipes and then my cook’s brain got quite excited about the prospect.

I can completely appreciate that many people who are considering switching to Paleo, or have recently done so, may well miss foods such as cereal and bread as these tend to make up the majority of breakfast foods consumed in the UK. It is this transitional period that Julian Bakery want to make easier and they refer to their products as “transitional products” for this very reason.

There is always the argument that using anything pre-packaged is against the ethos of Paleo and that emulating the foods that are eliminated is missing the purpose. Whilst I agree that it is not sensible to take this approach every day (and I wholly advocate cooking from scratch) I do appreciate that there are times when we need a bit of a helping hand or we just want to treat ourselves; we are all only human after all. We all lead busy and hectic lives and sometimes taking a shortcut is what we need to keep us on track.  I was therefore incredibly intrigued and keen to get stuck in with the testing…

Ingredients

There are only a handful of ingredients and they are all 100% natural.

Coconut Meat, Coconut Water and Palm Starch.

Your first thought is most likely what is Palm Starch? You will be pleased to know that it is a natural gluten free starch that is extracted from the Sago Palm Tree. Julian Bakery uses a sustainable source of Palm Starch from the Philippines which is pesticide free and utilises a patented process to make sure that all the nutrients remain. This includes antioxidants such as Polyphenols (these are micronutrients which play a role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases) and Catechins (a natural antioxidant) along with dietary fibre.

The Coconut Flakes are also produced in a gluten free facility so no need to worry about any cross contamination from other products.

Why Coconut Meat in Cereal?

If you were thinking of where to start with a Paleo friendly cereal you may not automatically come to the conclusion of using Coconut meat as the base ingredient. Julian Bakery has chosen to use Coconut meat as it contains health enhancing, Paleo friendly, natural saturated fats.

You may already be aware that not all saturated fats are created equal. The usual kind is made up of “building blocks” called long chain triglycerides (LCTs). However, the saturated fat contained in coconuts is different as it contains mostly medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) such as lauric acid. The benefits of MCT’s are that they enhance wellbeing and naturally offer:

  • Weight Loss Support by providing a thermogenic boost to your metabolism
  • Vitality by being quickly absorbed for a sustained energy boost
  • Digestive Health benefits by reducing the strain on your digestive system
  • Immune Protection which supports your body’s anti-viral and anti-bacterial functions

This makes them a perfect option for creating any Paleo friendly product.

 Julian Bakery - Cereal

Nutritional Breakdown

Nutrition per 30g serving:

160 kcals

110 kcals from fat

12g fat (of which 11g saturates)

14g carbohydrates (of which 5g sugars)

7g dietary fibre

2g protein

0.015g salt

The Coconut Flakes have an ample amount of fibre and a good dose of healthy saturated fats which is what you would expect given the main ingredient is Coconut meat. Whilst it is always preferable to have no added salt in your products the level of salt present in each portion is very small and I would not be overly concerned about this.

There is a small amount of protein provided but obviously this is much less than the amount you would be consuming by having a protein based breakfast such as eggs. I would not consider this to be an issue if you are having the Coconut Flakes for breakfast occasionally but would suggest adding a source of protein such as a handful of nuts to make it more balanced.

The Taste

When you open the packet the contents look very similar to many other cereals. Light brown in colour but noticeably a bit thicker than I recall grain based cereals being (although granted it has been some time since I looked at any). Due to having a slight phobia of food with a soggy texture I have often preferred to eat my cereal dry so I decided to start off with eating a flake straight out the packet.

I was pleasantly surprised. The first thing I noticed was a lovely crunch and a good texture that didn’t just disintegrate. The flavour of coconut definitely comes through (especially towards the end) with a slight bitterness that interacts well with the hint of sweetness. The closest thing that I can compare it to is probably a coconut macaroon; the kind I used to have as a child half coated in chocolate. I found myself reaching out for more which is always a good sign.

Next I tried with some almond milk. I was delighted to find out that they remain crispy and didn’t go soggy (which was my main concern) and I enjoyed the whole bowl. I can certainly see the appeal to having the cereal as a snack between meals or as a breakfast if you are running late and need something you can eat and prepare quickly.

I was keen to see how the Coconut Flakes would work with other flavours and I layered in a bowl with coconut yogurt and fresh fruit; it tasted delicious and I have had this as a snack a few times over the last couple of weeks. This got me thinking about how I could use in more recipes and I was particularly keen to try it out in a few Paleo treats. I am so pleased that I did as it lends itself really well to sweet recipes. Over the next couple of weeks I will be bringing you some of my favourites so keep an eye out!

Where to Buy & How Much 

In the UK you can purchase Coconut Flakes from Amazon for £6.99. This will get you a 300g box which contains 10 portions of cereal. If you break this down into cost per portion it comes in at 69p per each bowl of cereal. Whilst this is more expensive than your conventional grain based cereal (which is full of cheap, processed ingredients) I do not think that 69p is particularly expensive on a per portion basis. Just by way of comparison, if you were to have the Coconut Flakes as a snack between meals this would be a cheaper option compared to buying a Paleo snack bar.

The Verdict

I am really pleased that I tried this product. It is not something which I would normally have picked out as I don’t really miss cereal. I think this product will catch the eye of many people who are making the transition to a Paleo lifestyle and want a bit of help along the way in giving up some of their favourite foods. I would personally use the Coconut Flakes more as a snack (or as an ingredient in recipes) rather than a breakfast replacement.

I particularly liked that I could use the Coconut Flakes in various recipes and discovered that they have many more applications than just being a cereal product. I would purchase these again and will continue to experiment with using them in various recipes.

You can learn more about Julian Bakery and follow them on social media by using the links below:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram 

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