We Try All the Kashi GOLEAN Cereal Flavors

[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

Question to ponder: If I have a bowl of every kind of Kashi GOLEAN in one sitting, does it still count as going lean?


Kashi is a leader in the organic and natural marketplace, and has definitely crossed over into the mainstream. To many, it is the name in natural and nutritional cereal. These days, there are plenty of wonderful natural brands to be celebrated, but Kashi has really paved the way for people to make smarter choices in cereal.

As for me, I had a pretty Kashi-saturated childhood, so once I was able to make my own cereal purchases, I avoided it for some time. Sure, I'd still say I liked Kashi, but it wasn't something I got excited about. When a box of Kashi cereals arrived at the office recently, I gave them a cursory glance, casual handful, and went about my business. But something delicious in one of those handfuls caught my attention. No, it couldn't be Kashi GOLEAN?!

Of the many Kashi varieties I am fond of, GOLEAN was NOT one of them. I associated it with vaguely brown crumbles that tasted of cabinet. But a taste of GOLEAN Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble gave me pause. High time to explore it again!

Kashi GOLEAN comes in five varieties, and boasts an impressive amount of fiber and protein.

Descriptions of each GOLEAN variety in the slideshow >>

As for the rest of SEHQ, there were some pretty strong opinions. Turns out the SE gang here is pretty wild about GOLEAN. Erin opted for the Crisp! varieties in her yogurt, but the Crunches by the dry handful. Jessica thought the Crisp! was oddly chalky and preferred the assertive texture of the Crunch! varieties.

Carey's feeling were a bit more intense: "I have a somewhat unhealthily obsessive relationship with GOLEAN, dating to a time when I was a compulsively "healthy" eater (I know, guys, I've since recovered) and let very few cereals into my life. But GOLEAN was on the okay list, and I'd eat this stuff by the boxful. My best friend dismissively called it "bird food" and, okay, it is pretty twiggy-grain looking, but I actually kind of love that about it. The little fiber sticks have just the right level of sweetness, and a pleasing crunch whether nibbled dry or eaten in milk; and the light little puffs add substance but not bulk. They have a reassuring sort of blandness such that it's hard to get sick of them." 

After several delicious bowls and handfuls, I realized that it was perhaps my own fault, I may or may not have left boxes of GOLEAN open in the past, which may or may not have caused them to go stale, resulting in my repulsion. These fresh boxes of GOLEAN burst forth like the contents a ripe field, with crunchy and delicious grains and flavorful clusters and....fiber-y twigs.

Ok, well, I still don't love the twigs.

Kashi lovers, which of the five GOLEAN varieties do you reach for?