Season 2, Episodes 9-10: Do bears eat pumpkins? | This is my Life now.

Season 2, Episodes 9-10: Do bears eat pumpkins? | This is my Life now.

Before I dig in to this double review, allow me to address the 300 pound pumpkin in the room: I delayed yesterday’s post.

Now, this is the first time in 40 entries that I’ve delayed, but it was with good reason. I’m a student again, and I had to prioritize school work. TBH, I probably could be convinced otherwise, but I’m still waiting for that sponsorship from big pumpkin. So yeah.

Either way, I apologize for the delay, but I hope you enjoy today’s entry!

Ps. I bought pumpkin spice deodorant today. Seriously.

I’ve had a lot a lot of luck with pumpkin-spiced breakfast foods. Between Cheerios, BelVita Bars, Trader Joe’s Yogurt, and English Muffins, the flavor just works. But there is a catch - it can’t be too sweet otherwise it throws everything off (see: Pecan Pumpkin Oatmeal) OR can’t randomly have lemon juice (looking at u, Chobani).

So naturally, I am pretty excited to try some new pumpkin spice breakfast products. I wonder how they will handle the execution and if they will be worth stocking up on before the end of the season.

Here we go!

Day 9: Do bears eat pumpkins?
Item: Bear Naked Pumpkin Spice Granola
Purchase Location: Target
Cost: $3.99
Manufacturer’s Description:
Bear Naked Pumpkin Spice Granola: Slow-baked with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, pumpkin seeds and white chocolate to create an elevated pumpkin pie experience, this granola is the perfect addition to your favorite fall morning routine

Day 10: This is my Life now.
Item: Pumpkin Spice Life Cereal
Purchase Location: Target
Cost: $2.99
Manufacturer’s Description:
Add a little pumpkin spice to your Life. We've taken the simple and sweet family favorite and spiced it with the fragrant flavors of fall. With a subtle taste of sweetness and a whole lot of crunch, you might be pointing fingers at who was lucky enough to finish off the box.

One of the most important aspects of being a student is your snack game. If your snacks aren’t on point, you’re bound to get hungry and your studying can suffer. For me personally, I am a fan of the ease/convenience of breakfast bars, granola, and cereal. The only downside here is that these are some of the noisiest snacks you can possibly eat in the library. (Second only to baby carrots. Seriously, you CAN’T eat them quietly)

Even before I start my reviews, I’m going to tell you something significant - neither of these contain real pumpkin flavor. I’m sorry to break your heart so early, but I feel like I had to just lay it out there. Yes it’s disappointing, but judging by reviews, it does not seem like consumers miss the it all that much!

Let’s begin with some granola!

Episode 9: Do bears eat pumpkins?

The answer is yes. Bears eat pumpkins. Apparently it’s a pretty common thing. Here’s a picture.

I’ve never had Bear Naked Granola, but it comes very highly recommended from friends.

While doing my background research, it looks like this is the FIRST year that Bear Naked is offering this granola! I’m so happy they did. I’ve been looking for good PS granola and I have hope here. BUT, I am wondering how they are going to handle the flavor execution in the first year. It’s something that other manufacturers have developed over time, so a new product always has the chance to be gross.

This granola seems pretty promising. Taking a peep at the ingredient list, I can’t seem to find any preservatives! I am SHOCKED. Pretty much every packaged granola has them, so this is impressive. I’m betting that the production to shelf time is shorter and the flavor is going to be fresher.

In addition to oats, it contains a bunch of seeds (including pumpkin and soy bean), and white chocolate chips. The only thing I’m a little hesitant about is the white chocolate because it can get kind of sweet. But their vanilla flavor profile works well with pumpkin spice, so it could be great. One downside to note is that while there are cinnamon and nutmeg, clove is absent.

Opening it up, there is a gentle aroma of the pumpkin spices, and a light orange-y tint (this might also be in my head). You can catch whiffs of the cinnamon and nutmeg cleanly, without an overall sweet smell.

The texture is a little less dry/crumbly than the granola I’m used to, but I like that! It has some body to it! The white chocolate is also a LOT less than I expected, so it could be a nice background flavor.

I’m going to try this granola dry. I could put milk, but I’m evaluating for snackability so there’s not always going to be milk available.

I grab a handful and go to work. At first taste, this granola is OUTSTANDING. The flavors all work, there is nothing too strong or unbalanced, and there is a nice crunch to the whole thing. The white chocolate does add sweetness, but it is light and compliments the PS well.

I kept trying handfuls, and with each I got a deeper appreciation for the depth of the taste profile. Before I knew it, I was halfway through the bag. Oh geez.

I really like this, and I kind of wish this was a year round flavor.

Rating: 5/5 pumpkins!

Episodes 10: This is my Life now.

In contrast to Bear Naked, General Mills has been making pumpkin spice Life since 2016. Each year, the reviews have been better and better, so I am excited to give this a shot!

Upfront: Life is one of my favorite cereals of all time - it’s simple, not too sweet, and it holds crunch for a surprisingly long time in milk. But I’m worried how adding a flavor profile on top of that will be.

Pouring out a bowl, the cereal looks identical to regular Life. Like I could probably put it side-by-side and you would have no way to tell them apart. But there is a slightly stronger scent of cinnamon, so it looks like they made sure to have the flavors be more present than just background essences.

I am going to try this both dry/with milk to see if there are any major taste differences.

This cereal is really solidly pumpkin spice. It is a little on the lighter side, but the taste is there. It maintains the muted sweetness of traditional Life cereal (which is just A+++) and the pumpkin addition on top is pretty complimentary.

It gets even better with milk, and I end up going through two bowls. It tastes like a simplified pumpkin pie! But you won’t feel guilty eating the whole box because it’s Life cereal and it’s not completely awful for you.

Listen, General Mills. I know you love the seasonal exclusivity, but can you please extend this past the fall? Thanks. -TMPS

Overall rating: 5/5 pumpkins

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