Monday, May 21, 2012

Yummy, But Not Entirely True To Its Name, Quaker Maple & Brown Sugar Life Cereal Is Still Worth Buying!

The Good: Fairly nutritious, Good taste
The Bad: Pretty much absent brown sugar flavor, Seems expensive for the box size.
The Basics: Quaker Life Maple & Brown Sugar cereal is good, but it not the best flavor of Life cereal.

In reviewing cereals, it makes a great deal of sense that I would gravitate toward Life Cereal. Life has been a favorite of mine for many years and it surprises me that I reviewed any other Quaker cereal before a Life flavor (Quaker Honey Nut Oatmeal Squares are reviewed here!)! Regardless, when my wife opened up the box of Quaker Life Maple & Brown Sugar cereal, I could not resist having an extra bowl for review.

My wife picked up the Quaker Maple & Brown Sugar Life because she knows how much I love other flavors of Life cereal. Life, it seems, is destined to go through cycles. While there seems to always be the standard and cinnamon flavored Life cereals, every few years Quaker seems to make an attempt to get another flavor to stick and recently, they came up with Maple & Brown Sugar Life. And it’s all right. It’s not great, but it is certainly not bad.


Quaker Life Maple & Brown Sugar cereal is a relatively new cereal with baked square oat flour pieces. It looks like a refined cereal with each Life square having an open grate-like form that is generally uniform throughout the package. Each piece of Life cereal is approximately 3/4” by 3/4” wide and long and 1/8” thick. The light brown Life are fairly uniform in their appearance. The holes in this cereal are ideal for allowing milk to penetrate the cereal and release the full flavor hidden within.

The standard box of Life Maple & Brown Sugar cereal is 13 oz. That represents approximately twelve servings and that is what we managed to squeeze out of the box. This cereal is comprised of just the square cereal bits themselves, with nothing else in them.

Ease Of Preparation

Life Maple & Brown Sugar cereal is a breakfast cereal, so this is one of the low-impact breakfast options as far as preparation goes! Simply open the box of Life Maple & Brown Sugar cereal, pour out three-quarters of a cup (I’ve taken to using a measuring cup) and add 1/2 cup of milk to it. I have discovered, as part of getting healthy, that one of the biggest challenges one might have with breakfast cereal is actually eating the serving size recommended by the manufacturer. Given that I have been monitoring my intake for several weeks now, I am now able to enjoy only a proper 3/4 cup serving of Life Maple & Brown Sugar cereal in a sitting and to be fair to Quaker, this is a pretty filling serving of cereal!

For the purposes of my reviews, and my regular consumption, I only use skim milk (fat free) milk with cereal.


Opening the box, the Maple & Brown Sugar Life has one of the most delightful smells. The sweet scent of maple wafts from the box in a way that is warming and inviting. Anyone who has lived in a cold climate and enjoyed oatmeal with brown sugar and syrup is likely to get a positive scent memory from opening this box of Life cereal!

On the tongue, the dry cereal hints at the maple more than the brown sugar. On the tastebuds, there is an odd discrepancy between the firm grain of the Life squares and the syrupy sweetness of the maple. The maple flavor is not overwhelming, though. Instead, it is more like the aftertaste of maple than a full-fledged maple taste.

With milk, the flavor of the maple comes alive! Somehow the addition of fluid makes this otherwise dry, sweet cereal taste like it had been dipped in real maple syrup! Oddly, though, this cereal never seems to take on the flavor of the brown sugar that its name promises, though the authentic replication of a maple flavor is enough to sell me on it!


Quaker Life Maple & Brown Sugar cereal is fairly nutritious on its own and with skim milk! Made primarily of whole grain oat flour, sugar, and corn flour, the Life Maple & Brown Sugar ingredient list degenerates into a chemistry equation only at the very bottom of the ingredients list. This cereal has a lot of preservatives in it.

A single serving of Quaker Life Maple & Brown Sugar cereal is 32 grams, 3/4 cups. In that serving, there are 120 calories, with 15 calories coming from fat. There is no saturated fat in this cereal, nor is there any cholesterol. With 150 mg of sodium and 2 grams of dietary fiber, this is not a bad dietary choice for those striving to improve heart health. With three grams of protein and 85mg potassium, Maple & Brown Sugar Life has some decent nutritional elements other cereals do not. On its own, this cereal has significant percentages of nine vitamins and minerals, most notably 100% of the RDA of Folic Acid!


Life Maple & Brown Sugar is a cereal, so as long as it is kept sealed in its box, it ought to remain fresh for quite some time. The box of Life Maple & Brown Sugar cereal we purchased on April 2, 2012 had an expiration date of December 10, 2012. Obviously, when you are done pouring the cereal from the box, fold down the plastic inner wrap to help maintain the cereal’s freshness.

Cleaning up after Life Maple & Brown Sugar cereal is simple as well. Simply brush away crumbs left by it and you are done! It is that simple! This is a cereal that does not even discolor the milk added to it!


Life Maple & Brown Sugar cereal is fairly healthy, tasty cereal that is bound to please fans of Life cereal, as well as those who like maple-flavored foods! And while it is enjoyable, it is not a superlative breakfast cereal in any way.

For other Quaker products and cereals, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
Chewy Low-Fat S'Mores Granola Bars
Special K MultiGrain Oats & Honey
Kellogg’s Fiber Plus Antioxidants Cinnamon Oat Crunch


For other food reviews, please visit my Food Review Index Page for an organized listing of all the food reviews I have written!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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