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offlimits cereal review CAT
OffLimits

Value: 16/20
Functionality: 16/20
Quality: 18/20
Aesthetics: 20/20
Taste: 17/20

TOTAL: 87/100

We could eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But the sugary stuff we really love can get us into trouble. Starting the morning with it can bring on an afternoon crash, while having a bowl at night can lead to an unwelcome sugar rush before bed. Luckily, we’ve found a happy medium: OffLimits, a sophisticated, health-conscious upgrade on the cereals you love.

Launched this summer by founder Emily Elyse Miller, author of Breakfast: The Cookbook, OffLimits’s mission is to transform cereal from an easy breakfast to a functional fix for our ever-changing moods and needs. With the help of OffLimits’s cereal mascots, Dash (who is also the first female cereal cartoon character) and Zombie, you can choose which flavor is right for you at any given moment, whether you need a boost of energy or a dose of R&R. Both cereals are vegan, organic, gluten-free and lower in sugar than the big brands you’re used to.

Dash, a coffee-spiked, healthier spin on Cocoa Puffs, turns your milk to “cold brew” thanks to a hefty dose of caffeine per serving, giving you the push you need to get through early mornings, late work nights and beyond. Zombie, similar in appearance to matcha-green Cheerios (if those existed), is best for relaxing, calming the mind and winding down after a long day, thanks to its infusion of adaptogens (which, for the uninformed, are special herbs that can help the body deal with stress).

In addition to focusing on diversifying the cereal shelf and creating products with mental health in mind, OffLimits is big on art and creativity—in case you couldn’t tell from the packaging alone. Take the Gallery, the company’s shoppable, digital exhibition of works by aspiring artists. A portion of art sales goes towards Wide Rainbow, which funds after-school art programs. And in case funky cereal and artwork aren’t whimsical enough for you, check out OffLimits’ online Toy Store. Rack up tickets by buying cereal, then cash them in to score keychains, spray paint, pins and more. Yeah, it’s basically the 2020 version of finding a prize in your cereal box.

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offlimits dash
Katie Burton

Dash (Coffee + Cocoa)

One serving of Dash has 15 milligrams of caffeine, equivalent to about a ¼ cup of coffee. Pair that with your usual morning cold brew and bid adieu to morning grogginess. In a 1 cup serving, Dash also contains 160 calories, 3 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein, with only 4 grams of added sugar. The cereal is made with organic rice, oat and coconut flours, pea fiber, cocoa powder, coffee extract and powder and ground Intelligentsia coffee. If you’re snacking on Dash sans-milk, the bitterness of the cocoa and coffee takes center stage; it scratches your sugary cereal itch in a way that still lets you bask in the fact that it’s good for you. Milk softens the cereal’s bitterness beautifully, bringing its chocolatey flavor notes to the forefront. While the milk doesn’t literally turn into black cold brew, it does turn brown in seconds and tastes like a really mild mocha…or grown-up chocolate milk.

Taste: 17/20

Buy it ($24/two boxes)

offlimits zombie
Katie Burton

Zombie (Vanilla + Pandan + Ashwagandha)

Ahhh, we feel calmer already. This easy, breezy alternative to Dash starts with the same blend of flours and pea fiber plus vanilla, pandan and ashwagandha, an adaptogen and ancient medicinal herb often associated with Ayurveda. Much of the cereal’s flavor comes from pandan, a Southeast Asian plant that gives the cereal a nutty, vanilla-like flavor with a hint of earthiness. You can thank spirulina, another adaptogen, for Zombie’s green color. This cereal contains 120 calories, 2½ grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein per 1 cup serving. When eaten plain, the cereal’s authentic vanilla flavor shines through and turns nuttier the longer you chew, without tasting forwardly sugary. It’s a far cry from the cereals of our youth that can only be described as ambiguously (and overwhelmingly) sweet without echoing an ingredient found in nature. With milk, the overall flavor is a touch sweeter while the vanilla notes take a backseat to the nuttier ones.

Taste: 17/20

Buy it ($24/two boxes)

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