Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Trader Joe's Organic Oats and Flax Instant Oatmeal

Toot toot! Hear that? I was pretty sure that was the whistle blowin' on the train headed for Blandville. And I was pretty sure this Oats and Flax nonsense was going to be my ticket there.

However, I wound up in a much more pleasant town. We'll call it Tastyburg. Mayor: Trader Joe, Points of interest: flavor and whole grain goodness.

Silly, I know. But it's high time we reviewed this oatmeal. Sonia's been eating it for months now. I was a little reluctant...a little scared even. I just tried it for the first time today, and I was pleasantly surprised.

Sonia and I both make ours with milk and water, although the box only calls for water (Who makes oatmeal with just water? Blech.) Texture-wise, it's got enough body to keep your teeth busy; it's not just a bunch of mush. There's a pleasant mix of flax seeds in with the oats. It's "hardy." ...or is it "hearty"? Well, it's one of those...you get the idea.

The flavor was what I was really worried about. I like brightly-colored, fancy oatmeals and breakfast cereals with fluorescent, fruit-shaped pieces made of high-fructose corn syrup and partially-hydrogenated oils. But it is the new year and that resolution about being healthier is still fresh in my brain, so I braved the oats and flax.

It was surprisingly sweet. They do add cane juice solids to liven it up a bit. It was a little nutty, too. It reminded me of the maple and brown sugar flavored oatmeal that Quaker offers, but I actually liked this one even more. It made me feel all warm inside and gave me a good start to the day. If that Wilford Brimley guy had ever tried this stuff, he surely would have ditched Quaker and started doing commercials for TJ's brand. Is he still alive? C'mon, somebody get Wilford Brimley's agent on the phone!

Anyway, Sonia gives it Four and a half Stars out of Five. I give it Four out of Five Stars. Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

1 comment:

  1. What a great blog! TJ's is one of my primary grocery stores. I've moved away from instant oatmeal, but I'm glad you're enjoying this one; flax is really good for you -- we add to our oatmeal, pancakes, smoothies, etc. and we can't even taste the difference.