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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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trader Joe's Heart Healthy Whole Grain Blueberry Instant Oatmeal

Certainly, there are several important things to consider when selecting a brand of oatmeal. "Sure, this one tastes good," you reason, "but does it have plant sterols?"

Well, you're really in luck because TJ's Heart Healthy Whole Grain Blueberry Instant Oatmeal tastes pretty good, and it has the flaxseed, inulin, and plant sterols you need to keep you going throughout the day.

And if you're one of those poor clueless saps that hasn't caught on to the plant sterol craze yet, just peruse the box for more hints as to what the heck they are...

Aha! Here it says they're plant sterol esters. Thank goodness. I was beginning to think they were plant sterol amides.

And then on the back, we finally note that a healthy dose of .65g of plant sterol esters per serving will reduce LDL-cholesterol and do other cool things to your body. No more searching high and low for those last six and a half tenths of a gram of plant sterol esters to round out your daily diet.

So, after securing your doctorate in biochemistry, with a solid background in botany, you can start to understand what's in this instant oatmeal and then progress toward more practical reading, such as the cooking directions, which are delightfully simple, written in layman's terms, and perfect for idiots like me.

It tastes earthy. Which is good, I guess. Must be the plant sterols. We wish it had more blueberries. All in all, not bad, though. Sonia gives it a 4. I give it a 3.5. Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.


  1. "flaxseed, inulin and plant sterols keep you "going" throughout the day" love it.

  2. Hmmm..I don't really like oatmeal but I would have been willing to try it with a 9 out of 10. 7.5 out of 10 just isn't enough, so back to my cream of wheat which probably doesn't have plant sterols :o)

  3. This is the only instant oatmeal I eat. The little dried blueberries in it give the oatmeal just the right amount of sweetness. A big plus that is has so many added good stuff to it. I empty a packet into a bowl, add hot water, and then microwave for about 45 seconds. It comes out all creamy and thick like slow cooked oats. It is the only brand that really turns thick, unlike the Quaker oat kind, which is loaded with sugar and scraps of "oatmeal". I add fresh blueberries to give it extra fiber and brain boosting properties.

    1. Audrey, I agree. It has just the right amount of sweetness.