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, January 21, 2014

Trader Joe's Multigrain Triple Berry Instant Hot Cereal

I have a chia pet in my tummy.

At least that's what I imagine when I eat chia seeds. But I suppose they don't really produce long green sprouts when they're in my digestive system. Even though sometimes it feels that way.

Not so with this product. It was nice and light—yet still hearty. The serving size was perfect. And I added exactly 1/2 cup of soymilk to one packet and nuked it for two minutes as per the microwaving instructions, and the product emerged at the exact temperature and thickness that I like my oatmeal. Granted, the directions called for water, but I always find oatmeal
made with water is, well...watery. Unlike the Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats, the microwave was friendly to this hot cereal. Plus, I got the 900mg of Alpha-Linolenic Acid that my body craves! (I actually have no idea what that is. Perhaps a nutrition expert will enlighten us in the comment section below).

I was perfectly happy with the texture and taste of this oatmeal. Surprisingly, I was satisfied with its berry content, too, even though in the past, I've found TJ's berry oatmeals wanting in that department. All of the dried berries were teensy-tiny, but there were plenty of them, and after a vigorous stirring session, they were adequately distributed throughout my bowl. And partially because of the berries, this product was perfectly sweet for me. There was no need to add sugar, and for those of you who've been reading for a while, you know I have a mad sweet tooth. The seeds blended seamlessly with the grains of oats and added a subtle but noticeable element of texture to the cereal's mushiness.

Sonia's a huge fan of plain oatmeal. She eats it virtually everyday. In general, she doesn't like flavored oatmeals, but this was an exception to her rule...er, sort of. She couldn't muster quite as much enthusiasm as I could, but she generously gave this product a 3.5 star rating because it still tasted earthy and grainy like oatmeal should. I gave it 4 stars because it had all the wholesomeness of regular oatmeal, but it's significantly less boring. Perfect for these polar vortex mornings.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

6 comments:

  1. According to WebMD, Alpha-linolenic acid is popular reducing the risk of heart disease and heart attacks, and high blood pressure. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1035-ALPHA-LINOLENIC%20ACID.aspx?activeIngredientId=1035&activeIngredientName=ALPHA-LINOLENIC%20ACID

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  2. Well there we go! With the url and everything. Thanks, Nikki!

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  3. I will have to try this and use soy milk instead of water... btw have u tried the multigrain oatmeal? I had to throw it away, it was way TOO grainy for me.. I felt like it was something you'd feed a horse...lol...Multi is not the word to describe it- how about every grain-they-could- think -of...(!)

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    1. Don't think I've ever had the plain old multigrain oatmeal, but after your description of it, I think I'll steer clear of it!

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  4. Mmmmmm, just tried this, and it is delicious. I took the hint about substituting the water, although I used nonfat milk myself. One thing I have to mention is that it's also an aromatherapy experience. The kitchen--nay, the whole house--smells wonderful.

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