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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Trader Joe's Mixed Nut Butter

Alongside cheap fastfood breakfast sandwiches and Shamrock Shakes, peanut butter is a weakness of mine. God, I love peanut butter. If I had to choose one food I had to eat every day for the rest of my life, a big ol' jar of Jif would be under heavy consideration. My hypothetical decision may rest on whether not different varieties of tacos could be considered or not. Anything you can put peanut butter in...heck, I've even had peanut butter on a burger and peanut butter beer, and have loved them all. Chances are if I'm raiding a kitchen late at night, I got PB on the mind.

This committed infatuation just doesn't extend over to other nut butters for me. I've dabbled in almond and cashew, and they're okay, but in the end, they taste like settling for a subpar burger when I could be having steak. Maybe it's partially because the words "nut butter" just don't sound right to me. I have the mind of a fifth grader, apparently.

So, forgive me for not being overly enamored with Trader Joe's Mixed Nut Butter. It's not a bad mix, at all - as you can see, almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts and pecans - kinda akin to a high quality mixed nut canister. No peanuts in their pseudo-nut/really-actually-legume ways.

First turn off: the consistency. It's oily and drippy and saucy, even after refrigeration. There's a reason I mentioned Jif uptop: that thick, sticky, smooth feel? That's what I like, even if that's not always indicative of a "good" or "healthy" butter. But even by other butter standards, this goop seems thin and faintly gritty, with a fine sand-like feel. Meh.

And, despite all the nuts listed, I really can only taste two: almonds and cashews. Maybe  a little walnut here and there. Maybe. But it's primarily those two nuts, with a little salt, tasting all roasty and earthy and a bit dry and whatnot, but if you're hoping to taste all the nuts here, you're probably not going to.

All that being said, I think it's alright. A good breakfast/late night snack for me is an apple with some peanut butter, and this butter makes fine substitute. My wife Sandy made some chick pea blondies-dessert type deal* with half a cup of it scooped in, and it worked great for that - much more delicious than it sounds at first. So fluffy! And I'll admit to having one or two extra tastes right before writing this in the name of "making sure what I report is accurate."

Not perfect. Can use more taste of other nuts, and if given the choice, I would have preferred more of a chunky version. But not bad either. If I keep up with the apples and nut butter thing for breakfast, that can reduce my chances of going through the drive thru for a couple McGriddles and a shake...which would be awful(ly awesome) and my healthier breakfast is more satisfying anyways (or so I'll tell myself). I'll be fair and toss a three at it, and same goes for the wife.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Mixed Nut Butter: 6 out of 10 Golden Spoons

14 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review. The label makes it sound awesome. I'm glad you reviewed it because I hate wasting money and it sounds like I would not like it.

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  2. I disagree . This is my new favorite nut butter and replaced all the others -can definitely taste the walnuts !

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  3. I think the flavor is excellent...in fact, I'm down to my last few spoonfuls in the jar I picked up last week (granted, it's a small jar). But the runny texture is a huge problem...I can't even put it on a rice cake without it dripping off the edge. I wish someone could figure out how to get other nut butters to the textural perfection of Jif!! First world problems...;)

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    1. I have had the same problem with Trader Joe's almond butter, so now I make my own. It is quick and easy if you have a Ninja or something similar. At my TJ's dry roasted unsalted almonds are $5.99/lb, so it is pretty comparable in price. I have also made PB with the new dry roasted unsalted Valencia (I think) peanuts...delicious and great texture/consistency! Just FYI, I refrigerate my homemade nut butters.

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  4. Disagree (or maybe the batches aren't mixed well) my jar has a strong hazelnut and Brazil nut flavor with a touch of walnut and absolutely no almond or cashew flavor. Plus I thought the pecans would be noticeable as they have a unique flavor, but nope. It's good but it's mostly a hazelnut spread...at least my jar.

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  5. I grew up on JIF, and that is the one and only commercial pb I will eat. But I started making my own to be healthier. It's not nearly as tasty or addictive, which I choose to see as a positive, since I don't eat nearly as much now. Certainly not straight out of the jar for lunch.

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  6. I love this stuff!!! I usually buy salted nut butter so since this one is so low in sodium i added a pinch to my jar and stirred it in which amplified the nutty flavors. It is rather drippy but after a night in the back coldest part of the fridge it firmed up enough for me.

    The mix of nuts makes it hard to identify a flavor but it is certainly delicious. I have been dribbling it over my plain greek yogurt for breakfast, dipping apple slices in it, and used it for a nutty noodle sauce with some soy sauce and cilantro.
    Ttrockwood

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    1. Oooo...this would good for some noodles! About perfect for it, actually. Good suggestion! :)

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    2. I live bittman's recipe for them, i use more scallions and add fresh cilantro, skip the cucumber. Just don't rinse noodles in cold water if you want them hot. And the cold leftovers are awesome

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  7. Peanut butter beer??? Whaaaaa?

    Fellow peanut butter addict. I have taken to those little Jif cups so I can maintain some semblance of portion control and eat it before or after working out. I can justify anything! lol

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  8. I LOVE McGriddles too! And now that they're available ALL day I'm finding it hard to resist temptation! Ha ha! Anyway, I kinda like this nut butter.

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  9. I don't agree with you at all. I personally thought this was the best tasting nut butter I've ever tried, and I would eat this nut butter every day! It's supposed to have that consistency because it requires refrigeration. Putting it in the fridge will make it thicker. The instructions say stir and refrigerate. They want you to refrigerate it because some of the nut butters in there don't survive well at room temperature without a preservative and become stale. Jif is so unhealthy, they've had many salmonella contaminations over the years and the warehouses are filthy. Not to mention they treat the peanuts with harmful chemicals. If you want a good healthy peanut butter try Once Again Organic no-stir peanut butter. And by the way, I'm really glad they didn't put peanuts in this as they give me digestion problems and many people are allergic to them.

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  10. As much as I love Trader Joe for the bulk of my groceries, I still make trips to the more conventional grocery store chains for my beloved Jif! Gotta be the Jif, not Skippy, not Peter Pan, not nothing else but Jif.

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  11. I definitely disagree (and It's not totally fair to have a nut butter disliker judging a nut butter).

    I think it's delicious! To me, the hazelnuts are the dominant flavor and I've been enjoying dipping dark chocolate into it. Refrigerating it does help to thicken it up. I bet it would be amazing with cocoa powder and something sweet mixed into it (Nutella dupe!).

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