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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Trader Joe's Dill Pickle Mini Falafel

In case you're new here, I should mention that I really love chickpeas and chickpea derivative products like hummus and falafel. Neither Sonia nor I are vegan or vegetarian, but we both enjoy Mediterranean dishes and we've reviewed numerous other falafel products from Trader Joe's right here on this very blog. See: Trader Joe's Heat & Eat Falafel, Trader Joe's Falafel Chips, and Trader Joe's Falafel Mix. And we've reviewed a bunch of pickle-flavored stuff, too.

Evidently, this pickle falafel has been around for at least two years. Not sure how it evaded my sights all this time, but we're finally getting around to buying and trying it now. Better late than never, I always say.

Only conventional oven and microwave heating instructions are listed on the bag, but a quick internet search revealed that 390° for 7 minutes in an air fryer works just fine too. The product smells faintly of dill pickle and other falafel spices like garlic and onion. They're called "mini falafel" because they're about half the size of your typical falafel ball. They're still a bit too big to be considered "bite-sized" but they're headed in that direction.

The pickle taste is faint but there. It compliments the flavor of the garbanzo bean base. Anything you'd pair with traditional falafel would work with this product—tzatziki, hummus, tabouli, tahini, or zhoug. You could serve it with rice, pita, or a salad. Or you could do like we did and make falafel soft tacos with tzatziki, shredded cheese, and arugula in a flour tortilla. Yum.

They're crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and quite dense. They're not too dry, not too oily, and plenty versatile.

They contain canola oil, as many TJ's products do, which we're not thrilled about, but all things considered they're tasty and convenient and we'll each throw out a score of 8/10. $4.29 for the 12 ounce bag, found in the frozen section. Vegan. We would buy Trader Joe's Dill Pickle Mini Falafel again.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Monday, July 15, 2024

Trader Joe's Organic Peanut Butter & Cocoa Crunch Cereal

I never got that tagline from Kix cereal. "Kid tested, mother approved." Sounds like the kids didn't like it that much. They tested it, but they didn't necessarily approve of it. Mom had to force them to eat it after they tried it once.

And yeah, this is basically Kix with a peanut butter chocolate twist. I could have sworn there were already Peanut Butter Kix and maybe even Chocolate Peanut Butter Kix, but apparently I've shifted into a parallel reality yet again because after a few internet queries there is no evidence of either such cereal having existed on this particular timeline. Must be all that time travel I've been doing. I digress.

I think adults will like this organic, kosher, gluten free cereal well enough. There's just the right amount of chocolate and peanut butter flavor to keep it interesting. Will kids like it? Some long as they haven't been spoiled with name brand chocolate coated sugar bombs too badly. I would have enjoyed this as a kid. I was a weird kid, though. I'm still kinda weird. But most of you have probably figured that out by now.

The cereal is quite crunchy, as the name suggests. It might almost be on the verge of too crunchy for my taste. It didn't scrape up the roof of my mouth too badly, but my teeth ached a tad after finishing my bowl. Of course, the morsels are slightly softer after having soaked in milk for a few minutes, but they still pack a significant crunch factor.

$3.49 for the seven serving box. I'd buy the Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola again before I'd reach for this product, but it's nothing to complain about. Seven out of ten stars from me for Trader Joe's Organic Peanut Butter & Cocoa Crunch Cereal. Sonia gives it eight out of ten.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

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