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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Trader Joe's Crunchy Nutty Rice Bites with Quinoa & Cranberries

The little description on the back of the bag states: "When a lack of snacks is what ails you, a handful of Crunchy Nutty Rice Bites with Quinoa & Cranberries is the cure." How appropriate after having just watched A Cure for Wellness last night. What a disturbing film—I mean, genius in many ways, but thoroughly psychologically disturbing. What's even more disturbing is that I can readily identify with characters in such films far more than, say, anything that might be considered a normal family film. 

But if you've seen the movie, you'll know why I was immediately reluctant to consume something that a random quack medicine man claims is a "cure" for what ails me. The cover art, featuring one of the crunchy nutty rice bites levitating supernaturally over a pair of hands and radiating some sort of angelic rays, didn't help the case for these mysterious snacks.

But try them I did, and honestly, I'm not sure if I'm relieved at this point, because these things are so addicting, I'm a little worried there's more to them than their constituent parts listed on the ingredients. I mean, I've tried plenty of crispy ricey snacky things before, and plenty of treats laden with cranberries and quinoa, but none have had quite the same appeal as these sweet, crunchy bites—at least nothing in recent memory.

At first glance, some of the nuggets resemble little square pieces of sushi, with multiple muted colors resting on bite-sized beds of rice. But the similarities to sushi end there, as these rice bites flaunt a brittle crispness and surprising amount of sweetness. Tartness from a generous amount of cranberries tends to shine through in most of the pieces.

There's also a nuttiness in the majority of bites which I'd attribute to the pumpkin seeds before either almonds or cashews, or quinoa for that matter. I mean, there's definitely quinoa in there, but the fact that it's mentioned in the title of the snack seems more of a gimmick than anything else. I guess "pumpkin seeds" or "pepitas" just doesn't get the granola crowd riled up like "quinoa" apparently does.

I'm gonna go with four and a half here. 

According to Sonia, they're kinda like "healthy, dry Rice Krispies Treats." That about sums it up. Four stars from her.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.


  1. I just found these and they are amazing!

  2. Did you finish the bag in one sitting? I got mine and I'm afraid to open it cause I won't be able to stop!

    1. It wasn't in one sitting, but the bag didn't last more than 12 hours once opened...I mean I could have finished it in one sitting...

    2. Just opened mine today. Definitely not a filling snack and can really plow through at once. ;) This is more like puffed rice randomly decorated with sweetened cranberries and sparse pumpkin seeds. I prefer high protein proportion...

      I wished TJ would come out with nut bars like Kind bars (my go to snacks on the go) but without the chocolate.

    3. Good idea. And they could call them Trader Joe's Nice Bars or Trader Joe's Amiable Bars or something like that.

  3. I smeared peanut butter on mine and it was delicious! :D I thought the cranberries were over sweetened and overpowered the other flavors, but the PB helped tone down the sweetness.


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