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Friday, September 15, 2017

Trader Joe's Organic Pumpkin Spice Granola Bark

It's mid September.....where's all the pumpkin spice!?!?!?!?

Seems to be a later debut this year for the everything pumpkin spice product glut that routinely churns out in the waning days of summer. It is still summer, technically...but seems like most years the yoga pant and Uggs-clad line at the Starbucks at Target is in its third week of being backed all the way up to the Taylor Swift albums by now. Gotta get those PSLs! Not so much this year...and that's alright by me. Never been a huge pumpkin spice guy, never will be, but will dabble some here and there when something intriguing pops up.

Something like Trader Joe's Organic Pumpkin Spice Granola Bark.

Trader Joe's is chief offender for pumpkin spice productopalooza. I mean, look at every pumpkin spice foodstuff we've reviewed...that's not exhaustive, despite the best efforts of the Rodgers clan and our little growing fam here in Western PA. It's gonna get worse this year, I'm positive, so might us well bite the bullet and get it started.

Better yet, I'll take another bite of the granola bark, please.

It's legitimately good. And serious. This isn't kid stuff or some pseudo-nutro Nature Valley type of deal. I mean, just take a look - big, thick, hefty squares of granola, tightly packed with rolled oats and pureed pumpkin, 75% enrobed in a respectably thick layer of 66% dark chocolate, then sprinkled with big ol' roasted pepitas. Each bite is dense, thick, stiff, chewy...don't be like me and accidentally swallow a small unchewed shard, cuz it HURTS. But the granola is very satisfying to gnaw on, and once it settles in your belly, it'll keep ya full.

Even the pumpkin spice accents are a nice touch. I finally figured out that it's the cloves that can make or break a pumpkin spice product - a little too much is way too much. Here, the cloves seem nicely balanced with the ginger and cinnamon and nutmeg to add a nice little warming glow to the otherwise slightly sweetened granola. Earthy oats and all, with a little maple syrup for sweetness, a little spice sprinkled works, nicely. A little more cinnamon would be appreciated but not necessary.

The flaw, albeit minor, is the interplay of the dark chocolate and pumpkin spice. They've always seemed odd bedfellows...the two don't jive for me. Must be a popular enough combo for most folks, but it's a little confusing to my it supposed to be sweet or savory? The answer's probably both, but the two competing essences cancel enough of each other out to leave it somewhere in the middle.

Oh well. Sandy and I have enjoyed this purchase and I'm sure we'll pick it up a couple more times until pumpkin spice season goes back into hibernation in a couple months. For $3.99 for a respectable sized bag, it's not a bad deal. Good snack, and in a pinch could be used as a morning psuedo breakfast with some coffee and maybe some yogurt or an apple or something. Not bad for our first foray this year.

Bottom line: trader Joe's Organic Pumpkin Spice Granola Bark: 7.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. And it is vegan! It might contain traces of milk so it not 100% vegan. Anyways... I got the gut feeling we will be seeing more new pumpkin stuff.

    1. I don't know why TJs stopped putting the helpful "V" logo on stuff...??! It's totally vegan which is exciting. They add the "may contain traces of" for items processed in the same facility for those with severe allergies.

  2. I am not a pumpkin spice addict but this looks fantastic! And nice that they kept the added sugar so low. Looks like the perfect sturdy snack for my late afternoons!


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