Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Trader Joe's Protein Muffins

Mornings can be tough, especially these past few months. Wake up after another hot summer night to a hot summer day, doing the same thing all over again because what else can you do? There's no end in sight to it either, like it's some sort of strange bizarro Groundhog Day realm we're stuck in.

It doesn't help that both Sandy and I are dabbling with intermittent fasting, as it seems the trendy thing to do these days, although with somewhat mixed results. And our kids have taken on the habit of not eating all that much dinner most nights, so needless to say, when it's time for my lovely bride and I to start eating for the day around 10:30am, we're hungry, and the kids are clamoring for an early elevensies after second breakfast wore off, and sometimes a little mix up is nice. You know, to keep it lively....or something.

I guess that's why we've been giving Trader Joe's Protein Muffins the ol' college try. As you can see, at present there are two varieties, Dark Chocolate and Maple. They're both similar in concept and ingredients - cassava and almond flour base, some coconut flour tossed in, milk protein isolate (as appetizing as that sounds), egg powder (very appetizing) and a few more things to round it all out. It's a powder in the cup, add a little water, stir like mad, nuke for a minute, and voila! It's a warm spongy muffinesque thing in a cup ! Now that sounds most appetizing of all!

Truth be told, I'm surprised by how decent both varieties are. There's nothing too "weird" about either one, and neither put off overwhelmingly healthy vibes. I can tell this is true by how my kids were fighting over the last couple teeny bites - if there was anything "off" about them in the slightest, they'd detect it.

The dark chocolate, also surprisingly, was the winner in our house, for kids and grownups. The chocolate isn't that  dark, but offers a respectable richness without being overly sweet. The real winning bit is there's a small handful of chocolate chips sprinkles in that got a little melty but still have some bite - you get one of those, you've won! It's really, and again pretty surprisingly, good. i'd eat 'em again for sure.

As for the maple, think of a pancake that absorbed a bunch of maple syrup. That's how this muffins feels and tastes. Good? Absolutely! But for a muffin, it's missing something, like it needs one more ingredient. Personally I'd love a few pecans in there, that'd make them killer. The chocolate version had the chips to bite into, the maple one has....nothing. Good maple, though, which is always a winner in my book so I judge not too harshly lest I be judged. Maybe I'll supply my own nuts next time.

Make out of the nutritionals what you will. As is par for the course, both have a lot of fat, a surprisingly high amount of sodium, a large chunk of your daily cholesterol. Gluten free, if that's a plus for you. Sandy said the protein muffins were better than giving our kids a straight up sugar bomb to eat...likely true, but yeah, there's a lot of that too. On the plus side they certainly quelled our hunger for a couple hours, and they go well with a cup of coffee. I'm hoping the muffins will stick around for a while into the fall and winter where they could be a good warm yo'self treat then too.

$1.99 each. Maybe that's a good price? Sorry, not in the microwavable single use cup protein muffin market much these days aside from TJ's. Will likely buy 'em again...and again...and again...just like everything else this summer. Again.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Protein Muffins: 8.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Trader Joe's Maple Protein Muffins: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons


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  2. Nothing new here. Same old story of excessively high salt content, with lots of added sugars and fat.
    I'll try an apple with some almond butter instead.

  3. Had these the other day! I think the chocolate one actually does not come with almond flour, which was very nice: eating the maple one reminded me that I was slightly allergic to almonds.

  4. Loved the maple muffin with a bit of real maple syrup. Delicious!

  5. could not get them to cook properly no matter how I tried: one part 'muffin' and one part batter. cookie dough is good, muffin batter not so much. I don't think it was my microwave since I've seen more folks have this issue. I would try it again if someone had a brilliant idea that would make it work -- just cooking longer was not the key

    1. had the same issue. Maybe used too much water...not sure

    2. In case anyone is still reading this, I had good results on my microwave at 3 min 15 seconds at 60% power. I'm using one of the small, countertop microwaves, so if you have a higher powered model, your mileage may vary, but that worked for me for both models