Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
And so on and so on with a few little pithy adages, but let's start off the new year with some initial impressions of the new Trader Joe's Crunchy Almond Butter Puffs Cereal.
C'mon, that sounds awesome, right? Boom. First impression made.
Take a look at it, too. It's rice and quinoa based, so no gluten. And as a lowkey bonus, read the description: it's not just almond butter, which is tasty enough in its own right if not a tad plain...but also cocoa powder too! So this can be a healthyesque breakfast cereal that tastes like a buttercup maybe! This train is gaining some traction here. Choochoo!
But then hold the box, or even better, try to open it. The bag inside too. Perhaps the first clue that something is a bit off. The cardboard stock to make the actual cereal box is...odd. It's not the familiar type, but instead sturdier, glossier, stockier, more rigid. It feels odd. If you happen to take a look at the bottom flaps, you'd notice it's folded together, not glued and sealed. Kinda odd, but sturdy enough given the materials. But whatever glue was spared on the bottom was more than accounted for atop, as man, these flaps didn't want to open. There's some serious papercut potential here. But once you past that, you're finally on to the big boss: the bag. It's thicker and heavier and glued way tighter than it should for easy manual opening - I gave up and used scissors to avoid unnecessary cereal explosions all over the floor. lord knows my kids do enough of those themselves.
Finally, take a bite. Or try to. These puffs are hard. "Crunchy" is an understatement. Looking thru ingredients, because it can't be just rice and quinoa..aha. Cassava flour, too. There it is. All those flours come together to make some sort of cereal kernel that's then coated in almond butter and rolled in cocoa powder. The result: a jaw-achingly crunchy cereal. Tired out my molars for sure, and if you'd think milk would soften it up, you'd be wrong.
Speaking of milk...I'd say skip it altogether for these poundy puffs. Not only does it not really appreciably soften the crunch, but it seems to cover up all the taste, too. Indeed, if eaten more as a dry snack, the flavors come out a bit more: the earthy grains, the nutty almond butter, the little tastes of cocoa here and there. It's fairly subtle and actually pretty tasty without being too much of a sugarbomb. Delicious, really. While breakfast may be important, sometimes a snack is so much better.
So there you have it. It remains to be seen how often we'll pick up the almond butter puffs for the $4 or so it set us back. I'm definitely not in as love with them as I thought I would, but I don't horribly mind them either. Some matching threes sounds about right.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Crunchy Almond Butter Puffs Cereal: 6 out of 10 Golden Spoons.