Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Trader Joe's Amped-Up Almonds

Whenever I think of things that are "amped-up" or amplified, I think of the classic scene from This Is Spinal Tap when Christopher Guest's character explains to Rob Reiner that his Marshall stacks are unique because "they go to 11." And then Rob Reiner asks why the band doesn't just make 10 louder. There's this brilliant awkward pause and then Christopher Guest goes "...these go to 11." I lol every time.

I'm not sure if an amplifier that goes to 11 is really any better than a regular amp that only goes to 10...and similarly, I'm not sure if these Trader Joe's Amped-Up Almonds are any better than regular chocolate-covered almonds, either. Maybe I'd feel differently if I did hardcore strength training more often, because these almonds are obviously optimized as a pre-workout snack. 16g of protein per serving...and 29g of fat per serving. Hmmm. I'm sure it's good fat, and I'm sure it gets burned off if you're benching your bodyweight for ten reps and you've got less than 15% body fat to begin with.

But hey, I'll leave all that worky outy stuff to the fitness experts and let you know what I think of these little guys just as a stand-alone snack for an average person.

There's a rather thick coating of chocolate here. And it tastes kind of like a chocolate protein shake rather than just plain confectionary chocolate. No wonder. It has pea protein in it. It's not so much pea protein that it ruins the candy aspect of the product, but it is enough pea protein that you can taste something a little health-food-ish, for lack of a better term. It pushes the product's flavor in the direction of "earthy" just ever so slightly, and it pushes the product's texture in the direction of "chalky" just ever so slightly. 

The almonds are pretty much what you'd expect—nice, whole, nut-tacular almonds. There are certain nuts I never get tired of, and almonds are definitely in that category. They've got a good amount of protein just on their own and they work well in all kinds of snacks and desserts. This particular version of almonds is most definitely filling and energizing. For $1.29, it's a lot of bang for your buck in terms of protein and fat, all in a convenient single serving pouch.

Sonia thinks they taste a little weird. They do. For that reason, we'll probably reach for a different almond snack next time we're at TJ's. If you're a gym rat looking to put on pounds of lean muscle, these might be a great choice for a pre-workout energy boost.

Three stars a piece from Sonia and me.

Bottom line: 6 out of 10.


  1. Can you folks add pics of what the food items actually look like out of the packaging? I do love the nutritional info, but I’d love to see what the food looks like out of the package/prepared. Thank you & keep up the great work!

  2. If you love the taste of water from a household blow-up pool, then these are the “treats” for you.

    Typically I love everything Trader Joe’s has to offer. But when it comes to this bag of plastic pool water tasting candies, it’s an easy HARD PASS.

    If you think I’m being critical, go ahead and buy them, and be prepared to instantly return them.

    I am one of those humans who loves black licorice and thinks cilantro tastes like soap. I’d love to hear other comments.

  3. Oh wow, surprised to see this review and comments. If you are used to saccharine sweet Hershey's bars, Reese's PB cups, and M&Ms, and are impressed by store-bought sugar cookies, then yes, these Amped-Up Almonds aren't that. (They are far superior...) I prefer to let the taste of the chocolate and the nuts shine, not drown in sugar.

  4. I liked them and will purchase again.

  5. I have bought these Amped Up Almonds several times and like them a lot. They satisfy my sweet tooth and I kinda consider them a healthy dessert. As of a few weeks ago (January, 2022) they were out of stock and employee told me I could not order them. She said they were not discontinued so I don't know what's going on with them.