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Friday, January 30, 2015

Trader Joe's Fruit Bar with Flax & Chia Seeds

After clobbering you with gelatochocolatecookie butter productssriracha-fied goodies, and incredibly fattening broccoli this month, it's time to look at something not so indulgent (i.e., boring.) And to that end, these fruit bars are perfect. If you've ever dreamed of stacking like 4 or 5 normal fruit leather bars on top of one another and then using that stack to scrape the mucilaginous seed coating off your Chia Pet, then this product's for you.

They're filling, fruity, and sweet, but they're pretty heavy on the chia seeds, which makes them moderately gritty. It also makes them hearty. This little bar is more effective at curbing temporary hunger than it might look. For under a buck, it's a decent mid-day snack, and it's probably a healthier choice than, say, a Snickers bar.

The overall flavor is kinda strawberry-ish, though you can see there on the list that we've got multiple fruit ingredients going on including apple, pear, elderberry, and even lemon juice. It's slightly tart, as well as naturally-sugary—fructosey, if you will...

If you're a fruit bar enthusiast, definitely check these out. Though, an even less-indulgent choice with impressive flavor might be the Fruit + Fruit Bars we looked at a while back. For me, if I'm craving a fruit leather-ish snack, I'd probably reach for the smaller, cheaper (though, admittedly, less-filling) "fruit wraps."

Another 3.5 from me, 4 from Sonia.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups

By now, some of you have figured out that Russ and I are indeed trying to make you fat. It's time to come clean. 

We've actually been hired by the Illuminati to help make America more obese, and therefore more docile and more easily controlled, for when they roll out the New World Order. They're targeting an audience interested in a grocery store that's known for being kinda sorta healthy, and hoping we'll steer the clientele towards the more decadent desserts instead of fruits and stuff. You know something's fishy when the guy who's on a paleo diet starts handing out cookie butter sandwich cookies to the populace at large.

However, rebellious young lad that I am, I must risk life and limb to defy the orders of my scheming handlers this time and tell you all that this is not a "must-buy" item in our humble opinions, and to save your precious calories for some other cookie butter product or even, heaven forbid, something kinda sorta healthy. So why review it at all, you ask?

Easy. The phrase "COOKIE. BUTTER." is clickbait. You guys click it every time. Thank you for that, by the way. Next time, I'm going to put up a Facebook post with something like "COOKIE. BUTTER. WIENERSCHNITZEL." and see how that goes. Cookie butter wienerschnitzel is not a real product, by the way, at least as far as I know.

But what IS a real product is this cookie butter candy bar that we looked at before. And it's almost exactly the same as these cookie butter cups. Neither product is bad. If either were my first cookie butter experience, I would probably be swooning. We just feel like the dark chocolate overshadows the cookie butter flavor in both cases—perhaps even more so in the case of the cups. I think the dark chocolate to cookie butter ratio might be even higher here. Both Sonia and I feel this way, and I must note that Sonia is a much bigger fan of dark chocolate than I am. I'd still love to try something with cookie butter and white chocolate—which yes, I know, is bad for you—but then again, I am supposed to be making you all fat.

Both Sonia and I were surprised at the firmness of the outer chocolate shell, a fact which Margaret over at the Impulsive Buy noted, too—in fact, it's significantly firmer than your standard Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. I'd say that's another weakness of the product, but if you like firm, dark chocolate, this just might be your thing.

In the end, it's a set of 3.5's from the lovely Sonia and I.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

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