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Friday, July 21, 2017

Trader Joe's Coconut Cream Greek Yogurt

It was not my original plan to review a second Greek yogurt in a single week. But Russ is holding down the non-yogurt fort with wit and swagger, as he's known to do.

Neither was it in my original plan to take a single picture of the product at hand in soft focus with my crusty phone camera. I took nutrition pics as well, but they were perfectly unreadable—so here's a link for those if you're interested.

Lord knows if you knew what Sonia and I went through yesterday, you'd be in awe that a review is being posted today at all. I won't go into the details, but I will tell you that our misadventures involved not one, but two, calls to the local police, both of which resulted in officers and squad cars on the scene, a house with no electricity and no water, a shady eviction case, multiple sleazy lawyers, and a national crime syndicate bent on benefiting the elite at the expense of the middle class and destroying all that's good in the process. I admit that last point may be a bit open to interpretation, but you'll understand when the epic novel comes out next year...or maybe I'll just blog about it somewhere other than here.

At any rate, at some point during the course of those events, I opened up the fridge in our RV to find something refreshing to snack on and stumbled upon this, which was undoubtedly purchased along with the avocado yogurt on our last TJ's run.

Cool, creamy, and super coconutty, this variety is the perfect Greek yogurt flavor. It is the antithesis of avocado yogurt—as surprisingly tasty as the avocado version was disappointing. I've had plenty of coconut yogurts in my day, and plenty of coconut cream flavored desserts, and the flavor of this product is on par with the best of them, in my opinion.

It isn't quite as sour and tangy as other Greek yogurt flavors, but there is still that distinctly Greek essence somehow—it's just more subtle here. It combines with the sweetness of the coconut in a unique way. There are coconut slivers/shavings throughout the product, which provide a nice little something to the texture.

In short, if you enjoy coconut flavored desserts, I can't see you not liking this stuff.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Trader Joe's Gluten Free Cheese Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust

A few weeks back, we put out a review of a TJ's cauliflower pizza crust, and had kinda mixed review. Haven't had it since. Main issue was the texture - it just didn't feel like actual pizza crust. Too wet and dense and soggy. Since then, from what we understand, the prep instructions have been revamped to baking before topping the crust, then baking again. Seems like a high likelihood of that working out - we just haven't seen it in stores to try for ourselves. Have you? Let us know.

Semi-relatedly, here's Trader Joe's Gluten Free Cheese Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust. Pizza with all the guesswork taken out of it - slide out of box, insert in oven. No fuss, no muss.

Now, I have no need to follow a gluten-free diet - I have a preference to, when convenient, just out of occasional adherence to a semi-paleo friendly diet.* Helped me lose a lot of weight, helps me keep it off. That being said, it's hard for me to not compare gluten free products to their glutenfull counterparts, and usually, I find them a little "lacking" or "not to my taste" or whatever simply because of what I'm used to.

But...I'm really surprised by this cauli-crusted pizza here. I am going to make the comparison to a "normal" cheese freezer pizza, and feel very comfortable doing so. Mostly because, side by side, i don't think I could tell them apart. Seriously. The crust here gets crispy, a little crackery, while browning up easily and keeping all together. Must be the rice flour and all mixed in. It tastes and feels as "normal" as it can.

Nothing too special about the cheese or sauce - it's the standard fare. One can easily top the pizza with whatever kind of toppings you'd like, and it'd work for sure. Nothing to really stand in the way - it's just a cheese pizza. Which is a compliment, I think.

The pizza cost $4.99, which sounds maybe a little high at first, but for what it is versus comparable products, it's a reasonable enough value. I'm not sure Sandy and I will make a huge deal out of making a repeat purchase of it, but we all liked it enough. Even our now five year old, who easily turns up her nose at anything she doesn't like - she ate almost half the pizza herself. Not too much else to say - a good pizza that's not quite upper crust.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Gluten Free Cheese Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons.

* Yes I realize there are very few things less Paleo friendly than a plain cheese pizza.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Trader Joe's Avocado Citrus Greek Yogurt

Avocados are simply delicious. When they're just ripe, there's nothing like 'em. We're huge fans of putting them in salads, sandwiches, burgers, quesadillas, or anything else we can justify throwing them into. And who doesn't like chips and guacamole?

But yogurt? That seems just a little weird to me—almost along the same lines as putting bacon in a chocolate bar or elephant dung in candy bites...well, okay, that last one isn't actually a thing...yet. But you get the picture: it almost seems like certain products carry a bit of shock value just by stating their name. And if it works, great. But if it doesn't...everybody's like, "Um yeah, I didn't think that would work, so why did TJ's?"

Case in point: avocado yogurt. It doesn't sound like it should work, and in my humble opinion, it simply doesn't. The best part about this product is that it doesn't really taste that much like avocados. It's much more citrusy than avocado-y. But there's enough avocado to make your mouth a bit confused. It's sweeter and more citrusy than yogurt-based guacamole, but it's sour and tangy like most Greek yogurt, and then there's still that distinct, earthy, almost nutty essence of avocado—and at least my personal taste buds insist that it just doesn't belong in yogurt.

I gave it the old college try, but I'm not feeling it. Two stars from me. If it had been "Citrus Greek Yogurt with a Hint of Avocado," then maybe, just maybe it could have worked. Interesting concept though, I guess. And I don't feel super let-down, because my expectations for this product were much lower than the ones I had for, say, the PB&J Greek Yogurt

Sonia's only comment: "I don't hate it, but it's just weird." Three stars.

Bottom line: 5 out of 10.

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