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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Blondies

Peanut butter and jelly surrounds my life.

It's a quick, easy, portable, cheap meal that can be reasonably nutritious. I'll slap one together real quick when running out the door early to work. Chances are, on whatever day you're reading this, that I had one this morning. I have kids who love pb&j, so there's always making them for their school lunches (admittedly we'll usually use sunflower seed butter then). If we're going somewhere (baseball game, amusement park, state park, beach, road trip, etc) chances are we'll make then instead of taking out a second mortgage for concession stand fare or subjecting ourselves to McD's. They're not the worst in a pinch...but still. Rarely a week, or heck even a day, goes by without me making some sort of pb&j type concoction. It's a staple.

That being I really want/need one as a dessert?

That's the "problem" with Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Blondies. Full name: Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Blondies with Strawberry Filling Topped with a Crispy Peanut Butter Confection. Jeez. That rivals a Fiona Apple album title for length.

Back to these psuedo-sammiches. That's what I call them...because that's what these blondies taste like. There's plenty of peanut butter layered on, just the way I like, with a thin layer of strawberry jelly. Kinda surprised it's strawberry, as the first impression was that it's pretty tart. I almost suspected mild raspberry and not strawberry. Still, it works.

Those two elements override the taste and feel of anything else. I suppose the blondie brownie in there could be a fine tasting base...but with all that rich peanut butter and jelly on top, I can't really taste it and my brain defaults to it being cold, dense bread, like bread that got a little too chilled and smushed when wedged in a cooler. That's not a bad taste....but I wanted to taste the blondie, too. I can't.

That "peanut butter confection" on top admittedly adds a real nice touch. It's like some sort of crispy dust and is about the only taste/texture cue that this is not a regular peanut butter jelly sandwich. I like it and hope it can be sold seperately somehow...I'm salivating at thinking of it as an ice cream topping.

Anyways, these aren't terrible treats. Sandy and I like the peanut butter blondies just fine. They are one of those "thaw out" type dessert deals that are sold frozen, and a serving size is two of the little square bites. They're rich enough that just one will really do. Strangely, our kids aren't too fond for whatever reason. Weirdos. Still, I wish they were somehow more "treat-like" and less "sandwich-like" if that makes sense. Eh well. They're definitely not bad as is.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Blondies: 6.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Trader Joe's Organic Strawberry Beet Berry Whole Milk Yogurt

It's always baffled me why some nutrition information panels give the stats for a single serving as well as for the entire package. I mean, if it's a sandwich that could theoretically function as a snack if you eat half or a meal if you eat the whole thing, I get that...sorta. But in this case, I can't feature anyone being like, "I'm gonna down four yogurt packs one right after the other and I really need the nutrition info for the entire box." For one thing, this yogurt is quite thick and filling, and one is more than satisfying. 

Furthermore, even in that odd instance that you do chug all four packs at once, most of the stats can easily be calculated in your head. I mean, we all know that 3g of fat times four is 13g. 

3 x 4 = 13. 

Right? Or that the percentage of daily value for cholesterol per serving, in this case 3%, is 17% if you have all four packs. 

3 x 4 = 17.

Am I right? Somebody check my math. Ah, that's silly. These are simple equations. I'm sure I got them all right.

Anyway, I'm just being silly. I know there's some loophole where you can round down grams and percentages to lower numbers if you want to make something look healthier than it actually is, and I've seen such paradoxical statistics before on nutrition information panels. I'm just giving TJ's a hard time. They're just rounding down some numbers.

Know what else they should round down? The packaging. I'm not super ecologically-minded, but it was just Earth Day recently, and this is some of the most overdone packaging I've ever seen from Trader Joe's. The box is enormous. Couldn't they have tied some string around the necks of these squeeze bottles to bind them all together? Even the squeeze bottles themselves are too big. The caps are gigantic. And if you've got people downing all four in one sitting, you might as well just put the whole kit and caboodle in a single plastic bottle.

But I guess the squeezability factor is a must here. This is some thick yogurt. Some people might enjoy that, but if I'm going to be drinking the yogurt, I prefer it a bit thinner and milkier. It's about as thick as regular, spoonable, non-drinkable yogurt. I guess there's nothing that suggests this yogurt has to be drunk. The squeeze pouches could be used to administer small amounts of yogurt to granola, fruit, or smoothies, I suppose, but if that's the case, the packaging seems even more ridiculous.

The flavor is fine. It's berry berry. Get it? I meant "very berry," but I said...nevermind. The spring pollen makes me loopy. 

There's a faint hint of beets in this product. Beets are listed just after strawberries in the ingredients list. The overall berry flavor isn't super sweet, either. It's a little more tart than other berry yogurts I've tried. Pretty much everything is organic, which is good.

$4.29 for the pack. It's a bit pricy for what you get if you ask me. I'd take kefir over these, or most other types of drinkable yogurt. Three and a half stars from Sonia. Three from me.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.

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