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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Trader Joe's Vanilla Overnight Oats

As I sit here in the early morning hours of New Years Eve 2019, eating some Trader Joe's Vanilla Overnight Oats, I can't help but think about life a little bit.

It's kinda like oatmeal, isn't it?

Sometimes it's pretty good, other times it can be a lot better. You gotta take your lumps and move on. Sometimes it's better to stir it up a little, other times it's best to let it be and wait.

And to relate a little further to these new(ish) overnight's definitely a little nutty, but overall sweet. It's perishable, so take proper care. And sometimes there's no shame in taking the easy, convenient route to get through whatever lies ahead of you, as long as you're prepared ahead of time.

Okay, enough of the life's not like I'm some Ralph Marston-esque guru. I'm just a 37 year old dude who ate some oatmeal, dangit, and I stayed in my own bed last night, not at a Holiday Express. Let's talk oatmeal.

This particular overnight oats seems really heavy on the almond flavor, coming from the almond milk/beverage the oats were soaked in. If you're not an almond fan, keep away...but at least it's good almond flavor. If I had some actual nuts to sprinkle in, I would just to mix it up a bit. There's also a decent amount of vanilla to really sweeten up everything, too. No added sugar needed, and that comes from a sugar junkie. There is a bit of a sticky sweet aftertaste that lingers on, which abates quickly with a little coffee or fruit.

It was surprising to see dates on the ingredient list, because they're imperceptible in pretty much every way. I don't taste them and I don't feel them. Of course, as in real life, dates can be really sneaky...let's move on, please.

As one would expect, the TJ overnight oats are a bit cold and somewhat lumpy but not in a gross way. I'm not smart enough to know if it's okay to heat them up, as the package gave no microwave instructions. I don't see why not except for maybe moving the oats to a microwave safe dish.

Not bad for $1.99. The oats are decent enough quality and there's a lot of convenience here, which always comes at a premium. I'm not sure I'd stock up on them personally, but for my lovely bride and I, it probably wouldn't be bad to have a couple around for one of our trademark crazy mornings on the run. That's just life, all rolled up and ready to go, and it's not bad.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Vanilla Overnight Oats: 7.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Monday, December 23, 2019

Trader Joe's Cultured Coconut Milk Nog

If you want super creamy eggnog without the dairy, this product is for you. I know there's almond nog, but this stuff is great for folks that want something a lot thicker—a snack rather than a beverage.

Sonia thought Trader Joe's Cultured Coconut Nog tasted more like coconut and less like nog. I felt the opposite. It's definitely a bit coconutty, but then again coconut yogurt tends to be that way. I was surprised how forward the nog spices were in this instance.

We've tried at least one other kind of cultured coconut from Trader Joe's, and all in all, I liked that blueberry flavor better. But this one isn't bad, and it's seasonal, festive, and noggy as it wants to be. The little coconut wearing a scarf is a nice touch on the packaging. I always wonder who does these illustrations. You'd think there would be animation studio execs busting down the doors of TJ's creative department trying to hire these folks to make the next Charlie Brown Christmas, but with coconuts wearing winter clothing instead of Peanuts characters. 

Anyway, Trader Joe's Cultured Coconut Nog is thicker than any drinkable nog, very much flaunting the texture of normal yogurt. It looks just like regular yogurt, too, with just a few flecks of nutmeg and cinnamon floating around in the mixture. Flavor-wise, it's a little unusual to taste coconut and "eggnog" side by side like this, but it's not disagreeable at all—a very pleasant pairing, by my estimation. I'm surprised cultured coconut "yogurts" aren't more popular, considering how ubiquitous milk allergies and lactose intolerance seem to be.

This $1.49 nog-gurt kinda grew on me by the end of the cup, but as a self-proclaimed nog connoisseur, I'm a tough grader. Three and a half stars from me. Sonia liked it at first bite. Four stars from her.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

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