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Laziness with Trader Joe’s products

February 18, 2011

I’ve been lazy for the past few weeks on both posting and cooking due to co-curricular commitments, homework, and recruiting. Good thing my roommate likes to make multiple trips to Trader Joe’s so that I can stock up on prepared foods that I don’t really have to make myself!

Today I am going to review several of their products that I’ve purchased on my last trip.

First is the low-sodium butternut squash soup.

At 70 calories per cup, it has 0g fat, 17g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 6g sugar, 1g protein, 90mg sodium, and 380mg potassium, with 80% Vitamin A, 20% Vitamin C, 6% calcium, and 6% iron. The ingredients, which are all organic, include butternut squash, onions, evaporated cane sugar, honey, carrots, garlic, sea salt, spices, and oil.

I was so excited to try this because I was craving soup from the cold weather, as well as keen on trying out the American soup version of the kabocha squash that I cook so much. However, after pouring out about a fifth of the contents of the soup into my bowl and heating it up, I could not finish the rest of it in that sitting.

It tasted like watery squash stock with sugar and onion arbitrarily thrown in. The sweet and onion tastes did not complement each other, nor did they complement the watery squash, and it was really disgusting having to down the rest of the carton since it was so expensive, at $2.79. Definitely won’t be buying that again.

The low-sodium tomato soup, on the other hand, wasn’t so bad.

At 90 calories a cup, there were 3.5g fat, 15g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 8g sugar, 2g protein, 140g sodium, and 720mg potassium, with 15% Vitamin A, 8% Vitamin C, 2% calcium, and 2% iron. The organic ingredients were tomato paste, cream, rice starch, evaporated cane juice, potassium chloride, sea salt, cheese flavor, garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper, and sodium citrate.

I could definitely get the tomato taste from the soup, which was slightly creamy, and perfectly complemented the homemade cornbread that my roommate and I made from scratch. I don’t think I could have had this soup by itself, since I dislike creamy soups, but with other carbohydrates, it was absolutely delicious! Although I highly recommend eating this soup with cornbread.

Next up is Trader Joe’s High Fiber Cereal for breakfast!

The ingredients include wheat bran, corn flour, corn bran, dehydrated cane juice crystals, whole wheat flour, oat bran, whey, salt, caramel colors, and added vitamins and minerals. The total nutritional information for 2/3 cup includes 80 calories at .5g fat, 23g carbohydrates, 9g fiber, 5g sugar, 3g protein, and 70mg sodium. There is also 25% Vitamin A, 25% Vitamin C, 2% calcium, 45% iron, 10% Vitamin D, 25% each of Vitamin B-1, 2, 3, and 6, and 25% folate in the same serving.

I absolutely love this cereal. After living in Italy and eating their natural bran cereals that are chock-ful of fiber and only slightly sweetened, I would say this is a very close product. The flavor of TJ’s cereal is mostly of wheat, though the corn is also recognizable. This makes for a very delicious snack or breakfast, in trail mix or milk, and I can easily eat half the box in one sitting…

Another TJ’s selection of items I’ve been indulging in lately are the teas. I bought two of them for the time being: jasmine green tea and chamomile tea.

The green jasmine tea has been a tasty way of helping me get my caffeine intake in the morning for the days that I needed it. The jasmine flavor is more pronounced than the green tea taste, though I can definitely tell that there is green tea in the bag. I usually reuse a bag over two days because the flavor is so strong and fragrant on both days.

The chamomile tea is similar to other chamomile teas I’ve tried. It is extremely good at relaxing my tense muscles at night and helping me to sleep. I also reuse this tea bag since it is just as flavorful and effective on the second day.

At just 10 cents a bag, these teas have been well worth the money. Not overpriced like the Tazo brand, but just as good.

Overall, not a bad selection of TJ’s products! It really is too bad that the butternut squash did not end up as tasty as expected, but all the other products have been satisfactory, if not excellent!

Dai Dai

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