TRADER JOE'S GOES PUMPKIN CRAZY! PUMPKIN WEEK CONTINUES
The weather has finally turned chilly and fall is in the air! As is the eminent arrival of Thanksgiving next week. With that comes a parade of pumpkin related food things and the winning purveyor of many a pumpkin thing goes to Trader Joe's. On a recent visit, me and the SO were overwhelmed with the options, and like any good bandwagon jumpers, we piled our basket up with all things pumpkin! Were they any good? Well, I'm glad you asked. While we didn't get everything pumpkiny they had (I counted at least 30?) We did manage to snag enough to keep us in pumpkin town through Thanksgiving. Thus it is gonna take me at least 3 posts to get through it all for you. Because that's the kind of person I am.
First up are the "this pumpkin walks into a bar....cereal bars". Yes, look at the picture, that is actually their name. You get six in a box and the best way to describe this is it tasted like a pumpkin fig newton. The pumpkin was slight, even though there is pumpkin puree in there. You get more cinnamon, brown sugar, etc. flavors (this will be a running theme). And while it says this is low fat, I'm not gonna say it's a healthy cereal bar. I'd call it more of a less bad for you cookie choice. While it was interesting, I'm not sure it is a flavor that needs to be added to vast canon of already available cereal bars out there.
This lovely brownish looking cream stuff is pumpkin cream cheese. For me, I can't say I really tasted the pumpkin. I could taste cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, but the flavor came across as more really sweet cinnamon apples as opposed to pumpkin. Me and the SO were not the biggest fans of this, however, one of my frequent dining companions Ms. O totally loves it. Considering how much of a fan of cream cheese icing I am you'd think this would be right up my flavor alley, but something about it just doesn't agree with the taste buds. I even tried spreading it on the below item--can't say that help it much.
It brings us to the pumpkin waffle. Basically it is an Eggo waffle with pumpkin mixed in. No cinnamon and what not on this one, but the pumpkin flavor was almost not existent to both of us. It toasted up well and tasted all right for a frozen waffle, just not as a pumpkin flavored waffle. Though, when it toasts, you do get a slight smell of it. Spreading the pumpkin cream cheese on it didn't bring out any additional flavor. In fact it just overwhelmed the waffle with all that cinnamon. Unless they decide to kick up the pumpkin flavor on this, it's skippable.
Here we have the fall harvest salsa. Can you say winner, winner chicken dinner? Pumpkin is actually the first ingredient listed on the label and it also has butternut squash, apples, tomatillo, bell peppers, jalapenos and more. Me and the SO really liked this and were quite surprised by it. You can mostly taste the pumpkin, of which there are small chunks. It has a nice sweet and spiciness to it like any good salsa. It is a little pricey for the small size jar you get, but if you want a change from the regular stuff, it's tasty. We had hoped to pair this with their pumpkin tortilla chips, but in two separate visits, they were out, so we will have to wait till next year I guess.
Hmmm.... pumpkin o's.....well, it has all the buzz words, low fat, vegan, gluten free, whole grains, blah, blah. It ain't really all that healthy or different from Cheerios. It has a high sugar content and the fiber count is only 1 gram per cup. For something that is supposed to be whole grain, it should be more. Again here, it was more like cinnamon cereal than pumpkin. This isn't a good way to get your morning started. You'd get just as much fiber and flavor from a slice of pumpkin pie for breakfast. Which, now that I think about it, sounds like a good idea.
Finally that brings me to pumpkin Greek yogurt. Again, it has them buzzwords--non fat, 0% milk fat, Greek. But it also has high sugar and calorie content and the pumpkin flavor here nearly gets lost from the sourness of the yogurt. This was just terrible. Considering the cinnamon, sugar and other spices in here, it came off surprisingly bitter. I couldn't get through more than 3 spoonfuls of it. My cheeks puckered and my tongue rioted against trying any more of this concoction. The SO sort of kind of liked it, not a ringing endorsement but there you go. Me, blech, I'll pass.
That's six down and still six to go. As you can see, we thought the salsa was the best of this bunch and the rest, eh, not something you'd really need to run out and try before all this pumpkin madness goes away. (Christmas is just a month or so away!) For now, we are gonna take a pumpkin break as I can start to smell cinnamon oozing out from my pores and I don't want to take on an orange hue--I'm not ready to be a Bravo Housewife just yet.