The Snack File: Trader Joe’s Vanilla Almond Clusters

Well, of course it’d be another Trader Joe’s item. I haven’t done a SNACK FILE in so long, I figured I might as well do one with one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast!

If you’re a fan of Honey Bunches of Oats, then you’ll definitely become a fan of this yummy cereal! IMO, it’s actually better than HBoO because it has larger, crunchy clusters and larger, crunchy flakes! Meaning – you will be satisfied with a small portion in a small bowl.

The cereal is a tad bit on the sweet side, so to even it out, I typically add some tart fruit to it: strawberries or blueberries. This cereal also tastes amazing with bananas… as of course, bananas and almond go well together!

At around 210 calories per cup, it’s not a bad option for breakfast and refueling and I guarantee you that you will stay full until lunch time! A much better option than a bagel and cream cheese, because those make me hungry within an hour!FullSizeRender

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? 

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The Snack File: Lentil Dip (all ingredients from Trader Joe’s!)

Alright folks, another Snack File post! It’s been a while since my last, and this one is pretty special. I’ll dub it as runner fuel, because it is!

Featuring…da da da DA… Lentil Dip!

I first heard about and tried this dip through my co-worker, who brought it to our company potluck. I immediately fell in love! It’s delicious, nutritious, and filling. What made it even better was how EASY it was to make: it literally took me 5 minutes! Probably even less, honestly, but I figured 5 minutes was a good time. Also, all the ingredients come from Trader Joe’s (of course, where else would it come from?).

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Ingredients:

– 1 pack Ready to Eat Steamed Lentils
– 1/2 bottle of Bruschetta
– Crumbled feta cheese (adjust to your liking)

Combine all the ingredients together, and you have your dip! You can choose to eat this with chips, crackers, pita bread… whichever you prefer. I found that they go really well with the Pita Bite Crackers!

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I hope everyone’s having a great weekend so far! As for me, I ran a grueling, hot 5 miles this morning. Remind me to never again run at around 9 am when it’s already 82 degrees out.

If any of you decide to make and try out the dip, let me know how you like it!

Cheers!

P.

 

 

The Snack File: Fiber One Chocolate Fudge Brownies

I’v been meaning to review these snack bars (or brownies, as they are) for a while now, so here it goes!

fiber-one-90-calorie-brownies-choc

I’m actually a big fan of the Fiber One bars. My usual go-to is the Oats and Chocolate Bar, but after trying my coworker’s Lemon Bars – which were really yummy as well – I decided to try Fiber One’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie, and it did not disappoint!

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The brownie was a decent enough size, although it is fairly small. For 90 calories, it’s not bad, but it definitely will not give you enough energy as a real energy bar like Kind or Larabar would. I see the brownie more as a treat – a better alternative to Starbucks’ high calorie pastries, I will say. I usually eat it as a snack during work, along with a piece of fruit such as an apple or a peach. It tastes great, although I will add that there is some sort of a chalky texture to it… perhaps it’s the “fiber”? I’m not too sure. But either way, it does taste great and with chocolate chips, you just can’t go wrong.

The Verdict: It’s good, and I definitely will purchase again, but keep in mind that THIS IS NOT AN ENERGY BAR. It’s simply a treat – a yummy snack. I recommend it because it’s not too sweet, and will satisfy your craving if you’re craving something sweet like a pastry or a cookie. At 90 calories, it’s a good snack option, but it won’t keep you full for long. It costs around $3-4 for a box of 6 depending where you buy it, which isn’t too bad!

Comment: Have you ever tried any of the Fiber One bars? Which one(s) do you like?

(Disclaimer: I was NOT compensated whatsoever for this review – this was simply my own personal opinion!)

The Snack File: Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole (with Longboard Tortilla Chips)

Ah yes, another Snack File post featuring yet another Trader Joe’s product. I’m just such a fan, can’t you tell?

I actually had the pleasure of sampling this guacamole while I was grocery shopping at TJ’s one time, and I absolutely fell in love with it. The best part was that it was REDUCED GUILT; the guacamole is actually made with Greek yogurt, leaving it with 50% less fat and 40% fewer calories (as advertised on the packaging) – but you won’t even notice the yogurt as it’s packed with huge chunks of avocado and flavorful pico de gallo, giving it a LOT authentic guacamole  flavor. I also have to add that I favor chunky guacamole…I just can’t stand runny guacamole. Like what is that? Avocados aren’t runny… it’s just… NO. 

This guacamole is the answer to my prayers. No runny guacamole here, folks.

The Glorious Guac.
The Glorious Guac.

This guacamole goes great with anything, honestly. I’ve tried it on various sandwiches and salads, for example. However, my absolute favorite way to eat this guac is with TJ’s Longboard Tortilla Chips! I actually sampled it with these chips, so technically I fell in love with these two products together.

Just look at that huge chunk of avocado! Yessssss.
Just look at that huge chunk of avocado! Yessssss.

The Verdict: Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole cost about $3.99 and it is definitely WORTH IT – it’s a great snack choice paired with whatever your choosing. As for the tortilla chips, they’re not an absolute must.. but that shape definitely makes it easier to dip and scoop all the guacamole!

The Snack File: Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bars

MY FIRST “THE SNACK FILE” POST!

I’m a sucker for anything pumpkin and Fall/Winter season related, and since it’s been summer, I’ve been a bit anxious. To bring a little autumn in my life, I snagged a box of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bar baking mix. I’ve been meaning to try this baking mix for a while now, so when I got it yesterday I knew I just had to make it!  It costs $2.99 for a box, which is pretty good, considering their ready-made baked goods are about $4-$6.

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This is actually my first time ever buying a baking mix from Trader’s, so I was curious to know what else the recipe calls for other than the mix. I was happy to know that all you need, in addition to the mix, are:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick of butter (melted)

…and that’s it! I was actually going to add some chocolate chips in the mix, but the mix comes with chocolate chips already! That’s one step less for me to do! You can also add nuts and fruit if you’d like as well.

After mixing in the eggs and butter, it maintained a dough-like consistency and wasn’t runny, unlike other cake mixes. It actually reminded me a bit of cookie dough. I ended up spreading it with my bare hands on the pan.

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The oven was preheated at 350, so when it was good to go, I plopped it in for about 20-25 minutes (as oven times vary). I knew it was almost finished baking once I started smelling that heavenly pumpkin.

After I took it out of the oven and let it cool, I cut a piece for myself to try, and let me just say it tastes AMAZING! Honestly, you would have never guessed this came out of a baking mix – it’s like it was made from scratch!

So moist! So chewy! So good!
So moist! So chewy! So good!

 

The Verdict: GET IT. I find the flavor to be just the right amount of pumpkin spice, and the chocolate chips are a good addition. It doesn’t crumble, it’s moist, and it’s chewy! Great for breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea, or an on-the-go snack. And honestly, it took like five minutes to make (well, 30 if you add the baking time). It’s really worth the $2.99; you would have never guessed it to be a box mix!