Final Update: Pick Up These New Products at Trader Joe's This Month
Trader Joe's might have outdone itself this month in terms of new products. Though the website isn't 100 percent up-to-date, you can rest assured that we're constantly asking the staff at our store to inform us of the latest items to hit shelves. We've already discovered over 30 incredible recently released foods this year, and the list will grow with this latest batch.
Pick Up: Matcha Joe-Joe's ($3)
These Matcha Joe-Joe's feature two golden biscuit cookies with a vanilla-matcha cream filling. They taste crumbly and buttery like a Trefoil Girl Scout cookie. The cream filling has a silky, buttercream-like texture and bright green color, but the matcha flavor doesn't really reveal itself. There's a slight grassy aftertaste, though the matcha taste doesn't hit you hard like other matcha products. That said, people who don't like matcha loved the subtlety.
Pick Up: Roasted Cocoa Nibs ($2)
If you love chocolate and a crunchy texture (but don't want to eat sugar), there's always cocoa nibs. Try them in smoothies, yogurt, and trail mix. TJ's makes you feel like a fancy cocoa nib connoisseur by adding the origin of these particular niblets: Huila, Colombia.
Pick Up: Trader Joe's Cauliflower Pizza ($4)
We did an extensive taste test for this Cauliflower Pizza Crust, which has gone viral in recent days. I added tomato paste, mozzarella, and fresh basil to the crust and baked it according to package directions. The crust comes out tasting like bland grits or polenta — not necessarily bad, but it definitely needs a salty component. Be sure to salt it liberally before baking and load up the cheese big time. Also, note that it's still fairly soft after 10 minutes of baking. If you want a crispier crust, try baking it for longer or throwing it on a pizza stone.
Pick Up: Trader Joe's Honey Butter Flavored Potato Chips ($2)
When I saw these chips on display, I thought, "Ew. Honey butter belongs on biscuits — not chips." After the first bite, I realized I was sorely mistaken. First off, the massive chips stretch the length of a jacket potato (like four inches). Thicker than Lay's, the chips have a satisfying snap yet are still thin enough to dissolve quickly. Then, the honey butter flavor kicks in. At first, my taste buds revolted at the shockingly sweet honey butter taste. Then, I couldn't stop eating these chips. I knocked back handful after handful, and the people around me did too. I hate them, but I love them. I am a fan and would have no problem buying another bag of these for a Summer barbecue.
Pick Up: Simpler Wines 4-Pack ($4)
The internet imploded over these Simpler Canned Wines. While both TJ's near me are sold out of the Rosé, I could snag a pack of the white sparkling wine, which tastes super sweet and mineral-y, probably from the tin of the can. No, it's not refined. Yes, it is tasty, and I'd happily knock back more of the refreshing wine poolside or at a picnic.
Pick Up: Campfire S'Mores Bar ($3)
In a sea of chocolate-covered Trader Joe's goods, do not miss the new Campfire S'Mores Bar. TJ's assures us the milk chocolate is the "high-quality, really good kind," and you can absolutely taste it right away. The slightly salty chocolate paves the way to a load of fluffy mini marshmallows (they're gelatin-free and vegan) and crunchy honey graham cracker nuggets. Stock up on these limited-edition bars while you can, because they'll likely become as popular as the Smashing S'Mores.
Pick Up: Pepperoni Pizza Mac & Cheese Bowl ($3)
I can wax poetically about the Pepperoni Pizza Mac & Cheese Bowl. The elbow noodles are cooked to al dente perfection. The sauce is like a traditional mac sauce (cheddar, milk, butter), but then there's the addition of tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, basil, and black pepper. Remarkably, it's not greasy or overly rich. It tastes like a cheesy marinara. Shredded mozzarella and giant pepperoni slices melt atop the pasta, creating the pizza effect. It's so. Damn. Good. I cannot wait to have it again. Dare I say, I may prefer it to actual frozen pizza.
Pick Up: Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream ($5)
TJ's Matcha Green Ice Cream tastes like the authentic stuff you're served in Japanese restaurants, and that's because it's made with real matcha green tea. As a bonus, the ice cream has a sort of gooey consistency, like marshmallows, thanks to the addition of tapioca syrup. I can't wait to try a matcha tea à la mode (or would you call it matcha affogato?) by scooping some of this on top of a mug full of hot matcha tea.
Pick Up: Carrot Spirals ($3)
These Italian-grown Carrot Spirals come presteamed to al dente and are seasoned with sea salt, so all you have to do is reheat them in a pan with a little olive oil. I was skeptical at first, but I actually loved these. While I'm not sure I would use them in place of pasta, I have no problem reheating them as a fun veggie side dish.
Pick Up: Trader Joe's Coconut Aminos ($3)
Made from coconut and salt, TJ's Organic Coconut Aminos is a great soy sauce substitute for anyone with dietary restrictions as it's gluten- and soy-free. I've tried (and tossed) Coconut Aminos in the past, but I have to say, TJ's version is quite good. It's sweeter and less salty than soy sauce, but it still packs an umami punch.
On the Fence: Trader Joe's Mashed Cauliflower ($3)
Trader Joe's has released all sorts of cauliflower products, including the new Mashed Cauliflower found in the frozen section. It's not nearly as creamy and mashed-potato-y as the picture leads on. Though it doesn't taste bad, the simultaneous clumpiness and wateriness are a little hard to get past. You are better off just roasting cauliflower and sprinkling some parmesan cheese on it.
On the Fence: Seasoning Salt Spice ($2)
On the Fence: Nettle & Chive Cheese
If you love sour cream and onion dip, then you'll be a huge fan of this cheddar-style cheese which tastes exactly like that (slightly tangy with a strong onion flavor). This cheese could have the power to conjure rich memories of the '90s if sliced on a buttery Ritz-style cracker. It's not the best cheese from Trader Joe's, but it's decent.
On the Fence: Organic Carrot Turmeric Juice Blend ($4)
Maybe I've become an old curmudgeon, but I'm not about drinking things that don't taste good, even in the name of health. The few of us who have tried the Organic Carrot Turmeric Juice Blend didn't hate it. The thick, savory juice, as promised, tastes of carrots and turmeric. The first thought we had was, "Hmm, this wouldn't taste half bad if used as a Bloody Mary mixer." A few pickled veggies, dashes of hot sauce, and a splash of vodka and you can count me right in.