Saturday, March 31, 2012

Oatmeal Complete

First off, apologies for the grainy, dark, generally lame photo on the right here. It was shot at night in my dimly lit kitchen, on my phone. So...yeah. I'll replace that with a better shot the next time I buy a box of Oatmeal Complete---probably next weekend.
Uninspiring photography aside, who loves a warm, hearty, thick bowl of not-too-sweet instant oatmeal on a weekday morning? I do! And so does my three-year-old son, Hunter, who occasionally throws back three bowls of oatmeal (one at breakfast, one for a snack, and one at lunch) in one day, which is fine by me. Oatmeal is healthful, what with all the soluble fiber and all, and it's filling and whole-grain.
Hunter, oatmeal enthusiast
Now THIS particular oatmeal right here, Joe's Oatmeal Complete, is different, special, and probably not for everyone. I've actually gone through times when I've eaten it every morning, day after day, for weeks on end, then suddenly thought, "Ugh. I need a break," and abruptly cut myself off for a few months. I believe this has something to do with the texture, which is slightly atypical for instant oatmeal. It's creamier, I think because of the powder of good-for-you additives that puffs out of the pouch when you dump the oatmeal into your bowl: namely soy protein isolate and flax meal. When this powder mixes with the boiling water, it amounts to an oatmeal texture that is creamier and smoother than other instant oatmeals'. And I believe those additives contribute to the ever-so-slightly different flavor. (I would describe this flavor as somewhat sweet and even milky.)
Most of the time, the things that make this oatmeal different are what draw me to the oatmeal and make me want to eat it---but I do get tired of it after awhile and will want to switch it up. (See soon-to-come post on Frozen Steelcut Oatmeal.)
All in all, though, Oatmeal Complete is a healthful, satisfying, just-barely-sweet alternative to the instant oatmeals sold in other grocery stores. (And my three-year-old loves it: SCORE!) I like to maintain a steady supply of it in my pantry.

Chocolate European Style Lowfat Yogurt

Trader Joe's Chocolate European Style Lowfat YogurtLet's jump right in and waste no time: Trader Joe's does a kick-ass job with their yogurts. Would you agree? Michael Ian Black once joked on his "Mike and Tom Eat Snacks" podcast that approximately 80% of grocery-store real estate these days is dedicated to yogurt, and thankfully, that figure holds *true* (give or take) for every Trader Joe's I've shopped. And really, hooray for that, because first of all, yogurt is tasty and interesting and healthy, and there are so many varieties and flavors to sample and experiment with; and secondly, Trader Joe's yogurts in particular are generally high quality and priced well. Bring on the 'gurt, I say!
...and for the first of many TJ's 'gurts to be featured on this blog AND the first Mo Loves Joe product post, period, I present to you Chocolate European Style Lowfat Yogurt. (Resisting strong urge to insert much-needed hyphen between "European" and "Style," btw. It's not a Chocolate European we're referring to here---thankfully---it's a chocolate-flavored European-style yogurt. But, okay.)
This yogurt is simple yet decadent, and that's why it's fabulous. It is tangy and tart, as yogurt should be, plus chocolately, bitter, and mildly sweet. Other chocolate yogurts from other places and other manufacturers are hardly yogurts at all---they are nauseatingly sweet confections and read more like pudding in flavor and texture. This yogurt is thick and creamy and feels "real." Simply put: I can eat THIS chocolate yogurt as a late-morning snack and feel good about myself afterward.

I've got your Trader Joe's fangirl right here

Mo plus TJ equals love
Hello there, and thanks for stopping by Mo Loves Joe! I love Trader Joe's: the cheery, kitschy vibe inside the stores, the cute handwritten product labels on the shelves, the free samples, the ridiculously reasonable prices, the kid-friendliness, the whimsical product marketing, and most of all, the products themselves. I love that I usually discover something new and delightful every time I shop there. (Block of cheddar cheese marbled with dark chocolate, anyone?) I love that I don't have to worry about scouring ingredients lists for artificial colors or flavorings, or high-fructose corn syrup, or other dark and beastly things, because there just aren't any in Trader Joe's products.
I guess I'm a fangirl, because I can't really ever shut up about how wonderful and fabulous and essential Trader Joe's is whenever it comes up in conversation. I'm guessing YOU love Joe, too (right?), and I look forward to geeking out with you over all things Joe right here on this site!