Today’s review is important.
Why? Because starting with Trader Joe’s new Strawberry Raspberry Oatmeal, this site will now be exclusively about oatmeal. Keeping with our inquisitive theme, I will soon be changing the site’s name to “Oatmeally?” After cutting the roof of my mouth one too many times on Crunch Berries, I’ve vowed to give up The Breakfast Which Shall Not Be Named and focus on something warmer, mushier, and more palate friendly. So stay tuned for more reviews, squishy glamour shots, and hot tips for making your own oatmeal bath bomb.
Just kidding! I already had some oatmeal April Fool’s Day fun on Instagram, so I figured I’d lovingly annoy you all here, too. My apologies to anyone reading this on, well, any other day of the year. I would say “I promise I’m not always like this,” but we all know that’s a bigger lie than “fill oatmeal with 1/2 cup water for best results.”
That being said, Trader Joe’s Strawberry Raspberry sounds pretty cool for something so hot, so I’m giving it a try. It’s pretty much the opposite of TJ’s other new oatmeal: Tart Cherry, Chia and Pumpkin Seed Oatmeal. While that oatmeal gave an underrated fruit the spotlight, Strawberry Raspberry stars two of the cereal aisle’s juiciest recurring characters.
And based on my “more sour than sweet” review of Tart Cherry, let’s hope this stuff tastes totally opposite, too.
Oatmeal cups like these always toy with my anxiety, because at the minute mark in the microwave, the whole swelling mass of molten oats starts ballooning out the top like a gestating muffin. Thankfully, my fruity breakfast came to fruition without spillage, and very gorgeously so, at that. Freshly microwaved Strawberry Raspberry Oatmeal looks as pretty as those Pinterest overnight oat recipes that seem feasible but end up being shamefully gobbled up as an impatient midnight snack.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Things get a little less photogenic when you spoon in, as the various fruit bits leave crimson streaks and splotches. At least it’s a beautiful bloodbath, right?
The bad news is that this stuff is hardly any sweeter than Tart Cherry, Chia and Pumpkin Seed, as it relies largely on its title fruits’ natural sweetness instead of its mild amount of added sugar. The worse news is that I couldn’t taste any strawberry flavor behind the oatmeal’s bold raspberry profile—there was the faintest twist of strawberry smoothie in the aftertaste, but nothing to write home to the farm about.
The good news is that the raspberry flavor is super authentic: just like a fresh-off-the-bush wild raspberry. Its tart juiciness is so spot-on and vividly natural that I’ll have to check my local Trader Joe’s for a secret raspberry prep backroom, where chefs slice and dehydrate fresh raspberries each day. This raspberry flavor pairs well with the well-browned oats, though this sour-savory mix may be too puckeringly potent for some (like me).
Overall, this is a great oatmeal for raspberry zealots, but the rest of us will probably taste a missed opportunity: aside from the AWOL strawberries, this oatmeal’s ingredients also lists brown sugar and cinnamon, neither of which, apparently, survived the microwave’s 90-second shock treatment. So I’ll finish this Strawberry Raspberry Oatmeal,. but you’d better believe I’m taking a big Sharpie and crossing off the “Strawberry.”
Take that, capitalism!
The Bowl: Trader Joe’s Strawberry Raspberry Oatmeal
The Breakdown: Raspberry fans will raise the roof for this, but strawberry fans will be left blowing raspberries.
The Bottom Line: 6 magmatic muffins out of 10
(Quick Nutrition Facts: 220 calories, 6 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein per 1 container serving)
***Our friends at What’s Good at Trader Joe’s have a review, too. Check it out!***