Envy Apples


I never heard of this apple before I saw them at Trader Joe’s. A hybrid developed in New Zealand, “Envy” apples are a hybrid of Royal Gala and Braeburn varieties. Both of those are excellent apples, and this hybrid, Envy, is well, just a terrific tasting apple. When I first tasted this Envy, my taste buds went pretty wild with “this must be one of the best apples I ever had”. Seriously this is just a great apple. Nice crunch, firm texture, sweet but with a hint of sour underneath? It’s a complex flavor, way more complex than just “sweet” like say a Honey Crisp apple or Red Delicious (yuck). Envy are a favorite pick of the Trader Joe’s crew, who I imagine taste everything they sell. I kind of trust those “crew picks”.

INFO

https://envyapple.com/en/about-envy#tab-1

These apples go great with just about everything. What about Envy with cheese? Yes, please. I knew they would match well with most any cheese, and frankly there is absolutely nothing better than to slice up these apples and put them on a plate with the Unexpected Cheddar. What a combo these make together. Seriously. Try either that or Cabot cheddar with these apples. I would imagine Brie would be great, or let’s face it any cheese you like. I love these just eaten out of hand on their own of course. I like them in the morning, diced up for my breakfast cereal. Your kids will love these paired up with some peanut butter. I know I do. Envy sell for $1.29 each. A bit more than the apples TJ sells for 79 cents but worth the little splurge every now and then. So if you haven’t ever tried these, try one for yourselves. You may get hooked on them. I know I have. I always buy one when I’m at TJ’s.

RAVE

Trader Joe’s DRIED BABY BANANAS


In the Dried Fruit section at TJs, I’ve always liked a package of dried bananas that Trader Joe’s has sold. A few days ago, this bright yellow package caught my eye. Trader Joe’s DRIED BABY BANANAS. Not sure if product is new, replaced those, or I just never noticed them before but they stoked my curiousity to review for the site so got a bag. DRIED BABY BANANAS are tasty! Some people might think they look a little scary, almost like little dried cut off fingers. Taste-wise they are just what they sound like, baby bananas, which I am guessing are sun or air dried.  They are a bit moist, a bit chewy and have an intense banana taste as the flavors are concentrated. And “baby bananas” are a different variety than your normal banana. So did I like them? Here’s the answer. After I tasted one, then another, I basically couldn’t stop eating them! Delicious. They were quite tasty as-is right out of the bag. But then I had a bright idea, “Hmm, I wonder if they would be good match if I dipped them in peanut butter!?” Needless to say, great combination…  of course if you put some out with a little bit of PB to dip them in on the side I have a feeling kids would love these like that as a snack. Though when they first see them no doubt they will say something like, “ewww gross, these look like dried fingers off a dead monkey” – which they do to some extant, though they look exactly like what they sound like, dried baby bananas all shrunken up. The package says they come from Thailand. INGREDIENTS: “DRIED BANANAS”. So I call that a pretty “Natural” product. A package costs $1.99. The bag I got yesterday seems to have only 4 little bananas left when I just checked them…. so you could say they went down easy and way too fast. Next time I better buy 2 bags. In short, another very good dried fruit snack from TJ, well worth trying so check them out.

RAVE

Trader Joe’s New Zealand Sweet Apple Rings


apple rings

New Zealand Sweet Apple Rings

“Unsulphered and unsweetened”

These may be a new product, or at least I’ve never noticed them till recently. Anyway I bought them to try and really liked these. Its really good new Trader Joe’s product.

My first impression upon opening the package was my nose immediately caught a very nice “apple-ly” scent coming from the bag, and them upon popping one of these dried apple rings in my mouth… next was that “oh yeah so yummy” reaction to something new you’re trying.  This has a really natural taste and delicious flavor, this is neither too sweet, nor too tart. You are thinking yeah “These are what dried apples should taste like” as you chew and chew a few more. In fact you may find as I did, its really hard to stop eating them!. I could probably devour the bag munching on them. Not that I should do that! But I can see a bag will go fast in my house.

The apples have been dehydrated to just the right point, where they are not too hard or rubbery like some dried apple rings can be, but are wonderfully softish, and chewy and kind of taste what I imagine, if I made my own dehydrated apples, what they would taste like. The ingredients are one thing, and one thing only: Apples! “SELECTED FROM BRAEBURN, ROYAL,GALA, FUJI AND PINK LADY APPLES” Unsulphered and unsweetened. I really like ingredients where one thing and one thing only is listed. You know what you bought come with no hidden agendas.

In sum, try these, you are sure to like them. These could be a healthy snack and treat for you or your kids to have around. Try with some peanut butter and you have something heavenly (could even be put into a sandwich?)
An 8 oz. package sells for $3.49. The package I bought got eaten fast. They are slightly addictive. Be forewarned.

So these get a

RAVE

 

Have you tried this product?  Let me know what you think in the comments section!

 

Trader Joe’s FIG BUTTER


RAVE

So I read about this product in a “Fearless Flyer” and then I saw it the next day on the shelf and thought I should buy it and report on it. When I got home I confess I instantly opened it up, and dug a spoon into the jar to taste it. First reaction, was OMG, this is some fantastically good stuff!

Trader Joe’s FIG BUTTER is an extremely tasty figgy jam. Well actually this is a true fruit butter, meaning fruit that has been cooked down till its super concentrated. And no, there’s no “butter” in it all all, its a kind of old-fashioned reference, when canning fruit was common.

TJ Fig Butter contains just five pure all natural ingredients: figs, water, sugar, lemon juice, and pectin.

The taste is like very yummy, very ripe figs, but deeper and more complex than eating a fresh fig. After reading the Fig Butter post in the Fearless Flyer, I learned there are three different kinds of figs used to make it and surely this is one of the reasons the flavor profile is so complex.

CONTAINS : MISSION FIGS, CALIMYRNA FIGS, CONADRIA FIGS

For breakfast I made a piece of TJ Tuscan Pane toast with some TJ crunchy Peanut Butter and put this FIG BUTTER on it. What a heavenly combination! Try it!

In fact the main problem with this fig butter is its too good, I bought it yesterday and between my wife and myself, the jar seems to be half gone already. Next, I will have to sample the other fruit butters TJ sells. Mango, Pumpkin, Lemon, etc… An 11 oz jar of TJ’s fruit butters costs $2.29

CLASSY TIP: Next time you have company over and do a cheese plate, put a small dish of this Fig Butter out with the cheeses (like Brie, Unexpected Cheddar and some hard cheeses.  Your guests will rave over the way this goes with the cheese. A few drops of fresh lemon juice mixed in with the jam and it will be even better.

…Working with Maine-based culinary craftsmen, focused on old-fashioned, farmstand goodness and flavor, we created Trader Joe’s Fig Butter. It starts with a medley of fresh, ripe figs: Mission figs for their extreme sweetness, Calimyrna figs for their distinctive nutty flavor and Conadria figs for their nutty-sweet balance. The whole figs are dried, ground and then crushed before being slow-cooked, in small batches, with sugar, lemon and pectin. It’s a simple recipe using only the finest, freshest ingredients, and no preservatives or artificial colors. The result is full fig flavor concentrated in a smooth, spreadable butter.

In some markets a great deal of butter is reta...

In some markets a great deal of butter is retailed from tubs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FROM TJ FEARLESS FLYER – BAGEL WITH CREAM CHEESE AND FIG  BUTTER

Overhead view of toasted bagel with cream cheese, topped with fig butter, diced apricot, crushed walnuts, and honey

Fig Butter Cream Cheese Bagel

Trader Joe’s Fig Butter is a favorite ingredient among recipe testers and tasters alike in our test kitchen, and it’s easy to see why: it shines in sweet and savory applications, packs a punch of flavor in a compact jar, and it’s just downright delicious. Elevate the standard bagel & cream cheese with a healthy dollop of said Fig Butter, followed by chopped walnuts, dried apricots and a generous drizzle of honey. 

DIRECTIONS

Remove lid from fig butter. Microwave on half power for 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until warm. Set aside. Toast bagels per your preference. Top each half with cream cheese, spreading to cover bagel. Drizzle with warm fig butter. Top with diced apricot and walnuts, followed by a generous drizzle of honey. Enjoy immediately.