Pumpkin Season 2017 Taste Test #3

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This is the third in my series of tastings of the current pumpkin offerings. I found some new items just this weekend!

Pumpkin Season 2017 Taste Test #3

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Soup

Of the selections I’m reviewing this week, this is my favorite! I love pumpkin soup and when I saw this on the shelves, I had to give it a try. It smells rich and earthy with notes of cinnamon. The texture is smooth and creamy. The flavor is light, without too much nor too little seasoning. I ate this two days in a row!

Here you’ll see that I served it with a dollop of sour cream, and Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Soup Crackers, which is reviewed below. Sour cream enhances the flavor of many soups and is often served with soups made from winter squash, such as pumpkin and butternut squash. If you don’t have sour cream, I suspect a dollop of plain regular or Greek yogurt would go nicely, as well.

I have a favorite pumpkin soup recipe that I make from scratch, but this is a very good alternative. It is quick to prepare — simply open and heat on the stove or in the microwave. One box makes a good meal for one.

The last time I went to my local Trader Joe’s they were out. The next time I see them on the shelves, I’m stocking up!

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Soup (served with sour cream)

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Soup Crackers

These gluten-free treats are made with seasoned brown rice, pumpkin puree, and oats. Their texture reminds me of almond crackers. And they are lightly sweet, like Wheat Thins.

I ate them alone and dunked in the pumpkin soup, reviewed above. Both were tasty, but frankly straight out of the box was almost addictive. They are lightly sprinkled with salt, so you get both the salty and sweet flavors, but neither is overpowering.

These crackers make good snacks, alone or topped with cheese (I used Meunster). They are a lovely shade of orange, so they would make an interesting display if you’re serving them at a party.

Of the products reviewed in this post, these are my second favorite.

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Soup Crackers

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin

Isagenix IsaLean Shake Seasonal Flavor Pumpkin Spice

Isagenix IsaLean Shake Seasonal Flavor Pumpkin SpiceThrough a Facebook friend, I found out about this one and had to buy it to add it to this series. I’ve had Isagenix shakes before and although pricey, they do taste pretty darn good.

I feel mixed about this season flavor, however. It was good but had a bitter aftertaste — almost like they added a bit too many cloves or allspice to the mix. At home — with a blender — I tried this product with just water, with oat milk and frozen vanilla Greek yogurt, and with oat milk and half a frozen banana. The banana really helped to tone down the after taste.

I also tried taking it to work with me in a shaker bottle with some greens added in. I used the cold water from the dispenser and shook until blended. The consistency was perfect and the apple-flavored greens I used also helped with the aftertaste.

Overall, I think this is a good mix-in protein to give your smoothies a bit of variety. However, you have to add something sweet, such as banana, apples or peaches to cut the bitter aftertaste. If you’re looking for an Isagenix distributor, I know three and will happily refer you.

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Tortilla Chips

My husband and I were unimpressed with this Trader Joe’s offering. They mostly tasted like ordinary tortilla chips, but with an undertone of whole wheat. I couldn’t detect the pumpkin at all, and only noted the cinnamon and nutmeg if I concentrated on those flavors.

I ate these plain, straight out of the bag, and with some cheese melted on them. They were better with the melted cheese.

If you just want to serve something different, but don’t want to throw everyone off with a radically different flavor, then these are good options. They are a brownish-orange color, so they can make an autumnal food spread look harvest-y.

Would I buy them again? Probably not. There are so many other items at Trader Joe’s that are off-the-charts good, that I don’t feel inclined to waste my time and tastebuds on something that is just O.K.

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Tortilla Chips

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin

Spiced Pumpkin Odwalla Almondmilk Shake

I picked this up while looking for orange juice this weekend. I like Odwalla products in general, so I thought it would make a nice addition to this taste test round-up.

It was not as thick as I expected, but it has a nice balance of pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavors. You might even detect a note of banana, which lends it a nice sweetness.

I don’t think this is an example of the best that Odwalla has to offer, but it is a nice change. I enjoyed it for breakfast Sunday.

Although I wouldn’t seek this out, I would definately purchase it again. At 240 calories a bottle, it makes a nice meal-replacement for breakfast or lunch … or even a light dinner.

Spiced Pumpkin Odwalla Almondmilk Shake

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin

Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts, Limited Edition Toaster Pastries

I saw these this weekend when I stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up some supplies. I generally like Pop-Tarts, although I miss the days of when you could get them without frosting.

Anyway, I’ve tried these fresh out of the box and heated in the microwave. The latter is definitely better, however, I’m generally disappointed by the flavor of this offering.

Frankly, these tasted like a Pop-Tart. Not especailly pumpkin-y. Not especially pumpkin pie-like, either. They tasted good, but not like what I would expect something called “pumpkin pie” would taste like.

Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts, Limited Edition Toaster Pastries

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin

Keebler Fudge Strip Cookies, Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice

Keebler Fudge Strip Cookies, Limited Batch Pumpkin SpiceI’m going to preface this with that I’m not a big fan of Fudge Strip Cookies. I can take them or leave them, but I grabbed these because of the magic words “pumpkin spice.”

I was pleasantly surprised! They are quite tasty. The sweet frosting is balanced, mostly, by the softer flavor of the cookie. Hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger are evident and make this cookie a fun fall treat.

They are a little to sweet for my tastes, so the serving size of two cookies is about right. Good thing, because if they were less sweet I’d way more than my waistline needs!

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin

Previous Pumpkin Tastings

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About the author

Carma Spence, The Own Your Awesome Mentor, loves to be the wind beneath her clients’ wings. With Carma’s Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining. She has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas.

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