I'm a sucker for seasonal products. I'm not gonna lie. I should probably avoid places like Trader Joe's from October to January. I go in for (the world's best) vegetarian breakfast sausages and a bottle of red wine, and walk out with three bags of crap.
"You're right TJ, I do need pumpkin spice butter and vegan eggnog."
I don't even like eggnog.
So I figured I'd share my most recent haul to help you decide what vegan and vegetarian holiday treats you should and shouldn't get on your next trip to Trader Joe's.
Cocoa Peppermint Flavored Almond Creamer - For being a vegan creamer, this is pretty damn tasty. It's thick and chocolatey with a subtle peppermint taste. Definitely grab this if you want a quick morning mocha. $1.99
Almond Nog - I don't like any version of nog, but I tried really hard to enjoy this. I had it with rum, bourbon, cognac, extra spices, extra vanilla, and even in a White Russian. None of it helped.
I was thinking about using this almond nog in an overnight french toast recipe, but I didn't want to waste a whole batch of blueberry thyme compote and a french baguette if it turned out to be terrible. Maybe it's a texture thing, because I didn't mind the next product... $2.99
Nog flavored Cultured Coconut Milk (aka Vegan Yogurt) + Gingerbread Spice Granola - Not an everyday yogurt, but a good occasional treat. There are chunks of candied ginger in the granola, so if you're not a fan of the intense flavor of ginger, then I suggest you add TJ's Almond Butter Granola to it instead. Yogurt - $1.49; Granola - $3.49
Miyoko's Un-Lox Your Dream Vegan Cream Cheese - Bagels with lox and cream cheese are a must at Christmas brunch in my family. But since I'm a vegetarian, I've been missing out on that tradition for years. So naturally when I saw this un-lox vegan cream cheese, I immediately grabbed it.
Ugh. I was so disappointed. Of course I didn't expect it to taste exactly like smoked salmon, but this wasn't even on the spectrum. It's like they just mixed seaweed into vegan cream cheese and called it "fishy." That's not how that works.
If you do decide to give this a try, top the bagel with some red onion and tomato to help balance the flavors. $5.49
Bûche de Noël (Yule Log) Ice Cream - Bûche de Noël is the French name for the traditional Christmas cake that is shaped to resemble a yule log. To honor its namesake, Trader Joe's packed this custard flavored ice cream with chocolate cake pieces and a cocoa swirl. So damn tasty. I should have never bought this because now I want it all of the time. $2.99
Peppermint Flavored Hold the Cone! Mini Ice Cream Cones - Not only are these adorable, they're delicious. Each mini chocolate cone is filled with creamy peppermint ice cream and covered in chocolate. I usually don't like peppermint flavored things because it tends to taste like mouthwash, but this ice cream has just the right balance. They're the perfect size treat. I honestly wish every Drumstick was this size. $2.99
Stroopwafels - If you've never had this famous caramel-filled Dutch cookie, here's how you properly eat one: 1) Place a Stroopwafel on top of your mug of coffee, tea, hot cocoa, etc. 2) Let the steam gently soften the caramel sandwiched between the two thin waffles. 3) Stuff in your face. $2.99