Thursday, July 22, 2021

Trader Joe's - Amped Up Almonds - July 21, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Trader Joe's 
Amped Up Almonds
Good +
Weight: 2.5 oz. (71 g.) in total package
Calories: 380 calories in 1 package 
Cost: $1.29 for 1 package
Purchased from: Trader Joe's, San Carlos, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Almonds Theme Week.

Today's "Amped Up Almonds" - Chocolatey Coated Almonds were from Trader Joe's (Monrovia, CA).

These chocolate covered almonds had an aroma of chocolate with warm (vanilla), nutty/seed and very light, sweet vegetable aroma notes. 

Initially, I thought I might smell coffee (a caffeine-bearing ingredient that might explain the "amped up" in the product name), but I did not. Instead this moniker referred to extra protein supplied by added pea protein.*

The chocolate coating with smooth and, well, chocolatey. Dry roasted almonds provided crunchy, nutty texture.

The pea protein did contribute to some subtle attributes, but did not alter flavor very much. Imagine fresh, cooked green peas whipped into with some mashed potatoes, and then soften the flavor a bit. 

The pea protein did give some oomph to the texture (an almost undetectable "substantial" quality and a very fine graininess). These chocolate covered almonds were very filling. The pea protein (and almonds) seemed to balance out the sugar content and slightly muted other flavors. 

There was a very faint pea protein aftertaste a few minutes after finishing the last almonds. Nothing objectionable.

Ingredients: Chocolatey coating (unsweetened chocolate, sugar, pea protein, cocoa butter, soy lecithin (emulsifier), natural vanilla flavor), dry roasted almonds, confectioner's shellac.

Allergen-related information: Contains soy, almond. "May contain milk, wheat, peanut, pecan."

*Pea protein is typically made from yellow peas. It has become quite popular in the past decade with more yellow peas being planted to anticipate a growing demand for this product. As today's offering shows, it's not just for traditional protein powder smoothies and protein bars anymore.

Yellow peas could become part of the next (plant protein) gold rush. Global Market Insights predicated the U.S. market would grow to $325 million by 2027, reflecting an estimated 12% (compounded annual growth rate) from 2021-2027.

How is it made and what how does it fare nutritionally? The protein is isolated, and it's made into a powder that is a relatively complete protein, from an amino acid standpoint. (Although, like other plant proteins, it is relatively low in methionine.) It is higher in lysine and glutamine than many other plant proteins and relatively high in arginine, iron, potassium and calcium. It's considered to be a "good" protein for vegans and vegetarians and relatively easy to digest. 

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