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Trader Joe’s Crispy Crunchy Broccoli Florets

Trader Joe's Crispy Crunchy Broccoli Florets

Fried broccoli. Strangely, not an oxymoron.

I’ll admit I was very excited when I first saw Trader Joe’s Crispy Crunchy Broccoli Florets. Sure, there’s the obvious reason why – they’re insane. I can see someone going out and frying up a bunch of broccoli in palm oil – maybe an unhinged zealot misinterpreting a Biblical passage or a space alien taking its best guess at replicating human behavior – but to then go out and try and sell those fried florets? That’s downright brazen.

As I say though, that’s not the main reason I got excited when I saw these. The main reason is that I had high hopes they might be a healthy, maybe even tasty, alternative to my potato chip cravings. Alas, this isn’t the case. While the broccoli florets are tasty, in their own fashion, they are by no means healthy.

Let’s examine both of these surprising facts.

Tasty? Yes, definitely tasty – for a given value of tasty at least. The first thing to keep in mind is that these fried broccoli florets have exactly three ingredients – broccoli, palm oil and salt. If you buy these, you should expect them to taste like broccoli, and I certainly was. If you enjoy the taste of broccoli, you’ll find it we’ll preserved here – not at all depleted or ruined by the frying process. As for salt, there’s only a dash, to the tune of only 55mg of sodium (2% your daily value) for the entire bag. Trader Joe’s is content to let the hale, hearty taste of the broccoli speak for itself, and it does.

Taken alone this basic taste wouldn’t be very interesting, but the eponymous “crispy crunch” greatly helps it along. Each floret is dry, crunchy and enjoyable in it’s own right as an interesting texture experience – with a light taste and a mellow, green aftertaste. It’s not the taste sensation of the year, but if these florets were anywhere near as healthy as broccoli, they would be plenty tasty enough to justify a regular purchase as a healthful snack food replacement. That brings us to our second fact.

Healthy? Not at all. Our little 1.4 ounce (40 gram) bag of broccoli may only have 220 calories, but 130 of those calories, more than half, are from fat. That’s 15 grams of fat total, for 23% of your daily value. Of that 6 grams are saturated fat – 30% of your daily total! Shocking for broccoli, I’d say.

Let’s compare that to an equal serving of Trader Joe’s Kettle Cooked Olive Oil Potato Chips. 40 grams of that has only 200 calories and 10 grams of fat. Leaps and bounds healthier! The only real advantage they have over potoato chips is that the broccoli retains its nutrients, packing in a pretty decent amount of vitamin C, along with some vitamin A, calcium, and iron.

Without the health factor, there’s no reason to pick up these fried broccoli florets. They taste good enough – but not good enough to warrant that level of fat, when simple raw broccoli florets dipped in a little ranch dressing is not only healthier but far tastier to boot.


 

The Breakdown

Would I Recommend Them: No real reason to.

Would I Buy Them Again: I can’t imagine I will.

Final Synopsis: Fried broccoli that is less healthy and less good tasting than the raw stuff by a wide margin.

Trader Joe's Crispy Crunchy Broccoli Florets - Nutrition Facts

Trader Joe’s Crispy Crunchy Broccoli Florets – Nutrition Facts

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20 Comments on “Trader Joe’s Crispy Crunchy Broccoli Florets”

  1. […] of a bag of Trader Joe’s crispy crunchy broccoli florets (the best thing I had all […]

  2. Donna says:

    These look great. I didn’t see them the last time I was in TJs.

    The fact that it uses palm oil over canola oil is a reason I would buy this treat. Saturated fats from plants use medium chain fatty acids which makes it different than saturated fats from animals.

    I keep palm oil and coconut oil in my pantry along with olive oil.

    • Anonymous says:

      Palm oil is destroying the rain forests and pushing orangutans to extinction. Boycott Palm oil!!!

      • Donna says:

        There are many palm oils that are grown sustainably and Trader Joe’s products uses a responsible palm oil producer.

  3. sewpretty13 says:

    I just bought 2 bags this weekend. They are pricey but a great way to take veggies on an outing. Yes I loved them and would buy them again. It is way better than eating potato chips which is I think the comparison you were making. and yes Palm oil is one of the stable oils and is great for you.

  4. D'Juan says:

    Best snack ever! And TJ’s all over Houston are SOLD OUT of them!

    • Anonymous says:

      The TJs in NY is out too. I am wondering it they are not carrying them any longer. I tried them for the first time about 3 weeks ago, and have been looking to purchase again ever since.

      • 孟妙玲 says:

        I just finished eating a back…it looks like they still carry them (not discontinued) but they are hard to find….I was looking for them for a while…then this past week I saw them …(72nd street TJ only …other places don’t seem to know what I’m talking about when I ask about it…)
        any way I bought 4 bags…bc they seem to go quick…in stock and into the mouth…lol

  5. leslie says:

    if i could buy a whole carton of them, i would; i’ve been buying 5 bags at a time and sharing with whoever is willing and getting positive responses always. definitely better than potato chips.

  6. Donna says:

    I love these things and always have a some in my pantry when TJs has them. All the broccoli crumbs at the bottom of the bag are good sprinkled onto my salads or brown rice, etc.

  7. David says:

    I just bought a bag of theTrade Joe’s Crispy Crunchy Broccoli Florets. I cannot think of too many things I would find less tasty than this creation. Due to the lack of places to buy lumps of coal these days, I am thinking of buying some more bags and saving them to put in the Christmas stockings of children who have been bad this year. Didn’t anyone in the research department of the Albrecht Corporation taste these things before putting them on the market? Bleecchhhkkkk!

  8. Catherine Cooney says:

    I love this snack. I live four hours from the nearest Trader Joe’s (NW Montana) so next time I’m in Spokane, I need to buy out their stock. I’m addicting to these. Seems a lot healthier than eating other types of snacks and I think they are delicious.

  9. Lori Jagow says:

    These are great for a low carb diet. Only 6 net carbs.

  10. cara says:

    I just bought these and my ingredigetns say broccoli, rice bran oil, and salt

  11. Amy says:

    I love them! And if one is on a low carb diet, they are a good alternative to chips.

  12. Kristina Landy says:

    I’m not sure where you are from but I’m from the western New York area. Buffalo actually. Within the last few years we acquired a Trader Joe’s, and I too was hopefully for the broccoli snacks.

    Recently on a trip to wegmans ( our grocery shopping Mecca) I found crispy broccoli florets from a company named tropical fields.

    Calories: 110
    Total fat: 7g
    Total carbs: 8g
    Dietary fiber: 4g
    Sugar: 2g
    A much better option and for a .75 oz serving.

    • Anonymous says:

      That isn’t comparing apples to apples. It is comparing half an apple to a whole apple. You would need to multiply the above nutrients by almost 2 to get the equivalent numbers.

    • Donna Packer says:

      You can’t really compare unless you know the ingredients. If it is a toxic refined vegetable oil over a healthy fat like coconut, avocado, etc, then it won’t be a better option at all even if it has more calories (or fat, carbs, etc). Or if it has added preservatives, gums, sugar, etc.

  13. Trent says:

    This article is really misleading. Your comparing a carb filled potato chip to this and say it is more healthy?

    Fat isn’t the enemy you think it is and we thought it was in the 70’s, and most modern scientific and medical research agrees. Please educate yourself before informing others on health decisions.


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