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Trader Joe’s Creamy Polenta

Trader Joe’s Creamy Polenta

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Trader Joe’s always goes the extra mile to make sure their products contain just simple ingredients. Unfortunately their Creamy Polenta is simple on taste as well.

First a caveat – polenta isn’t for everyone. It is basically cornmeal, commonly served as firm patties or in a creamy style. The closest thing to it might be risotto. I frequently have the firm style, served in a tomato base, which tastes great. But this particular creamy version comes off very bland. Maybe I’m just not used to it without a tomato sauce. But then again, none of my kids would eat it, and usually at least one of them likes something like this, so I think that’s telling.

Unfortunately low on taste doesn’t translate to low on calories. Because of cream, olive oil, and butter, this side dish is too high in fat: 21%DV of total fat and 34%DV of saturated fat. I expected more flavor for all that fat, but it definitely gives it a nice, creamy texture. Other than that, the nutrition is actually quite good. There are plenty of carrots and spinach, so there is a ton of vitamin A (120%DV). There’s also a bit of fiber, and the sodium is pretty low. And there are no strange ingredients at all, which I really appreciated. Oh, and for what it’s worth, the cooked product looks *exactly* like the picture on the cover (although I mistook the red bits for tomatoes in the picture, not carrots)

So in conclusion, while I’d be willing to have this again, I’d need to add something to it – maybe some season salt or black pepper. It’s a shame because I love that there is plenty of spinach (more than the polenta itself, according to the ingredients), but Trader Joe’s is going to need to tweak this recipe to zing it up a bit. Sorry Joe.

Calories per serving/package: 200/601 (Caloric Density: 1.32)

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4 Comments

  1. I was quite impressed with The creamy polenta, what a great side to panfried pork chop, filling, inexpensive,great tasting.4m in microwave et voila

  2. Comment

  3. My new favorite tj’s item. Corn is in my Aztec blood. Spinach makes me feel like popeye.
    So delicious. Add fresh garlic, pepper, jalepenos. So good.

  4. I had never had polenta, But when i was shopping , i saw this and i gave it a try..OMG!!! Im in love with this stuff! I hope TJ never discontinues this creamy polenta. mmmm

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