This is a newish product in the cereal aisle, although it's been kind of hard to find amidst all the mango madness. I debated picking it up, because let's be real..I can put together a mixture of dried fruits, oats, and nuts for way cheaper than $3.99 per pound. Perhaps it was the overload of salty crunchy snacks, all-you-can-eat-sushi, or other delicious food stuffs. I needed something healthy for breakfast to get me out of my toast rut.
Muesli is a Swedish cereal composed of raw oats, seeds, dried fruits, and nuts. It's a nice cereal for summer because you can soak it in yogurt or milk and consume it cold. But wait a minute, how is this any different from overnight oats? Good question!
It took some digging on the internet. If we're getting technical, muesli usually has a mixture of grains (rye, flax seed, oat bran, etc) while overnight oats do not. I've seen muesli recipes online that don't have the extra grains. Kind of misleading if you ask me. As for this TJ's muesli, the only extra grain I see are the "rice crisps." Does that even count as a grain?
I'll be the first to admit that this looks like bird food.
Soaking the muesli in yogurt seems to be the best route. The oats soften but don't disintegrate. The raisins plump up. The cereal takes on a satisfyingly hearty texture. I love the coconut flakes but the dried apple is almost undetectable. The pumpkin seeds and almonds stay nice and crunchy. Unfortunately, the rice puffs don't really belong. They became soggy after just 10 minutes per package directions. I liked this best soaked overnight in the fridge in TJ's plain european-style yogurt and topped with some fruit (frozen berries, crushed pineapple - anything that releases juice).
I tried it soaked in milk. No bueno. The oats stay really raw, and it's weird. And even though the Europeans do it, I really don't see how you could eat this raw.
My conclusion? This is a glorified overnight oat mix, mason jar not included. By the way, mason jars look cute but they are incredibly hard to eat from. I know it's hipster and all, but ain't nobody got time to struggle with scooping your food through a narrow opening and get it all over your hands in the process. Maybe that's just me.
I'm on the fence about repurchase. It's worth it if you don't have the time to put together your own muesli/overnight oat mix. It's not a terrible value actually, considering the different seeds, nuts, and dried fruits included. But other than that, this is probably cheaper to DIY, which is what I'll probably do. With coconut flakes of course.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Muesli. It's overnight oats y'all. Just add your own milk/yogurt/hipster mason jar. 6 out of 10.