For the most part, I tend to review one item at a time. However, for something as basic as frozen fruits and veggies I think it's just best to review them together. Let's be honest, it's hard to write THAT much about such a staple freezer item. Now, if you are like me, I tend to let my wallet dictate my buying habits. However, for this item perhaps its best to do a side by side comparison. Trader Joe's frozen strawberries come in two varieties. There is a third, in the Organic Tropical Fruit Blend, but that is also mixed in with other fruit, so I did not add that one into this review.
So what comes out of the bag and is there a difference?
Visually, this two bags seemed almost identical from the pictures. There was no noticeable size difference. Visually, what came out of either bag looked about the same too. However, I have purchased far more bags of the non organic variety and can tell you from experience that the berries are not always this dark in hue. How they look is where many similarities end. These are different sized bags at different price points. What the photographs can't tell you is the smell and the taste.
Trader Joe's Frozen Strawberries
This is a one pound bag selling for $1.99. You probably won't find strawberries in the fruit section this cheap. More often than not, fresh strawberries in New York can be had for about $2.49 for a 1 pound clamshell when they are on sale and in season. Here you won't have to worry about spoilage, but they have lost most of their texture once they have defrosted.
Frozen strawberries work best in smoothies, cocktails, pancakes, ice cream, or some baked application. These taste like the strawberries that are found in the refrigerated case. But I'm not sure that is a good thing. I'm not sure if anyone else has thought the same thing, but mass market strawberries have become far more tasteless. They're pretty. But there have been so few batches that I've enjoyed in recent years where they were natures answer to candy.
There was some strawberry aroma coming from the bag, but not nearly as much as the organic variety. Here is the quick visual run down of the information about the regular non organic variety:
Trader Joe's Frozen Organic Strawberries
Now, some people will only buy organic. I, on the other hand, treat any item labeled as organic with a bit of suspicion. I feel that the whole organic movement is a bit of an upsell. They are charging you for what they SHOULD be doing already. Gripes aside, this is a smaller bag weighing in at 12 ounces. It is also priced higher at $2.69 or $3.59 a pound. And yes, that is nearly double the price of the regular variety.
Visually, these look identical, but for me opening these two bags there was a difference. The smell of this bag was far more intense than the non organic variety. It was like freshly picked garden grown strawberries. All too often, I have purchased fresh strawberries that were visually stunning, but absolutely tasteless. Not the case here. I used these for my morning smoothie. I like my smoothie with a cup of almond milk, a banana, and some strawberries.
That smoothie was like having Hershey's Strawberry milk without anything artificial. It's rare to hear me say this, but in this case, this bag was the winner between the two. If you are debating whether or not the premium is worth it, I feel in this case it is.
Would I buy this again? Yes for both of Trader Joe's Frozen Strawberries, but I will tell you I have a preference for the organic. I've found too many inconsistencies with the non organic variety, but the organic were more full flavored.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!