Ohh, Trader Joe’s. You never cease to amaze.
I’ve been wanting to write this post for quite a while, sharing my current favorites from my beloved store. The problem is, there are so many great choices and they come out with new items so often, it was difficult for me to choose! One of the great things about Trader Joe’s is the community of shoppers who swap tips and share favorites. My beautiful friend Natali is one of those people — any time she and her husband host a party or get together, she has some new discovery from TJ’s for us to try. It’s no secret we both love the place and even run into each other there from time to time, so we decided to join together on this and each share our own favorite picks. Pop on over to The Thinking Blonde and check out her post, Trader Joe’s Treats: A compilation of grocery guilty pleasures.
It’s easy to indulge at TJ’s — If I make eye contact with the awesome cheese section, it’s all over. Don’t even get me started on all the chocolate and the frozen Mac and Cheese. At this point, I’m making an effort to keep a balanced lifestyle and lose the rest of the weight I put on during my last pregnancy, so I’m doing my best to make healthy choices. So that leads me to my current healthy-ish picks from Trader Joe’s:
10. Coconut Oil
I am fully riding on the coconut oil train, letting my freak flag fly. It has a million uses. I cook with it and slather it on my body. It needs no further explanation!
9. Just Chicken
This stuff is just precooked and sliced chicken breast and it’s perfect when you need to just throw together a quick healthy meal and don’t have the time to grill some chicken. It can be bland on it’s own so I season it up and put it on salads, sandwiches and also use it as a topping on pizza (CPK Thai Chicken Pizza, yasssss).
8. Frozen Rice/Quinoa
Another quick option for a busy night are these frozen bags of rice and quinoa. I almost always have a box of the Organic Jasmine Rice on hand for throwing together a stir fry or to add into soups.
7. Organic Carrots of Many Colors
These rainbow carrots are a good way to trick your kids into eating vegetables. HAHAHA oh I make myself laugh. But you can sure try. That’s why I first bought these guys, for the kids, but I’ve personally grown to love them more than regular carrots. They ARE still just carrots I suppose, but isn’t it just so much more fun to eat the rainbow?
6. Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar
Okay. If I could only buy one thing from Trader Joe’s I would most DEFINITELY be buying the peanut butter cups, but this would be a close second. It is the tastiest vinegar, perfect for lightly dressing a salad or you know, just guzzling straight from the bottle. Is that bad? IT’S SO YUM.
5. Roasted Coconut Chips
These might seem weird, as they did to me a few years ago, but just give them a try if you haven’t yet! It’s so good to have something like this on hand if you just want a little sweet something but don’t want to go full-bore rainbow chip cupcake binge. Not that I’ve ever done that.
If you’re into maple syrup, agave and honey, check out their selection. The Organic Raw Honey is by far my favorite. At night before bed, Justin and I have a cup of tea with a little bit of this honey and it’s just a lovely way to end the day with my boo cakes. Much better than downing a whole bag of Takis, which again, I know nothing about.
3. Sweet and Spicy Pecans
“Great for salad or snacking”, most definitely I agree. A little bit goes a long way with these bad boys. I put them on salads usually, and a whole bag will last me quite a while. They’re really tasty though! As a matter of fact, the entire nuts and seeds selection is awesome. I’m not eating vegan anymore, but it was always nice to be able to find bags of raw cashews so easily. Vegans love them some raw cashews.
2. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
“Ehhh, sun-dried tomatoes are nothing special” —
THESE ARE THE BEST. Unless your grandma runs a sun-dried tomato farm and you are forced to eat them as a sign of family loyalty, do not ever buy any other brand of sun-dried tomatoes. They are the softest, best tasting sun-dried tomatoes on the planet. Yes, I just dared to make that claim. Sometimes you’ll buy them and they’re these little nasty dried hard beef jerky weirdness, but ohhh not these. Try them. You’ll understand. I don’t want to say the dreaded “M” word on my blog, but you get my drift.
1. ALL THE SALSA
I haven’t tried every single flavor they offer, but the Hatch Valley Salsa (green chile) is so yummy. I’m all about easy chicken-crockpot recipes and these are really great for that — throw in a jar with a few chicken breasts and BAM, dinner. It’s also great on the frozen tamales with a little avocado on top — oh me, oh my. My sister in law introduced me to the Spicy, Smoky Peach Salsa and as funny as it sounds, it’s delicious as well!
They carry such a beautiful and inexpensive selection of flowers, I don’t feel bad picking out a bunch for my kitchen table nearly every time I’m in the store. Now that I’m thinking about it, the very first time I realized TJ’s carries such pretty flowers was about 7 years ago when my new friend Natali gave some pretty purple ones to me as a ‘just because’ gift! Yeah, Nat, we definitely have Trader Joe’s weaved into our friendship from the very beginning, ha!
I could really go on and on about my love of Trader Joe’s, but I’m sure you already feel the same. One step in that place and you can’t help but fall in love!
I’d love to hear your favorite products from TJ’s in the comments! And don’t forget to check out Natali’s post to see some of her favorite guilty pleasures!