If you follow me on social media, you would know that Trader Joe’s is totally my jam. For those of you who are not familiar, Trader Joe’s is a neighborhood grocery store. That’s where I do all of my grocery shopping every week and I freaking love it. I am lucky enough to have one in two of the neighboring towns and I take FULL advantage of it.
It’s my favorite place ever because it’s so fun inside, they always have tons of beautiful flowers, your typical grocery store staples, AND “fun” food. Fun food is something I totally made up, but it will make sense soon.
My definition of fun food is healthy food that has a fun twist! For example chips, queso, pizza, and candy are all junk food. They are fun to eat but they are junk and do nothing for us. Trader Joe’s has created different “fun” food that is similar to junk food except that it is actually good for you and you don’t have to feel bad after you eat it!
I am always on the hunt for the next fun food that I will find at Trader Joe’s, there is ALWAYS something new. It makes shopping there even more enjoyable because it’s like you are on a treasure hunt every time you’re there, trying to find your next piece of gold.
The best part is that the fun food they have is not only good for you, it actually tastes good too. In life, I am generally always on the hunt for the “fun” food and am more than often disappointed. The “fun” food I find typically tastes terrible or they put a million bad ingredients and chemicals into it making it not even worth trying. For the most part, that doesn’t happen at Trader Joe’s. The food there is fun and different tastes great and is good for you.
Today I wanted to share with you my Top 10 Trader Joe Treasures. These are ten of the gems that I have found during my shopping escapades at Traders that I truly can’t get enough of and I need the whole world to know my love for them!!
So here they are…
1.Red Lentil Pasta
- Before I found this pasta, I pretty much swore off pasta at that point in my life. It’s sad and my Italian grandma is probably rolling in her grave right now, but it’s true. I try to eat very little to no gluten products, and normal pasta and even wheat pasta just didn’t give me the return I wanted after eating it. Yes, I am thinking of the ROI I get from what I eat, I take my health very seriously. So when I found this pasta and saw that its only ingredients were red lentils and water, I had tears of joy in my eyes which was immediately followed by a happy dance in the middle of the aisle. Because….. PASTA!!!! I COULD EAT IT AGAIN and NOT feel guilty!!! Best.Find.Ever.
- I now buy 1 or 2 bags every single week. #sickomode
- Cauliflower Pizza Crust
- This find was another game changer for me. Pizza was another food that I just didn’t eat anymore. I love pizza with my whole heart and soul, but I don’t love how it makes me feel after. I have tried gluten free crust but very few places make a good one, so I just didn’t eat it. Or I should say I drastically cut down how often and how much I ate it. I can still remember the day I found their Cauliflower pizza crust. I read the ingredients and it wasn’t perfect but still pretty freaking good. Then, I looked around me to see who was looking, like a total sketchy criminal, and then I quickly put three crusts into my carriage and then abruptly walked away. I truly felt like I was stealing because I couldn’t believe that it existed and I couldn’t get my hands on enough of them.
- This is now a weekly purchase, and what my sister and I base our Friday nights around. Pizza Friday is back.
- Almond Cheese
- I can’t talk about pasta and pizza without cheese. Over the past two years, I have come to the sad, sad realization that I can’t eat cheese or really any dairy products. Two years ago I like suddenly realized I had as much acene as a high schooler and wanted to clear up my face for my wedding. My sister read an article about the correlation between dairy and breakouts, so I tried to cut it out to see if it would help and it did, drastically. Since then I really haven’t eaten much dairy, which is the most depressing thing ever, especially when making pizza. I have tried vegan cheeses and other weird stuff I have found and it tasted like garbage. Then, I found the almond cheese and felt like my prayers were answered! Now I must preface that’s still not normal cheese, it doesn’t get gooey and oily deliciousness but it does melt, taste goods and is perfect for pizza.
- This is also a weekly purchase for me.
- Cauliflower Gnocchi
- This was another fun find because it’s also in the pasta group and gnocchi was another delicious pasta that I wasn’t eating. I was super skeptical when I first found this one because I just didn’t understand how they could make gnocchi out of cauliflower, granted there is flour in this find, but I still couldn’t wrap my head around it so I totally thought it would taste terrible. I bought it regardless but held off trying it. When I finally did I was kicking myself for waiting so long. It tastes GREAT! You just need to make sure that you follow the instructions on how to cook the gnocchi because you saute it frozen which is much different than normal gnocchi. Besides that, it tastes amazing with sauteed onions and mushrooms.
- This one is perfect for a dinner date night at home. =] I always have a bag in my freezer but save it for special occasions.
- Eggplant Garlic Dip and Red Pepper Dips
- Growing up, Happy Hours on Friday’s were a religious ritual. My aunts and my mom would sit at the counter talk about the week while eating appetizer/picky foods and drinking wine. It’s my most favorite memory growing up. Because of that tradition, anytime I see friends we ALWAYS do some kind of happy hour spread. Sometimes it’s a pathetic attempt, and other times we get fancy. Trader Joe’s Eggplant and Red Pepper Dip is perfect for both types of Happy Hour! To start it is FREAKING DELICIOUS and you can eat it with crackers and cheese or, cut up bell peppers or cucumbers to dip into it. One time I even put it on a sandwich as like a condiment spread, and my goodness that was delicious.
- I don’t buy this every week, but I almost always buy it if I am going to or hosting a happy hour.
- Almond Jalapeno Lime Dip/Spread
- Since we are on the topic of dips and spreads I can’t NOT talk about my most recent find that I can’t get enough of… THE Almond Lime Jalapeno dip. As I mentioned, I am always on the lookout for fun foods at Traders and was near the hummus section hoping that I would find some kind of non-hummus hummus dip. I knew there were edamame dips and other bean dips in the world so I wanted to see if they had anything similar there. I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for but I was NOT disappointed. This dip is like the combination of hummus flavored jalapeno dip with the consistency of the alloete brand cheese. I can’t get enough of it right now. I haven’t played around with the different ways to eat it yet, but for now, I am FULLY satisfied just eating it on a cracker. I have done that every day since I have bought it.
- This will be a staple in my home.
- Date Bites
- I am a total sucker for Lara Bars and dried fruit. These date bites are like mini Lara bars. They are individually wrapped in little small squares and are a perfect snack before a workout class or if you need a little something to hold you over until your next meal. I used to make these protein ball things that I would eat before a workout, but when I found these they were essentially the same thing and lasted longer and I’ve been completely addicted since! They come in three different flavors and I have tried and like them all. My favorite is the citrus flavored one.
- This is a staple that is ALWAYS in my home, that I eat before every morning workout class.
- Oat Bran Vegan Blueberry Muffins
- Now I am not much of a baked good person. I pretty much never ever buy them but that’s mostly because I love them so much I won’t be able to stop myself from eating all of it. Growing up my mom would always buy my dad muffins from Stop n Shop as a Saturday morning treat. She would always buy bran muffins because that was his favorite and because they were always around we also ended up loving bran muffins. So one day when I was on my treasure hunt in Trader Joes I found these Vegan Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins. My first thought was, “no way these actually taste good, that would be too good to be true”. I bought them anyway because I had friends staying over that night and my GOODNESS they were amazing. These muffins are nice and dense and have the perfect berry ratio.
- This would not be an every week purchase for me, but definitely, a once in a while treat.
9.Chocolate Coconut Almonds
- I couldn’t write this blog without slipping in at least ONE chocolate treat. =] If you have been to Trader Joe’s you will know that they have an incredibly tempting sweet’s and treats section. I have also purchased a number of those “just to try” and then accidentally ate the whole thing in a weekend, so I try to steer clear. But when I do splurge, I get the Chocolate Coconut covered almonds. They taste like a mini Girl Scout Samoa Cookie, and they are completely addicting.
- As long as you like coconut you absolutely need to try these the next time you go.
- Everything but the Bagel Seasoning
- This isn’t necessarily a food, but I promise you this seasoning makes everything taste better. I have friends that actually have this in their purse at all times, just in case there is an opportunity to use it, and I totally get it! It literally makes anything you eat taste like an Everything Bagel, and I don’t know anyone who DOESN’T love an everything bagel. Throw it on roasted veggies, chicken or steak, avocado toast, eggs, the options are endless.
- When it comes to cooking healthy, half the battle is trying to make regular bland vegetables taste delicious. This seasoning is a solution to that. Because of that, I have this seasoning with me at all times, one in my house and one at my desk at work.
Bonus Buy: The Flowers
- Walking into Trader Joe’s you are always immediately greeted by their beautiful display of flowers. There is no better welcome. Trader always has flower arrangements and different flowers for each season. Some you can even mix and match to get Pinterest worthy bouquets.
- I always buy flowers because they make me really really happy. To me, they are like a ray of sunshine in my home.
- Besides the fact that I just love them, one of the main reasons I love buying flowers from Trader Joe’s specifically is because they are so affordable, have a great selection and once they can no longer sell them, they donate them locally to different hospitals and senior centers.
- One of the workers at Trader’s told me that they always donate everything that they can’t sell while most grocery stores just throw them out. If that doesn’t melt your heart and make you believe that Trader Joe’s is the best place around, I don’t know what will.
So there you have it! My Top 10 Trader Joe’s Treasures and my Bonus Buy. Next time you go to Trader Joe’s try to have a little fun with it. Take your time and look around to see what treasures you can find. 😉
Until next time, happy treasure hunting!
P.s. Keep your eyes out for some fun recipes I have made from these fun foods!
LOVE Trader Joes!!! you should try There Balela its a middle eastern salad with chickpeas, black beans and tomatoes.. it soo good