Trader Joe’s…how I love thee…I mean, what is not to love? So much goodness that you can’t find at regular grocery stores at prices that are incredibly reasonable. An added bonus is that there are just so many healthy choices. Some are new and some are old, but all are delicious and some are even nutritious. Here are my top 10 favorite Trader Joe’s finds:
Lentil Pasta, $2.99 for 12 oz. This is a new find for me. I love pasta so finding a healthier version was so appealing. The taste is nutty and there is a hint of squash-like flavor. I love that this pasta is made up of only one ingredient, organic red lentil flour and each serving is packed with 13 grams of protein! If you are looking for an exact substitute for pasta that tastes exactly the same then this is not the item for you, however if you are feeling adventurous I would give this a try. Personally, I love it.
Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce, $2.99 for 25 oz. I love this sauce. It is creamy, full of rich tomato flavor and has nice basil notes. There is also parmesan in the sauce which gives it a nice, cheesy richness. It is the perfect marriage of each ingredient that blends seamlessly into one delicious sauce. My kids love it and it makes a super simple meal that you can throw together in no time.
Green Dragon Hot Sauce, $2.99 for 16 oz. I love all things spicy – sauces, chips, just about anything. This Green Dragon Hot Sauce is made with jalapeños, tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, habaneros, vinegar and a splash of lime juice. If you can take the heat, put this in your kitchen. I love adding it to takeout teriyaki, Chinese food, pasta, meat, eggs…the possibilities are endless.
Trader Joe’s Mini Brie Bites, $4.49 for 5 – 0.9 oz mini bites. Oh my gosh, I love brie. I have been known to hover over a cheese platter and slather warm brie on top of crisp crackers and really stuff my face. Did you know how many calories are in brie? A LOT. I don’t seem to mind when I am on my 2nd or 3rd glass of wine though so brie at parties is no problem. However, in a non-social environment I am a little more controlled which is why I was soooooooo excited to have these handy little, portioned packages of heaven. There are five mini containers and each little brie contains only 70 calories. Don’t let the calorie content fool you though, this is all the flavor that you get in a giant wheel.
Vegan Kale, Cashew and Basil Pesto, $3.69 for 8 oz. Clearly I am not a vegan based on these favorites, but I am a pesto lover and a kale lover, so when I saw this I had to try it. This heavenly green sauce is garlicky, lemony, thick and delicious on everything. I have put it on pasta, veggies, fish, chicken and enjoy it on toast with some sliced tomatoes. It is so yummy and a new staple.
Frozen Sweet Potatoes, $2.49 for 18 oz. I love sweet potatoes, but truth be told I sometimes forget about them and they can take a while to cook so unless I am meal planning I often forget to use them. However, that problem was solved with I found this package of heaven in the Trader Joe’s frozen food section. They are perfect in a pinch and I am so happy when I see these in my freezer. The ingredients are simple – sweet potatoes. They are mashed and come in medallions so you can add them to saute pan or microwave them and you are good to go. I love using these as a side for pork tenderloin with a maple, chili sauce drizzled on top, but they are also fabulous on their own.
Trader Joe’s Mini Croissants, $3.99 for 12 oz. (8 croissants). I love a good croissant, however short of venturing out to a specialty bakery I don’t really get to enjoy them. Croissants from the grocery store just are not good and frankly, not worth the calories. These however are a game changer. You set them out overnight to proof and in the morning you pop them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. You will get flaky, buttery, soft croissants that are perfect slathered with butter (yes, I put more butter on them – don’t judge) and my favorite berry jam. As an added bonus, your house will smell out of this world!
Caramel Fleur de Sel Sauce, $3.99 for 10 oz. I love caramel, so much in fact that I used to make my own and sell them. I stopped (story for another time), but when I found this I was transported back to all the homemade goodness from my caramel making days. This sauce is creamy, buttery and has just the right amount of fleur de sel to balance the sweetness. I love it on ice cream, apple pie, in coffee, right out of the jar….I can make an excuse to pretty much add it to anything – it’s that good.
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Brownie Mix, $3.99 for 16 oz. My youngest son is gluten sensitive, so we try to limit/eliminate gluten as much as possible in our home, but it is really hard. It can also be difficult to find gluten alternatives that taste good so when I tried this brownie mix I was thrilled, as was my son. These brownies are everything – fudgy and rich, plus they’re super simple to make and they taste homemade. I love having these on hand as a quick treat.
Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter, $4.99 for 8 oz. Every year around the holiday season there is a “Favorite Things” party that I attend with a group of girls that is by far, my favorite gift exchange party of the year. I received a container of this Coconut Body Butter as this was one of my friend’s “favorite things” and completely agree with this being a favorite. This is a thick, smooth, buttery, body cream that’s made with pure coconut oil and other natural, skin-soothing ingredients, like aloe vera, shea butter and vitamin E. It absorbs into your skin very quickly, and doesn’t leave it feeling oily. Beyond all that it smells AMAZING! A dupe for Body Shop’s Coconut body butter for sure.
Do you have any Trader Joe’s favorites? I would love to hear what they are!