When I think of my favorite places in the world, Trader Joe's comes to mind. Yes, I know that sounds crazy, it's also hilarious because I've have not been to every single glorious place on this earth, but truly when I think of my favorite places to go, Trader Joe's is in on my top ten. I'm the girl who use to go to multiple stores to get everything on my grocery list. I would go to Bel-Air, Whole Foods, Costco (I still go to Costco) Sprouts, and Trader Joe's just to get everything on my list. It would take me three hours to grocery shop and which it still takes the same amount of time because well I adore Trader Joe's, but now I stick to Trader Joe's and Costco. I'll do favorite things Costco post in the future, but this post is solely dedicated to my bee's knee's, my soul-mate, my foodie haven, my cloud nine, my ever-adoring Trader Joe's. (Insert 700 eye heart emoji's here.) I adore Trader Joe's, I love the people who work there, their products, their store displays, their samples, their coffee samples! Everything about Trader Joe's aligns perfectly with everything I eat! Their packaging is hilarious and they actually sell top notch brands (disguised under the Trader Joe's name) for affordable, family friendly, prices. I get asked all of the time what my Trader Joe's favorite's things are so I decided to take a few hours, photograph my favorite products and explain in detailed descriptions below each photo why I love each product and how I use them. This list is pretty long, but that's because Trader Joe's has SO many amazing things! This list is in no particular order, just all of the amazing things that we eat on a daily basis. If you have any suggestions or favorite products that I should try or add to this list, please let me know in the comments section below.
Eat Your Veggies! I cannot stress enough how important it is to eat tons of veggies of all different colors, as many different types as possible, and mostly organic if you can swing it. TJ's does not disappoint on the veggie train. They've got all the various salad mixes, some even come with the dressings and toppings to boot! The first stop I make in Trader Joe's (after the flowers of course, duh) is the produce section. Now, this is typically their busiest section with everyone and their mom attempting to grab produce. I have some tricks up my sleeve though. Grab your bell peppers, radishes, celery, and shredded carrots first. That way, while everyone is fighting to grab one thing of each and zig-zagging through the aisles, you've got your bases covered. Next, I grab my salad essentials, which is basically ALL the salad from TJ's, from kale to romaine, to the chipotle salad, and butter lettuce! I grab it all.
My top five choices are listed below:
1. Organic Baby Spring Mix-Great for salads, salads, and oh yeah, more salads!
2. Arugula! Said in the Dad's voice from family guy (haha) I use Arugula in everything, bagels, on top of pizzas, salads, lasagna, if it can have a green on it, I'll add arugula to it.
3. Don't Kale my vibe! Okay, not but seriously kale is amazingly good for you! It's chalk full of iron, B vitamins, and has been proven to combat cancer cells. Eat all the kale my beauties!
4. Butter Lettuce- I use it on my burgers and sliders, on omelets, on sammies, on well, everything. I love butter lettuce because it's always crispy and fresh. Yummy!
5. Southwestern Chopped Salad- I'm not the biggest fan of this salad, but it's great for when you're too lazy to cook and need something easy!
Microgreens and Herbs
After I go through the salad section, I always go straight for the microgreens and cilantro. Micro-greens are amazing on smoothie bowls, salads, bagels, eggs, and meat, especially steak. Micro greens are beneficial to your health because studies show that micro-greens like red cabbage, cilantro, and radish contain up to 40 times higher levels of vital nutrients than their mature counterparts if eaten properly. These little guys pack a powerful punch and are awesome to add to everything, so don't forget your micro greens! The next thing I always pick up from Trader Joe's is a fresh bunch of cilantro. I'm one of those weird people who loves cilantro on my salad and in my salad dressing. I'm addicted to the stuff and convinced it would taste delicious in ice cream. (Another recipe for another time).
Carrots, Garlic, Onions, Radishes
And (not pictured) but Frozen Cauliflower Rice, of course! It makes smoothies super creamy and you can't beat the added fiber. Frozen Caulflower Rice is affordable and delcious!
I typically make at least 2-salads in a day, if not more. I can't help it I adore salads! They're easy and super versatile to make. On those epic salads, I a usually add tons of shredded carrots because the work there is already done. On meat, I add the amazing chopped and whole garlic from Trader Joe's, especially for marinades and such. TJ's now also had chopped sweet onion which is amazing for meatballs, chicken, again hamburgers. Trader Joe's also has these amazing rainbow carrots which I'm obsessed with and use for roasting chicken and sheet pan dinners.
Let's talk about fruit baby! Let's talk about you and me!
I'm such a dork, I know, but seriously fruit is SO good for you! I try to eat it at least 5-times per day and choose it over a chocolate craving any day. Well...maybe not any day, but you catch my drift. ;-)
We are lucky to have access to an abundance of fruit during the fall, spring, and summer months at no cost to us, so I've only got the essentials on here that I buy regularly. Keep in mind though--my fruit list is endless and I mean endless! We are lucky enough to get most of our fruit free, but the stuff I can't get free I buy at Trader Joe's. Basically, just strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, because those are the most highly sprayed fruits and I ALWAYS buy berries organic. You are doing yourself a disservice if you don't buy your berries organic.
The next item I always buy at Trader Joe's is Pineapple because I cannot live without the stuff. And did you know that pineapple has more vitamin-c than an orange and has as high of fiber content as broccoli. I could live on the stuff!
Now we drink! I love drinks! Although not the kind you may be thinking of. I quit drinking alcoholic beverages in 2014 and haven't looked back. It's been one of the best decisions I have ever made. So since I don't drink anymore, some may find this list boring but these are my favorite drinks from Trader Joe's.
Green Tea- This stuff is magic and costs under $2.99! Cheap and works wonderfully for ice tea. Here's one of my summer drink hacks:
Tangerine Juice- I'm basically made of coffee, water, and tangerine juice. I take tangerine juice with my daily iron supplement to help my body absorb the iron better.
Summertime Drink Recipe (You can add vodka to it if you do partake in the adult beverage land.)
- 1-cup of unsweetened blueberry pomegranate or regular green tea.
- 1-cup of Tangerine Juice
- 1-cup of Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
- 1-can of Cranberry-Raspberry La-Croix over ice and this is the perfect summer drink! You're welcome!
Cold Brew Coffee- Let's repeat that one more time, Trader Joe's now has COLD BREW ICED COFFEE-Dream come true! And guess what? Rumor has it, that it's actually Stump-town, which makes sense because it taste's exactly like Stump-town. Also, it's only $2.99! Cheap and delicious! I consider myself a coffee expert and it tastes better than most expensive cold brew coffees that you can buy elsewhere. It's also nitrogen infused and it makes the best foam. It's now a regular staple on my Trader Joe's grocery list. (See photo below of this other magical gem from Trader Joe's.)
Organic Carrot Tumeric Juice Blend-
This juice packs a powerful punch and it actually tastes really good! It's made with cracked black pepper, lemon juice, turmeric, and chili pepper powder. It's chalk full of beta-carotene and is a fantastic immunity booster. This is also a new TJ's item that has become a staple on my grocery list.
Pineapple Juice--I live on this stuff! I take my daily dose of Oil of Oregano with it and you can't even taste it.
Organic Pineapple Coconut Water- This stuff if amazing right after a hot yoga class. It's chalk full of electrolytes and is rich and delicious!
Meat! Meat! Meat! Not pictured here is all the meat I typically buy from Trader Joe's. Ladies, as much as you want to say you hate eating meat, your body needs it. We are carnivores and we were built to consume meat. As long as it's organic, grass-fed, and pasture raised then you're okay! If you can get proper and complete nutrients from not eating meat, then Bravo! You've found the best-kept secret that many people are still looking for. I have to eat meat, specifically red meat in small quantities. I stopped eating meat for a long time and ended up in the hospital with a hemoglobin level of 6. So yes, eat your meat folks! Check out my list below for the meats and protein I buy on the regular from Trader Joe's.
1. 85% lean organic grass-fed beef.
2. Kosher Turkey (I always buy Kosher turkey and poultry) better for you, better for the birds, and better and for the environment.
3. Bacon- I love to buy the bacon bits and ends from Trader Joe's, it's the easiest to cook with and it has a maple flavor so it tastes really delicious.
4. 80% lean organic ground pork- We use pork in rice bowls, in lieu of burgers (sometimes) pork tacos, and pork meatballs. There's more, I just can't remember it at the moment.
Spice Spice Baby! -If you follow me on Instagram then you know how obsessed with spices I am. Turmeric and pumpkin spices are my jam, and I use all the spices below (and more) on a daily basis.
I use turmeric and pumpkin spice in my bulletproof coffee every single day. I also use both spices in my smoothie bowls, and in nearly everything else.
The benefits of turmeric--It's a natural anti-inflammatory and has been proven to fight tumor cells.
Pumpkin Spice--Cinnamon, Cardamon, Ginger, Lemon Peel, Nutmeg, and Cloves. I have been taking this stuff for years and I love it. Fun fact: Trader Joe's only comes out with this gem once a year during the fall months, so make sure to stock up in the fall like I do!
Everything But The Bagel Seasoning--Is there anything I really need to say here? It's everything but the bagel, and if you like Everything Bagels, then you are going to LOVE this stuff. I hope TJ's never stops selling this stuff, but you know they are known for short term love affairs so will see.
Everyday Seasoning-This stuff is like the holy grail of spices, it's got sea salt, mustard seeds, black peppercorn, coriander, onion, garlic paprika, and chili pepper. See what I mean? Holy grail.
Onion Salt (New!)-Granulated onion, granulated garlic, minced onion, kosher salt, green onion, and dried chives. I'm still getting to know this gem, but so far I like it. I love it for burgers and meatballs.
Chili Lime- Awesome on fruit, especially watermelon!
Season Salt-OMG!!! This stuff is the bomb! I bought 4 of them immediately when they came out and I love it! It's the perfect blend of salt for potatoes. And fries. And tater tots, sliced potatoes, and did I mention potatoes? This stuff is the bee's knees! And it does not taste like top ramen seasoning at all and that saying cheapens it and insults this beauty. TJ's better keep this stuff around because I, many others, are obsessed!
Snacks and Yummikins! This list could literally be over 500-items long, but I had to condense it down because it was getting to the point where things were just being added and I realized that it would only be beneficial to you guys if I put my top snacky-snack and treaty-treat favorites so here they are! But let's be honest TJ's has ALL the amazing snacks!
These are the snacks I use the most (except the Marshmallows, I rarely eat these, but they are delicious!) Freeze Dried Strawberries and Freeze Dried Raspberries-Easy on-the-go snack that I take with me hiking, running, in the car, on errands, wherever, and everywhere. These little fruits back a big punch and have no added sugar which is super important to me. Fruit is naturally sweetened and doesn't need added sugar. And Mango of course, because it's another great on-the-go snack!
Organic Unsweetened Dried Pineapple- Another constant staple in my pantry, because it's the perfect snack for my beach bag or rock climbing bag. Pineapple also stabilizes blood sugar, so go for this when a sugar craving comes on.
Organic Unsweetened Coconut Chips- I use these on everything, from my bulletproof coffee creations to smoothie bowls, to salads. Again, coconut doesn't need added sugar, only buy the unsweetened kind for the most benefits.
Granola-Sometimes I love it, sometimes I don't. I usually make my own because it's cheaper and tastes better but the Ancient Grains and Nuts Granola is a fantastic substitute when you don't have the time to make the homemade stuff.
All the Chocolate--Need I say more? Trader Joe's has TONS of amazing chocolate and if I can, I will devote an entire other post to all of their various amazing chocolaty concoctions. But my main squeezes are Dark Chocolate and the Golden Spiced Milk Chocolate Bar pictured below. Surprise! It's got Turmeric in it!
Unsweetened Acai Smoothie Packs- Can you guess who makes these? Sambazon! Yup, you guessed right. These are way cheaper than the Whole Food's version and are the exact same brand just with the TJ's label smacked over it.
Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies--Warning! These are the most addictive cooking you are ever going to eat! Buy with caution!
Brownie Crisp Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches? Duh! These are little gems wrapped in a delicious, addictive chocolate suit and if I'm not careful, they will become a daily habit. Not really, but these are SO good and are perfect when the PMS gods decide it's time!
The next three snacks are in the middle are my new favorites and so far, I adore them! Those raw cacao nibs go wonderfully on and in coffee and those longboard, organic tortilla chips are delicious with fresh salsa and guac, of course.
Pasta! We eat it every so often, I'm part Italian so you would think I would eat the stuff every night, but I can't anymore. Still, I love a good pasta dish every so often and TJ's has pasta super cheap! Penne is always a staple in our pantry. Their Marinara sauce is often overlooked, but I don't understand why, because it has no sugar and is a simple, authentic marinara sauce.
Jasmin Rice-We switched to Jasmin Rice from conventional rice and it was the best decision we ever made. The flavor is unbeatable and it's good with everything! I eat rice a few times a week, it doesn't make me gain weight, nor does it make me sick. Some people cannot eat it, but I love it and Trader Joe's sells it at a very low cost. It's also super EASY to make. Just rinse, and add to boiling water for 10-minutes. Then simmer for 5-minutes and remove from heat. Bam! Rice is done!
Cheese- I don't eat a ton of cheese, but when I do, these are my top three favorites, especially that parm!
Organic Whole Milk Yogurt- When I was heavy, I use to eat sour cream, now instead I eat this stuff on potatoes, in smoothies, and in desserts. It's lighter, lasts longer, and has added probiotics which are beneficial to maintaining gut health.
Organic EVOO- This is and will always be a staple in my kitchen. Don't shy away from Olive Oil and always buy the organic version. This stuff is amazing for your heart, cholesterol levels and skin.
Coconut Aminos- Another pantry essential that I use in lieu of soy sauce. This is made from coconut aminos and is a healthier alternative to high-sodium soy suace.
Bread's and Such! Sourdough from Trader Joe's (in my humble opinion) is the best bang for your buck! It's sour and chewy and has everything that good sourdough should have!
Onion Bagels-You guys see these on my IG stories ALL the time. I live for them! They are the only bagels I have found NOT made with refined sugar. They are made with honey and that's just fine with me.
Corn Tortillas- Taco's anyone?
Last, but certainly not least (and this list will continue to grow as Trader Joe's add more amazing things) but we can't forget about all the nut butter's!
Sunflower Seed Butter- I make granola with this and it's ahhhhmazing!
Organic Salted Peanut Butter- The name is just like it sounds! Peanuts and salt--that's it!
Coconut Oil Packs on the go!- Bulletproof coffee anyone? Facial Moisturizer on the go? Coconut Oil hair mask for the plane ride? Pack these!
Nut Butter- This is one of the best products Trader Joe's has ever made and I hope they keep it forever and ever and ever....
Oh no! I almost forgot...we can't forget about our fur-babies. Trader Joe's sells healthy doggies and kitty treats that are not made with corn. Do you know how damaging corn is to your furry kids? It's detrimental on their system and deteriorates their brain health. Luckily, Trader Joe's does not add corn to their treats. This one below is one I buy every few week for my kids. ;-)
That's a wrap on the ever-growing and never-ending Trader Joe's favorites list (for now) but I will continue to hunt down the best goodies to Trader Joe's every week and will continue to add to this list. Did I miss anything? What are your favorites from TJ's? What should I try? I've basically tried the entire store, but I'm always open to new things.
Comment below and let me know what is on your Trader Joe's must have list. I want to know what you guys love at my favorite store! I think it's everyone's favorite store, I mean how can it not be?