The first people to know I was pregnant with Ever was the sweet woman at the Trader Joe’s sample table. With a tiny 1.5 year old Noele, I rolled up, and I just started beaming at her. I couldn’t keep my excitement inside! The sample was vanilla cake with coconut cream and as Nolie and I scarfed it down I said, “I just love cake! And? I’m going to have a baby!!” She cheered with me, and as the months went on, we chatted carseats, baby names, birth fears, and eventually became Facebook friends.
I go to the grocery store like most people hit the water cooler. It’s my time to chat. And? as every ridiculous youtube video about Trader Joe’s will tell you? They are GOOD at chatting. We talk about what hikes they’ve done, what shows they’re watching, how they love to sleep like a star-fish now that they broke up with their BF. I tell them about homeschooling, how great it is to shop in off-peak times, and we sample… a lot.
As you might guess? We have some Trader Joe’s favorites – our go-to’s. I’m going to share a few (or, uh, like 60?) today, but this isn’t even all of them. So? Maybe an updated post in the Winter with some cold-weather favorites too. But for now, here’s what’s often on our shopping list.
Left to Right, top to bottom.
Rainbow Carrots: These are gorgeous, roast perfectly, and purple carrots make my kiddos adore these extra! Check out this recipe (marry it with the chicken on the bottom right!)
Organic Micro Greens: These give the same feel as sprouts but don’t mold as quickly! I adore them on sandwiches, roasted potatoes, or atop a salad!
Southwest Chopped Salad: This salad is just easy, tasty, and comes with an avocado dressing that is super light and mild. It’s easy to bulk up with extra shredded carrots, cabbage, and an actual avocado on top.
Mirepoix: 1. I know I could make this. 2. I still want this. Having this on hand makes making soup a super snap, and helps me to not eat out at least once a week. I use this as the base for my Meal Prep Chili! And… like, every other soup too.
Butternut Squash Zig-Zags: These are a relatively new product at Trader Joe’s. I like them as a breakfast starch, or with pasta sauce (pesto or red!). Also, if they seem past their prime they are perfect for making butternut squash soup.
Peeled Garlic: Another easy way out, but at this point in our life, I’ll take it. I love these, and add at least 10 cloves of garlic to almost everything savory. So they help speed up my meal prep considerably!
Kosher Chicken: Best would be from a farmer. But I’ll be totally honest and say, this is what we buy at this time. I value kosher, humane over organic, so that’s why we opt for this one.
Organic Chopped Broccoli: Again? So easy, doesn’t go bad as quickly, and makes cooking up a quick dinner easy. These are amazing roasted, steamed, or in a soup. (this + coconut milk + goat cheddar = easy broccoli cheddar soup!)
Frozen Rice Cauliflower: I use this in my smoothies every day, as an easy side dish or base for a rice bowl, or wrapped up in burritos!
Red Lentils: These make an awesome base for tacos, or soup, and I’m experimenting with sprouting them too!
Green Split Peas: Soup and sprouts again! I’m working on a recipe for raw hummus, and these are a big contender!
Gluten Free Bagels: As with most GF Breads, these are really only great when toasted. BUT WHEN TOASTED, they taste like a real bagel!
Sprouted Ezekiel Bread: Trader Joe’s has a huge selection of Ezekiel breads (and the tortillas too!) but this one is my favorite. And so far? My belly is reacting totally great to sprouted bread in moderation. And same for my little kiddo!
GF Mac and Cheese: Yeah, I know. But I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t include it. I make this as a quick lunch for my kiddos about once a week. And? It’s pretty amazing.
Just Mango: The sweetened ones are SUPER sweet, but these ones are just plain mango, and they’re so great. However? Don’t eat a whole bag in one sitting… it will expand in your stomach and make you feel like death. I’m guessing…
Smashed Banana: These taste exactly like they sound. Like a dried smashed banana. Pro Tip: Roll them up with nut butter and granola, and just weep with chewey sweet snack ease.
Rainbows End Trail Mix: Kiddo Fan Favorite
Freeze Dried Strawberries: Really? All of them are awesome. But the strawberry are my favorite. And, if you ever need red dye for a frosting or whipped cream? Just blend these up in a coffee grinder or blender, and add a little scoop. It’s vibrant and amazing.
Banana Chips: These taste like a banana dessert! I bring them as a school snack and my girlies dip them in PB for some quick energy between monkey bars and cart-wheeling.
Organic Brown Rice Cakes: I adore these. They’re a mess for kiddos to eat, but I layer these up with avocado, peppers, cilantro, hummus, everything. It’s my favorite for an easy breakfast or snack before school when I’m hungry but uninspired. My girls like them with nut butter and apple slices, with a little honey or cinnamon.
Jumbo Raisin Medly: These are like giant gummy snacks. But they’re just raisins.
Roasted Seaweed Snacks: The kiddos are hippies and I have to cut them off because they could each eat five packs a day.
Carrot Turmeric Juice: This is a new product, it’s savory and I like it best in smoothies (esp carrot smoothies!), or with sparkling water as a savory drink. I’m not a bloody marry fan but I imagine this would be PERFECT for a fun drink.
Prune Juice: I’m an old lady, and I love it. Also? Just like your grandma said, it really keeps you regular!
100% Cranberry Juice: I drink this stuff all the time, but especially if I feel a UTI coming on (and I dose up with D-Mannose!). It’s great for urinary tract health!
Organic Coconut Sugar: This is my go-to for baking, especially for crips and toppings. It’s sweet and has a nutty/coffee smell to it that I adore.
Rolled Oats: I use these for my granola, and morning oat’s for the kiddos, as well as cookies and overnight oatmeal!
Gluten Free Pizza Crusts: These are in the frozen aisle, and we LOVE them. They’re thin, bake well, and have a good taste. They’re also study enough to be perfect for a burrito pizza. My faaaavorite.
Organic Flake Coconut: I use this in all my balls/bar’s/and energy bites, as well as granola, and on top of smoothies!
Greek Whole Milk Yogurt: My kiddos love this, and I want to keep them eating full fat as much as possible. This it the creamiest and is super protein rich!
Coconut Aminos: I did a pretty major happy dance when I saw these in my store! They’re at least half the cost as everywhere else, and it eliminates another stop for me. I love these on rice bowls, marinated chicken, ginger dressing, or over the top of a salad.
Hummus: Because my kiddos won’t eat my homemade hummus. . . can’t win them all!
White Corn Tortilla Chips: These are thick, sturdy, just salty enough, and big enough to dip well!
Raw Himalayan Honey: This isn’t drizzle honey, it’s blend honey. And so tasty. However, I mostly buy this one for face masks! It’s amazingly hydrating.
Chocolate: OBVIOUSLY and I only pictured Milk because Charlie adores it.
Sunflower Seed Spread: This is different than SunButter. . .no sugar! Just sunflower seeds. I love it! It’s great for making sauces, and for dipping apples right into.
Toasted Sesame Oil: This is perfect for sautéing veggies, rice bowls, marinades, or dressing’s that you want to give a little different flavor to. I adore it on zoodles with coconut aminos and sun butter.
G&T Kombucha: Gingerade for life. I love all the fancy flavors. But when I’m bloated and bummed, this one is my go to.
Mixed Nut Butter: Another newer item, and so perfect. It’s really buttery, smooth, and has a great flavor since it’s full of so many different nuts.
Salsa Especial: This tastes like restaurant salsa and is Charlie’s favorite. It’s really mild, kid friendly, and also perfect for salsa chicken.
Chunky Salsa: I love this with avocado and chips, or on loaded sweet potato nachos. It’s mild, thick, and so good.
HONORABLE MENTIONS, that I didn’t snag a photo of!
Nutritional Yeast: (yeah! It’s at Trader Joe’s now! And super affordable) it’s also amazing as a cheesy add in for sauces you want to remain dairy free. We love it in pesto especially, and on top of popcorn!
Everything But The Bagel Seasoning: OMG THIS IS LIFE. I just didn’t snag a photo. Also? This hummus recipe shows the packaging, but also tastes incredible.
Goat Cheddar: This is my go-to cheese. It’s great in all the places you’d usually put cheddar but it’s a little easier to digest!
RxBars: My store has only a select few flavors, but the selection is growing!
Phew! I’d love to hear about your favorite items, what you buy every time! Also? Word on the street is that HealthAde booch is coming to my TJ’s soon! I’m crossing my fingers and toes that it’s this week!