Food Finds: My 8 Top Trader Joe’s Favs
Trader Joe’s has been creating food especially for me. Well not officially, but that’s how it feels these days. Inspired by my latest grocery store run, I thought it was high time I shared some favorite finds from my neighborhood TJs.
The raw, fermented sauerkraut is my most recent find and probably the most exciting. Why do I love thee? Well for one, this ‘kraut tastes fantastic. A long time fan of Bubbies, I have to admit, it’s a little…shall I say…pungent. But not this sauerkraut! It’s the delicious addition of Persian cucumbers that has me eating half the container in one sitting. I think the cucumbers make it a bit less crunchy and gives it a slight sweet taste. It’s also fermented and raw. This means there’s no vinegar or cultures added and it’s not cooked or pasteurized. I love the delicious just-right combination of cabbage, cucumbers, sea salt and garlic – naturally preserved and a great source of probiotics (which are good for you, remember?).
I discovered TJ’s miso paste in April and was delighted. Hey, that’s one less trek to the Asian grocery store for this girl. This miso is a mild yellow type and I pretty much use it every single day. In case you’re wondering, the Japanese have been fermenting soybean into miso paste for over 1,000 years. It gives food that delicious umami flavor that you probably love, even if you don’t know it. Added bonus: Trader Joe’s uses organic soybeans and their miso is vegan and gluten-free. Not sure how to use Miso paste? Here are 11 delicious ways!
I don’t have to tell you that I love my green juice. I mean geez, I even wrote a book about juicing. So you can imagine how excited I was to see that Trader Joe’s now has their own line of green juice. And it’s tasty, too. Only 10 grams of natural sugar and 100 calories in the whole bottle; it’s a perfect pick me up any time of the day. Their Green Juice contains seventeen kale leaves, a whole pound of spinach, a quarter of an English cucumber, one stalk of celery, one lemon, and two inches of ginger!! And only one apple, which I think is the perfect sweetness. They press out the juice using a slow hydraulic press (the mack daddy of all juicers) and then preserve it using a cold water pressure method called High Pressure Processing (HPP). The companies that use this process (pretty much all of the juicing brands) claim it does not reduce the drinks nutritional value or flavor.
I got hooked on roasted seaweed snacks when I started my Nourish program. On the lookout for snacks that were clean and nutrient rich (high in vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as iodine and fiber) I fell in love with the odd but addictive flavor of these snacks. I buy 5 of these bags at a time. They’re less than 50 calories for the entire package. I like the plain flavor but they also have a spicy wasabi. They’re the perfect side to a sandwich at lunch or a nice mid-day snack with some almonds. I also make mini nori rolls with them for Norah by wrapping them in cooked rice. So good!
It’s no secret I’m a peanut butter fan first, but I do love Trader Joe’s Almond Butter…..mostly because it’s such a great value. It’s the least expensive option for any nut butter lover! It’s also natural and minimally processed, no sugar or anything added. Yes, you can make your own almond butter pretty easily but if you don’t have the time or the inclination, this is a great second-best!
The coconut milk at Trader Joe’s is a staple in our house. We use it in smoothies, oatmeal, chia pudding, etc. I love TJ’s version because it doesn’t contain carrageenan and it tastes great. It’s dairy free, soy free and vegan. They’ve got unsweetened plain and vanilla as well as the sweetened versions.
The organic virgin coconut oil is another great TJ’s find. Again, the price point can’t be beat and the product is so versatile. I use it mainly in the kitchen, but there are many other uses for coconut oil…I know people who use it on their hair, as soap, as shaving cream, as hand and body lotion and even toothpaste! I will admit I’ve slathered it on my very dry heels in the winter but other than that, I am not so adventurous. TJ’s coconut oil is cold pressed, raw filtered and unpasteurized — pretty good stuff for just $5.99.
And finally my latest obsession is white balsamic vinegar. For someone who makes their own salad dressing, I tend to get overly excited about vinegar. I love the delicate flavor of this white balsamic, it has the perfect balance of flavor without overpowering my salad. I whisk a few tablespoons of this with a tablespoon of miso and some olive oil and I’m set to go…delish!