People who know me can attest I am not much of a shopper. In fact if I could I would purchase everything online and never set foot in a retail store, especially a supermarket. Trader Joe’s is the exception to that rule, although I recommend going on “off-hours” if at all possible to avoid the biggest crowds. Featuring the kind of food products not typically found in a run-of-the-mill grocery store and a friendly, helpful staff, one visit to Trader Joe’s will entice you to return again and again — even if you have an aversion to shopping like me.
Bonus: there are plenty of delicious, healthy offerings if you’re watching your nutritional intake. Here’s my top ten list of Trader Joe’s products, mostly falling into the diet-conscious category:
1. Quinoa Bread
First introduced to this nutritious, versatile and delicious grain by a foodie blogger, when I spotted this quinoa bread during a recent visit to Trader Joe’s, I just had to buy it. And I am so glad I did! Boasting a simultaneously nutty and sweet flavor, this soft bread was a yummy accompaniment to an egg cooked over-medium when toasted and topped with Smart Balance spread. I’ll never go back to any other kind again!
All I can say is YUM! This frozen quinoa concoction heats up succulently on the stovetop in about six minutes for a healthy lunch, dinner, or side dish. Try it, you’ll like it — a LOT!
Growing up in an Italian-American home, eggplant was a frequent offering at the dinner table. My mom used to go to the trouble of slicing an eggplant, followed by dipping in egg and breadcrumbs before frying, but now thanks to Trader Joe’s it’s no longer required. These frozen eggplant cutlets heat up easily on a cookie sheet in the oven, and are indescribably delicious and perfectly seasoned. Love ‘em!
At 79 cents per bottle, this refreshing water has just a hint of lemon or lime and enough sparkle to entice the taste buds and lift the spirits. Especially if like me, you’ve been in the habit of drinking a minimum of 64 ounces of regular H2O daily, it’s a nice break from the routine. And with Christmas coming up, a healthy alternative to fattening eggnog and sugary sodas. LOVE!
Although I found these to be tad heavy on the spices, as noted by Trader Joe’s Fan, I still highly recommend them. As fresh as anything you can purchase in a bakery, these cookies make a great addition to your Christmas cookie trays. And no one has to know you didn’t spend hours in the kitchen baking them! WIN.
As a coffee and cookie lover, these rank right up there with wedding cookies in terms of their perfect chemistry with the hot, caffeinated (or not) beverage. Blending the the sweetness of cranberries and decorative drizzle with the wholesomeness of oatmeal, these dunkers are very addicting indeed — eat at your own risk!
Also available in blueberry, these bars far exceed the typical cereal bars found in a supermarket. Bursting with fresh fruit flavor, you can also pop them in the toaster for even more intensity. Kind of like a pop-tart but much healthier. Great for breakfast on the run or an afternoon pick-me-up, these cereal bars satisfy a sweet tooth without using hydrogenated oils. And they’re low in fat and sodium, too. What’s not to like?
8. Multi-Grain Waffles
Although I was never really a huge fan of waffles, these multi grain ones from Trader Joe’s are the exception to the rule. They’re so tasty I can eat them without syrup and usually just spread a little butter on them after toasting.
As a lover of Greek food, it’s hard to beat the spanakopita on the menu at Olympia Flame Diner or at the Greek Bistro, but these flaky pockets filled with tantalizing feta and iron-filled spinach come pretty close. Great as an hors d’oeuvre or side dish, they’re a convenient way to add a bit of Greek to your menu.
10. Organic Cinnamon and Spice Oatmeal
Nothing beats the thick, satisfying oatmeal at Marti’s Deli and Cafe but when I can’t stop in there for breakfast, the next best thing is to cook up some organic cinnamon and spice oatmeal from Trader Joe’s. Full-bodied, healthy and delicious, it’ll keep you going whether you’re in a cold or warm climate. There’s something comforting about oatmeal — made even healthier by Trader Joe’s. Try it today.