I’ve recently rekindled my love for Trader Joe’s. I took a multi-year hiatus from it because Whole Foods and Market 32 moved into town (both of which are closer to my house). So, I kind of forgot how great the store was until someone introduced me to the Everything But The Bagel Seasoning and Bamba.
I now have been making the trek to Trader Joe’s about once a month because there are some healthy convenience items I’ve been loving. I figured it does no good for me to hold back these items from you so I am going to share some of my favorites today. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, I’m sorry in advance. However, you should know that you can still find similar food elsewhere, as I went years living near one and not going, and I survived.
If you do live near one, I hope this list helps you navigate the store a bit better. Enjoy!
When I think of Trader Joe’s the first thing that comes to mind is “healthy convenience.” What I mean by that is that the company appears to be very conscious about food quality as well as health trends. However, they have a lot of boxed, bagged, and packaged goods. They are what I would consider healthy and convenient. They are what modern day Americans need. It’s that whole Balanced Real Food Approach (needs a new name) that I talk about often.
While I’m not trying to convince you to only seek out healthy convenience, I think it’s worth noting that IF you find it hard to eat healthy because you are so busy, there are other options and I’m always looking for said options. I’m also looking to prove your excuses wrong because I think your health is worth it, so you’re welcome 😉
Trader Joe’s Favorite Finds
Here are a few items I found this week that I think can be incorporated into a healthy diet and act as a convenient way to get good nutrition. If you’re ever unsure if something can fit into your diet, just ask me, I’m an open book! This list is not exhaustive but a few of my favorite items!
Pre-riced Broccoli & Cauliflower
Because let’s be honest, ricing these foods in a food processor is the messiest process ever.
You can find these both in the produce section and the frozen section. I like to buy the fresh when I know I’m going to use ASAP and then frozen for emergencies because I consider not having vegetables at a meal an emergency…
Because look, I get it, sometimes you don’t want to have to do the work. If it means you eat your vegetables, I’m all in.
I thought this was awesome! So many are intimidated by making such a dish, but Trader Joe’s did the work for you! Tacos for dinner anyone?
Pre-cooked Just Chicken
Because sometimes cooking chicken is the worst and you want/need an easy source of protein.
Literally, the only ingredient is chicken, they ain’t lying.
Ever get to making dinner and realize you have no protein in the house? This. You need this. They have all different flavors as well and these freeze well in case you want to stock up.
I love keeping this delicious protein in the house. It goes well with eggs, on toast, over a salad and just as-is as a snack. It’s also decently priced at TJ’s.
I think you might need a bigger freezer after looking at all the wonderful healthy & convenient items below. No more getting take out, you can now take these out of your freezer and boom, dinner.
You can find both cooked and uncooked seafood at some pretty sick prices. I stock up on this so that I know I can have fish at least 1x per week.
And yes they have some wild-caught fish if you’re curious.
Flash frozen fruit is just as good for you, especially if you find yourself wasting fruit because it rots on the counter or in the fridge. Looks like you’re going to need a bigger freezer
Frozen Vegetables & Vegetable Spirals
There are so many frozen vegetables. I just caution you to read the label to ensure you aren’t getting more than what meets the eye. These zucchini and carrot spirals, however, are legit.
Frozen Pizza Crusts
They have a lot of frozen pizza but I’m jazzed about these plain crusts that have minimal ingredients and are gluten-free.
The ingredients are right on the front, because they are clearly that proud of them. Grab some chicken sausage, tomato sauce, and cheese and boom you’ve got dinner tonight.
Frozen Pre-cooked Grains
I’m not sure I would ever use this pre-cooked quinoa or rice packets but never say never. If you’re in a pinch and want a quick quinoa or rice bowl, here’s your solution.
One ingredient in each, boom!
Because sometimes you want a burger but don’t want to have to buy a pound of meat to do so.
Both of these look great and are 1 ingredient a piece.
Frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi
If you haven’t tried these yet, DO IT. I stock up every time I go because it is such a filling and nutritious dinner item that can be made in milliseconds. Also, if you find that anytime you go they are sold out, have no fear, they restock every morning so call ahead and ask them to set you some aside!
There is also a sweet potato gnocchi that I’ve heard is delicious, it is not, however, gluten-free so I have not tried it!
Dried Goods/Packaged Items
There are so many packaged items at Trader Joe’s. While you could argue that anything that comes in a box/bag/package is not “real food” I think you’d be surprised at how few ingredients are in a lot of these items. Do your research, read the labels, and also focus on this balanced real food approach with the healthy convenience in mind.
Make sure when you are buying nuts at TJ’s that you read the label as some have added oils and sugar. Just look for the plain ol’ nuts and you are good to go.
You can find the chia/flax/hemp seeds in the cereal/bread aisle and the other nuts/seeds in their own aisle, usually near the chocolate….speaking of chocolate…
I usually look for >70% dark chocolate and speaking from experience, these are both delicious. They also have these amazing Honey Mints that only have 3 ingredients (honey, chocolate liquor, oil of peppermint) and are almost like peppermint patties, but better and better for you 😀
Oats & Oatmeal Cups
We don’t have to settle for crappy oatmeal packets anymore. Instead, companies (like TJ’s) have stepped up their game and improved what’s in these convenient packets/cup. This one looks delicious and its ingredients are rolled oats, dried cherries, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sea salt.
Dried Fruit, Freeze-Dried Fruit & Fruit Leather
If you or your kids need a quick and easy snack, dried fruit, freeze-dried fruit and/or fruit leather may be the way to go. It’s super portable and low in ingredients (check the label of course). I also love using fruit leather for my athletes, because of carbs. I also have a recipe that uses freeze-dried fruit, in case you’re in need.
Bars & Sticks
I’m always looking for healthy and convenient bars for clients, Trader Joe’s has PLENTY. Just note they are not all in one place. There is a bar section but you will see options all over the store, so be alert.
Spices & Seasonings
I do love to make my own spice blends BUT for those who don’t want to or want to try some really great ones, TJ’s has you covered. They even have a Taco Seasoning Mix that I approve of. My favorite is, of course, the Everything But The Bagel Seasoning.
There are a lot of options but make sure you read the labels. I love their plain yogurt and milk but do love that they have a coconut milk creamer (not the best ingredients but also not the worse).
and finally, drumroll please for my favorite Trader Joe’s item…
These peanut snacks are addicting, beware. For 99 cents a bag, it’s hard not to buy the whole shelf. They are like a peanut cheeto but better. I highly recommend and think it should be your new go-to snack of choice!
Do you shop at Trader Joe’s? Do you find guides like this helpful? Let me know below!
Pin Now, Trader Joe Later