I LOVE Trader Joe’s! Seriously, whoever they have working on product development is my twin soul, spirit-animal because each and every time I shop there, I find something slightly weird (in the best way) and totally wonderful and feel like I had a dream about it the week before but didn’t know it! 😀
But seriously, they always have new and exciting products and carry some of my hands-down favorite staples for healthy living. If there was a Trader Joe’s fan club, I’d probably join and for full disclosure, they don’t know who the heck I am and are not paying me, giving me free stuff, or even high-fiving me to say any of this. But several lovely peeps on Instagram asked what I like from there, so I thought I’d write a post about it.
The great thing about TJ’s is that many of their products are light and they offer an amazing variety of organic and high quality sourced ingredients at, for the most part, really great prices. Here are some of my old, and new faves.
Click on the name of any item on the list to see it’s full nutritional information.
Steph’s Top 20 Trader Joe’s Light Bites:
- Organic Produce | Reasonable prices compared to any other grocery store. My organic staples: baby spinach, salad mix, mini bartlett pears, snack sized apples, and then FROZEN triple berry mix, blueberries, raspberries, fire roasted peppers and onions, corn, succotash (veggie mix), edamame. The frozen stuff is more reasonably priced, so I buy most of my berries and some vegetables frozen and use frozen fruits to bake muffins like my Blueberry Bomb Muffins Bars, mix into yogurt and smoothies and frozen vegetables to make a wide variety of meals, especially slow cooker meals like my Fajita Chicken where they work great!
- Coconut Oil Spray | Best spray for non-stick cooking, hands down. I use it for everything, every day. Sautéing, baking, slow cooking, everything. Excellent to use at any heat, super versatile and does not make things taste like coconut.
- Buttermilk Pancake and All Purpose Baking Mix | So versatile, easy to use, creates fluffy pancakes, makes great base for other light treats, like my Apple Cinnamon French Toast Poppers and so many different uses, scones, breads, pizza crust – this stuff is awesome and a pantry must!
- Frozen Brown Rice | Little 2 serving microwavable bags that give you perfect brown rice in a few minutes flat. Available in organic ($3.49) and non-organic ($2.99) versions for 3 bags per box. A quick cook’s savior in the kitchen. I truly love these and won’t go a visit to TJ’s without purchasing them!
- Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole | Made with Greek yogurt, this stuff tastes wonderful and is awesome as a side with eggs, chicken, beans or fish, fajitas, quesadillas, tacos, taco salad and as a nacho topping, as I used it in my Baked and Loaded Nachos.
- Kalamata Olive Hummus | I love hummus! Any hummus is a favorite, but this flavor is sensational, especially if you love the deep smooth saltiness black kalamata olives often found in Mediterranean cuisine. I eat a serving with toasted pita, top a few light crackers with it, and spread it on sandwiches and burgers like with my Lemon and Garlic Tuna Burger.
- Mini Brie Bites | These are one of my new favorites! Small .9 oz. servings of beautiful soft and smooth brie cheese, perfect on pizza, crackers, or in sandwiches. Check out my Honey Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions snack idea as a quick and easy way to enjoy these!
- Lite Kettle Corn | If you like salty and sweet popcorn this stuff is the cat’s pajamas. 🙂 I also buy the individual serving bags because it makes portion control easy on something like this, which for me is a bingey type food where I could mindlessly eat an entire bag.
- Whole Wheat Couscous | Awesome and quick to cook grain to sprinkle on salads, mix with eggs, eat with meat, chicken, beans, or top with roasted vegetables for a light but hearty meal.
- Reduced Guilt Pizza Primavera | I generally don’t eat frozen meals, I simply don’t find the portions satisfying. This frozen pizza is a good quick meal in a pinch but I usually top it with more veggies and some protein to bump the nutrition.
- Extra Lean Ground Beef | The cheapest price for 96% lean ground beef I have found at $4.99 for a pound. I can never get it cheaper than about $6.00 per pound at any other grocery. I only eat red meat about once a week, but I always grab a pound of this and freeze to have on hand for beef lasagna, chili, taco meat, kind of nights. I used it in my Barbecue Cheeseburger Lasagna.
- Raisin Rosemary Crisps | A delicious combo in a crunchy little toast shaped cracker. Top these with a bit of brie and honey or jam – oh my! Only 90 calories for 12 crisps is awesome!
- Low Fat French Toast | Easy, light, perfect in a couple minutes – this stuff rocks. Top with fruit, jam, honey or syrup. Love ’em!
- Rustico Pomodoro Pasta Sauce | Excellent light, low-cal and low fat pasta sauce. A little pricy at $3.49 but this stuff tastes amazing.
- Protein Power Banana Chocolate Chunk Muffins | With 7 grams of protein and only 130 calories each, these make an awesome little snack or compliment to fruit for breakfast on the go. Tip: Keep these in the freezer from purchase in a freezer safe bag and thaw as needed. The one downside is that mold develops on these just before or exactly on the ‘consume by’ date unless you freeze them.
- Organic Tricolor Quinoa | Super food, excellent substitution for pasta and so versatile. Sprinkle on salads, like I did with my Quick Honey Mustard Chicken Salad, eat with chicken, beef, tuna, so many ways to enjoy this stuff. This is one of the more reasonably priced places to buy quinoa, especially organic.
- Shredded Lite Mexican Blend Cheese | Great shredded cheese, a nice big bag as well. I use this in morning scrambles, in sandwiches, in quiches or on pizzas like my Fajita Chicken Pizza.
- Frozen Chocolate Covered Banana | A really yummy frozen treat! Self explanatory, just a banana dipped in chocolate. Simplicity is so lovely! 🙂
- Chocolate Chip Brownie and Oat Bars | Another new one for me. Perfect sweet treat! Dense and moist, a wonderful snack. Warm it up and top with light ice cream for a spectacular brownie sundae.
- Cookie & Cocoa Swirl | Remember that Goober and Grape stuff that was swirled peanut butter and jelly? Well, this is chocolate spread and cookie butter swirled together. A definite treat to be had in moderation at 90 calories a tablespoon but excellent as a topping for light ice cream, on toast, or crackers as a treat. If this would be a trigger food for you, meaning you’d have difficulty exercising portion control and eat a lot more than you planned to, pass it up.
Other things I usually buy at TJ’s because they offer them at competitive prices and good quality are: pure maple syrup, organic garlic olive oil, almond butter, 100 calorie dark chocolate bars, baked blue corn tortilla chips, black refried beans with lime, liquid egg whites, butternut squash soup in carton, everyday spice mix grinder, sea salt, dried cranberries, dried prunes, steel cut oats, fat free half and half, lite havarti cheese slices, dried lentils, peanut butter chips and chocolate chunks for baking, reduced guilt chocolate brownie mix and lots of other bits and pieces 🙂
Please feel free to comment below, or on my Instagram page about this, with other great TJ finds and favorites!