It’s no secret we love Trader Joe’s, and shop there often.
Of course we indulge in the seasonal items, the best is yet to come this year (we are counting down the days until the holidays), but there are also staples that we rely on year round.
Outlined below are our all-time favorites, and how we use them in our kitchen.
Trader Joe’s Staples
Organic Dried Mango
This is a go-to snack item in our home. Free of any additives or preservatives, this squeaky clean naturally sweet fruit will satisfy any sugar craving. We often make our own trail mix, with chopped pieces of mango, coconut flakes, chopped dark chocolate, and whatever raw nuts we have on hand. Bonus if you have Macadamia nuts for a truly tropical mix.
Organic Coconut Flakes
So many uses for these little lovelies. They make a great topping for muffins, smoothie bowls, and even a parfait. We mix them into many desserts and snacks, especially grain free granola and protein bites. You can also make super easy homemade coconut milk, which is our favorite way to use the flakes. It is way easier and cheaper than you would think.
Organic Raw Almonds
Similar to the above, we use these for snacking and topping. Most often though, we make homemade almond milk, and dry out the pulp for extra almond meal/flour. Tip: thick grained almond flour is not recommended for baked goods, as it doesn’t properly mix with other ingredients. Instead, you want a fine powder. You may achieve this by processing pulp several times in a high-powered blender or food processor.
Fire Roasted Peppers
With only a few simple ingredients, these are almost always in our pantry. We add them to a lot of savory dishes, from seafood, chicken, to tacos, they go with nearly everything. Great added on a salad, or served with a meat and cheese board at a party, you cannot go wrong.
The exact variety of these does rotate, but we haven’t sampled one we don’t like. If you enjoy brined foods like we do, then you’ll love these for snacking. They also make a great salad topping, and we often add them to tuna salad.
Another one we love to add to many savory dishes. We usually mix these with the olives and roasted peppers to give an instant Mediterranean feel to any dish. Great in salads, as seen in our Zucchini Noodle Salad. Or, mix all three with fresh herbs, tomatoes, and red wine for a simple weeknight chicken topping.
Organic Coconut Milk
When I don’t have time to make my own milk, I fall back on a few canned brands. This is one of them. This brand is a little more watery, so keep that in mind when cooking. We use coconut milk in place of dairy cream or milk in many recipes. If we need a thicker base, we’ll add a bit of coconut cream to this milk.
These are one of Garett’s favorites. He’s s huge chip and dip fan already, and these have it all. The spice, the light airy crunch from the waffle-like chip, and even a bit of sweetness, makes everyone jump on board. When we bring these out at parties, they are one of the first things to disappear. And for those who can tolerate dairy, try them with the Caramelized Onion Dip (see below) for a real flavor punch.
Spindrift Seltzer Water
We have gone on about our love affair with this seltzer in a previous post, and we are still enjoying all the flavors. They are great for sipping, serving to non-alcoholic loving guests at parties, and they also make a great mixer for those who like to indulge.
Produce & Frozen Items
A crisp, sturdy vegetable with a slight anise flavor, it spices up any salad. See our Citrus, Avocado, Fennel option for example. This veggie pops up most often when we roast it with carrots or other root vegetables. When roasted, the flavor mellows and melts into the natural sugars brought out by the carrots.
Organic Carrots of Many Colors
Always bought along with fennel, we use this both for roasting and other side dishes, but also when making mirepoix. Cut up into sticks they make a great snack, plus they look so pretty.
I love these as a substitute for chips, they make a great vehicle for dip, and balance out any veggie tray. They’re light, crisp, and refreshing. These also work well in recipes that call for English (seedless) cucumbers.
We cannot say enough about how handy this little container is. Mirepoix is the base for many soups, stews, sauces, casseroles, and the list goes on. This chopping can be cumbersome, and difficult on a weeknight, so having a prepackaged pre-chopped option is a life saver when executing a quick meal.
Caramelized Onion Dip
As noted above, this one appears in our shopping cart nearly every visit. Paired with either the Sriracha chips, or a BBQ version, these are a favorite snack for Garett. It shows up during football watching, or in place of lunch sometimes. Hey, when you like something, you really like it, right?
Frozen Organic Green Beans
Often times during the week, for either lunch or dinner, I need a quick side dish. I don’t always have the time or patience to prep every side from scratch, so these frozen vegetables save the day. For a quick dinner side, slightly defrosted in the microwave, then sautéed in a pan with butter or ghee, and topped with almond slices is a classic option. Or even oven roasted and drizzled with dressing/marinade is another great dish.
Frozen Organic Broccoli
These are on the same plane as the green beans for me, I love broccoli and eat is several times a week. A simple steam, a bit of olive oil, and lemon pepper is often on my plate. Our favorite way to serve this one at dinner, is to roast it (which reintroduces some crispness), and top with sliced garlic sautéed in butter or ghee, and splash with fresh lemon juice just before serving.
Frozen Organic Riced Cauliflower
I do eat white rice sometimes, but 9 times out of 10 I prefer a vegetable alternative. Riced cauliflower is the best substitute in my book, and one even our family enjoys. We will literally heat a couple of cups and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and serve just like we would rice. We also use the frozen option for a quick fried rice, or mixed into a stir fry.
So there you have it, most of our Trader Joe’s staple items. There are others we didn’t include here, but if we listed them all, I would be writing for days.
What are your favorite products? We would love to hear what appears in your shopping cart every week. Let us know in the comments below.
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