The first time I went to a Trader Joe’s I wasn’t very impressed. It was small. Sure it was cheaper than most specialty stores, but they didn’t really have anything I wanted.
After my boxing class in New York, I wanted to hit up a Whole Foods to pick up a few dry goods that I couldn’t get back home in Calgary. Yes, Whole Foods is exciting to me. More exciting than buying new clothes or shoes. I could spend hours lurking down each and every aisle. Figuring out a way to buy everything I want, while trying to keep the shopping bill under $100. It’s a difficult game.
After using the free wifi at the gym, I realized there was a Trader Joe’s down the street from me. I thought, hell, I’ll give this place another try because everyone seems to love it.
Wow was I ever surprised.
Before I let you in on my top 7, I have to mention that I was pleasantly surprised by the cost of everything. Usually, with the Canadian dollar, everything I buy in the USA ends up costing wayyyyyyy too much. But this time, I found that everything was very reasonable, in fact, a lot of items were almost half of the price as something I would buy at home that was similar.
Here are my seven treasures from my grocery shop. If you happen to be around a Trader Joe’s, I’d highly recommend them!
1.Trader Joe’s Just Mango Slices
More and more I am finding dried mango slices without the added sugar. so what makes this one so special? Not a whole lot, except that it was a lot cheaper than what I can get at home. And how soft and large the mango pieces were. Either way, all that’s listed in the ingredients are mangoes and it’s for a damn good price. You can’t go wrong.
2. Trader Joe’s Raw Almond Butter Crunchy
Two things: cheap and crunchy. I’ve never seen crunchy almond butter. And with the exchange, the price for this almond butter sits at a little more than half the price at home. Another big win – only one ingredient, raw almonds.
3. Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute
I’m always looking for a great seasoning without any salt. I truly believe we can get a lot of flavour out of the things we cook with just herbs and spices. This blend could not agree more. 21 different seasonings all in one shaker to help make your next BBQ extra delicious.
4. Trader Joe’s Mushroom & Company Multipurpose Umami Seasoning Blend
You had me at mushrooms. I’m all about the ‘shrooms people. I honestly didn’t read anything else after that and plopped this into my basket. Umami is one of the five key tastes, considered savoury. So pop this on any of your next savory meal preps, anything from meat to tree nuts.
5. Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Sauce
Okay, so this is the only thing on the list that actually isn’t that great for you. I picked this guy up to change up my burrito bowls. Only 10 ingredients in this guy – the worst ones: cane sugar and gum arabic. Two tablespoons winds up being 90 calories. Not too bad, and definitely a better choice topping for me than cheese or sour cream (you know, due to the whole “cutting out dairy thing”).
6. Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Lime Almond Dip
Can you see a trend? Looks like I’m lovin’ the jalapeno flavours! But for real, I’m always looking for healthy alternatives to dairy. Most dips like this one have cream, or milk products in it to give it that creamy, delicious taste. The price is great too, a lot cheaper than the cashew cream cheese I bought at home for almost three times the price. Another great part of this product? Only seven ingredients.
7. Trader Joe’s Organic Creamy Cashew Fiesta Dip
YASSSSS!!! I friggin love cheese. I also love any Mexican-style foods. But, after cutting dairy out of my diet I’ve felt sooooo much better. But the result is missing out on those delicious cheesy meals. So this made me really excited. Plus the ingredients are actually normal foods and all organic! Check it out for yourself.
I also bought some quinoa crisp chips. But I ate it before I could write this article (I had to sample all the dips ok?!). So now that I’m turned on to Trader Joe’s, comment below on any healthy finds you’ve picked up!
It’s important to note that not everything you see on the shelves in special grocery stores, or even in the organic or natural food isles are healthy (case in point – my jalapeño sauce). I always make sure to check the back of any food products I buy to ensure that they are actually a good, healthy product. If you want to learn a little bit more about food labelling, check out Why You Need To Read Your Damn Nutrition Labels.