The Best Things to Buy at Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite grocery stores of all time. I love that so much of their stuff is natural and contains no GMOs and it’s also super unique! There are Trader Joe’s by my hometown, but NONE NEAR CHAMPAIGN-URBANA! This is tragic and I really wish that they would change it. Every time I’m home I load up on all of my favorite treats and bring them back to school with me. These are the best things to buy at Trader Joe’s in my opinion! All of these products are vegetarian, and a lot of them are also vegan.

  1. Pink Lemonade

Pink Lemonade, Trader Joes

Oh Trader Joe’s, you have done it with this one. Why is it that pink lemonade is just so much better than regular lemonade? This low calorie lemonade is no exception! It has lower calories and lower sugar than most kinds of lemonade. The flavor shocked me a little bit when I tried it because it is definitely more tart than it is sweet, because it has a lot less sugar. But I think that that is a really good thing. With some kinds of lemonade I can’t even finish it before my teeth have a sugary film around them and I’m ready to drink some water. With this, that doesn’t happen! It has a great flavor, a wonderful color, and the calorie content makes me feel a lot less guilty while drinking it!


2. Coconut Coffee Creamer

This stuff is wonderful if you’re looking for a non-dairy coffee creamer. I was so excited to try this. I expected it to have a coconut flavor, but it doesn’t! It is made with coconut milk, but it really tastes indistinguishable from regular dairy creamer (in my opinion) which is actually good. If you’re searching for a vegan alternative to dairy creamer, look no further! This is your answer.


3.Organic Vegetarian Chili

This Chili is amazing! You an heat it up on the stove super quickly and it tastes like homemade chili that took hours to make.


4. Meatless Meatballs

These were the first fake meat product that I ever tried and it did not disappoint. If you’re looking for something that tastes just like beef, this is not it. This definitely has a different flavor and it is very different from actual meat. HOWEVER, I don’t think that that is a bad thing. If you’re expecting it to taste just like beef then you might be disappointed, but if you go into it thinking that it is it’s own product then I think you will really enjoy it. I love the flavor of these meatballs and I love to put them in spaghetti, dip them in BBQ sauce, or make a meatball sub. Although they’re not very convincingly beef-flavored, they are delicious.


5. Nutritional Yeast

If you’re familiar with vegetarian or vegan cuisine, you’re probably well aware of the wonders of nutritional yeast. This cheesy, nutty flavored powder is full of amazing nutrients for your body. Brian and I love to sprinkle this on things and we recently used a bunch of it in our vegan mac and cheese. (We tried the Tasty recipe, you can find it HERE if you’re interested! I recommend it! It was great! So full of veggies!)


6. Organic Tahini

I bought this Organic Tahini because I really need to kick up my hummus recipe. We make hummus pretty regularly but we always just make it with garbanzo beans and it always seems like it is lacking. After a discussion with one of professors, I finally decided that tahini was the thing that I needed to kick it up. It. Was. Amazing. The tahini was exactly what we needed in our hummus and I will never go back.


7. Chicken-less Crispy Tenders

Another fake meat product! If I’m being perfectly honest, I like fake chicken products more than I like real chicken products. These chicken strips are wonderful and crispy. I like to bake them in the oven more than putting them in the microwave because they seem to come out better that way. I have dipped these in ketchup, BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, and even put them on salads or sandwiches. They’re very versatile and the flavor is great.


8. Portobello Mushroom Fries

Another random Trader Joe’s find that ended up being absolutely amazing. I love mushrooms. Anything mushrooms. The only downside to these is that when some of them are baked they just get mushy and do not get crispy. Some of them got crispy, but some got mushy and floppy. Overall the flavor was phenomenal so I really can’t complain, but I wish that they had stayed a little crispier.


9. Organic Superfood Pilaf

This is the most amazing mix of foods. It’s organic, which is what drew me to it initially, but the kale, sweet potatoes, and carrots mix in wonderfully with the quinoa. We ate this as a side dish to meal and it was the perfect addition. I really recommend this if you want a quick way to get some extra veggies, vitamins, and nutrients with your meal.


10. Cherry Chocolate Chip Soy Creamy Ice Cream

THIS IS MY FAVORITE ICE CREAM EVER. You would never know that this was a soy product because it is so creamy and thick. It has real chunks of cherries and chocolate and it is amazing. It is a vegan product and there are hardly any ingredients in it (read: not a ton of fake stuff!). It’s still very high in sugar so it’s not “healthy”, but this is definitely something that I like to treat myself to.


11. Soy Creamy Ice Cream Sandwiches

More soy ice cream! But this time in ice cream sandwich form!!!! These mini ice cream sandwiches are only 90 calories a piece and, just like the cherry chocolate chip ice cream, the creaminess of the ice cream is unbelievable.


12. Vegan Spread and Dressing

I’ve mentioned this product before because I love to put this on my cucumber tomato sandwiches. This is the best vegan mayo that I have ever tried. It tastes very much like the regular mayo. I used the entire jar of it in a very short amount of time.


13. Organic Ketchup

I heard great things about Trader Joe’s Organic ketchup and I wanted to try it for a very long time. Finally I broke down and bought it. As a classic Heniz girl, I was skeptical. This ketchup blew my mind. It was one of my May favorite’s because it was absolutely amazing. It has less sugar than most regular ketchups and because of that it tastes a lot less sweet. I would have expected that I would dislike that, but it is actually great! It tastes a lot more natural than the overly sweetened kinds. I’ll always be a Heinz girl deep down, but I definitely love this organic version from Trader Joe’s now and then!


14. Carrot Spirals

Although you can use a vegetable spiralizer to make your own “noodles” out of things like carrots and zucchini’s, it is so much easier to purchase a frozen version when you’re in a pinch. These carrot noodles are good with nearly any kind of sauce and it makes you feel a lot healthier knowing that they’re vegetable noodles and not just straight carbs.


15. Spinach Artichoke Dip

When I was buying this at Trader Joe’s the cashier said “There’s a reason that we’ve had this dip around since Trader Joe’s first opened…this is everyone’s favorite” and he was not wrong. To be fair, Brian and I generally like all kinds of spinach artichoke dips, but this one really is a wonderful dip. We usually only get to eat these kinds of things as appetizers at restaurants, so it was great to have an at-home version that we didn’t need to spend a ton of time making. I can’t wait to buy this one again!

16. Cauliflower Rice

I wish that I had gotten on the Cauliflower Rice trend so so so much earlier. I absolutely love it! My favorite way to make it is in fried rice. I do half cauliflower rice and half brown rice and then make fried rice like normal. You can’t even tell the difference, and its a much healthier and low carb alternative to just rice!

I narrowed it down to 16 items because I assumed that any more than that would just become too much to read. So far I really haven’t had anything from Trader Joe’s that has been a disappointment. I have a lot of things that are favorites and a lot of things that are pretty good, but nothing that I hate. As I add more favorites to my list of Trader Joe’s favorites I might have to re-update and let you know about those, but for now I will leave you with only these 16.


Do you like Trader Joe’s? Have you tried any of these items? What are your favorite things at Trader Joe’s?