Top 10 Products to Buy From Trader Joe's (and Why)

shopping at trader joe's
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Trader Joe's is a grocery shopper's favorite. You get a friendly vibe from the Hawaiian shirt wearing staff and kids can have fun searching for Marcie the store mascot, making for a fun and exciting shopping experience. Most importantly though, Trader Joe's offers good quality products for honest prices.

While not everything at Trader Joe's is healthy just because it's from Trader Joe's, many products are.

It's tough to narrow down exactly what you're going to buy. I recommend these ten products because they are convenient, priced right, and packed with good nutrition and taste.

Organic Tuscan Kale

Organic Tuscan Kale Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/3 bag (94g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 40 
Calories from Fat 0 
Total Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0.5g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 40mg2%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Dietary Fiber 2g8%
Sugars 0g 
Protein 3g 
Vitamin A 290% · Vitamin C 190%
Calcium 15% · Iron 8%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Trader Joe's organic Tuscan kale is easy, convenient, and delicious. It is already washed, cleaned, and cut for you so you don't have to do any work. Just toss it with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and Parmesan for quick kale chips, or throw it into soup, stew, or an egg scramble to bump up the flavor and nutrition profile of any meal.

Plus, kale is a nutrition powerhouse, packing in almost three times your daily needs of vitamin A and almost double your vitamin C needs.

Frozen Wild Organic Blueberries

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Purchase them frozen and you'll increase the nutrition profile as well as the shelf life. You'll also save $1.00 for double the quantity as compared to fresh.

Use these as a yogurt topper, blend them into smoothies, or mix them into your favorite pancake, scone, or blueberry muffin recipe.

One cup serving is 80 calories, 0g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 18g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 13g sugar, and less than 1g protein.

Spicy, Smoky, Peach Salsa

This zesty, flavorful salsa is lower in sodium than most—and also low in calories and super tasty. Made with peaches, tomato, chile peppers, and apple cider vinegar, it adds a nice kick to an omelet, egg scramble, or wrap. Or simply add a dollop to your grilled chicken, burger, or salad. For two tablespoons you'll get 15 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 90mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 4g sugar, 0g protein.

Organic Colored Carrots

If you are trying to eat the rainbow, think about eating carrots of different colors. Trader Joe's offers colored carrots in a bag—purple, orange, and white. Not only will you get the benefits of the different types of flavonoids found in the multi-colors, you'll be pleasantly surprised with the sweet, crunchy flavor.

Whole carrots are usually more tasty than baby ones. Sure, you'll have to do some peeling and cutting, but it's so worth it. 1 carrot contains about 30 calories, 0g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 50mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2g sugar, 1g protein. You'll also receive a day's worth of vitamin A (110 percent).

Matcha Green Tea (Unsweetened)

Matcha green tea, made from green tea powder, is very popular these days. Typically served hot, or in powder form and used in desserts and smoothies, green tea is not only delicious it's also healthy. Green teas are especially rich in a group of flavonoids called flavan-3-ol monomers or catechins. Flavonoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may play a role in the prevention of disease.

 This unsweetened tea is perfect for a grab-n-go beverage that is calorie free and packed with antioxidants. It is also reasonable priced: an 8.2 ounce can costs about $0.99.

One can contains 0 calories, 0g fat, 15mg sodium, 0sugar, 0protein, and 100 percent vitamin C.

Grass Fed Organic Beef

It is so great when you can go to one store for everything—shelf stable foods (like bread), produce, and meat. The organic grass fed beef at Trader Joe's is a great find because the price is right and it's tasty and versatile. Use it when making chili, tacos, meatballs, burgers, and more.

As a bonus, grass fed beef as compared to grain fed beef typically has less total fat and more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. For a four ounce serving you'll get 240 calories, 17g fat, 7g saturated fat, 75mg cholesterol, 75mg sodium, 0g carbohydrate, 21g protein.

Just a Handful of Dry Roasted Almonds

These portable, pre-portioned almonds are just the right amount for a snack on-the-go. Almonds are a great source of fiber, protein, and healthy fat, making them a filling and nutrient dense food. The entire package contains 13 bags and each bag contains 210 calories, 16g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 9g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 0g sugar, 9g protein.

Note: if you are pairing these almonds with a serving of fruit or a small low-fat yogurt, aim to keep your portion to half a bag. 

Organic Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter

Nut butter, such as peanut butter, can add heart healthy fat, filling protein and fiber to your diet. This particular peanut butter is deliciously creamy and doesn't get hard once refrigerated. Spread a small amount on an apple for a filling snack or add some to your overnight oats for a heart-healthy protein packed breakfast. Two tablespoons contains 200 calories, 15g fat, 2g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 40mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 2g sugar, 8g protein. 

Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is a great substitute for regular rice when trying to follow a low carbohydrate diet. While you can make your own "rice" by pulsing it in a food processor, this "rice" is all ready to go. Simply open the bag and get cooking—it's that easy. And it isn't that expensive either, costing just a little over two dollars and you can easily make multiple servings out of it. One serving (2/3 cup): 25 calories, 0.5g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 25mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2g sugar, 2g protein, 70 percent vitamin C, 2 percent calcium, 2 percent iron.

Frozen French Green Beans

Frozen vegetables are convenient, easy, and nutritious. Some research suggests that eating frozen vegetables can actually be more healthy than eating fresh because once picked, they are frozen at peak freshness which helps to maintain their flavor, vitamins, and minerals.

Green beans are a very good source of fiber. They also contain Vitamin C, K, folate, and manganese. Steam these green beans and add them to salads or simply saute them with garlic and oil for a nutritious and tasty side dish. One serving: 25 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2g sugar, 2g protein.

Sources:

Linus Pauling Institute. Tea. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/tea

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