10 Things Health Experts Always Buy at Trader Joe’s
You don't need to spend big to eat healthy. Here are some healthy ingredients dietitians remember to buy at Trader Joe's.
Whether you are a carnivore, omnivore, vegan or vegetarian, Trader Joe’s has stocked its shelves to make your shopping a little easier. If you are a newbie or someone in need of new ideas, we have enlisted the help of a nutritionist and a couple registered dietitians who can help you stock your pantry with their favorite Trader Joe’s finds. Pretty soon, you’ll be grocery shopping like a boss.
Plant-based diets have been found to be beneficial to our overall health. Eating foods like tofu instead of meat may help to lower our LDL “bad” cholesterol levels, but not everyone knows how to prepare tofu so it tastes good. Since tofu soaks up whatever flavors it is cooked in, it needs a great marinade. “This is why I love Trader Joe’s Sriracha Flavored Baked Tofu”, says Charlotte Martin, MS, RDN, LDN. “It is soaked for 12 hours then baked before packaging which means you can eat it straight out of the package or saute it with veggies for an easy weeknight meal,” she says.
Using spices to dress your food instead of just drenching them in oil and lots of salt can save you calories and bloat. Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend is perfect for topping your own homemade bagels, rolls, or bread says Martin. She also suggests using it on chicken, veggies, eggs, pasta dishes. Try it in one of these pizza recipes for an added kick.
Reading those long labels on salad dressings can really help you to appreciate the Carrot Ginger Miso and Green Goddess dressings sold at Trader Joe’s. Short of making your own vinaigrette from scratch, they are a better choice than most store-bought options because they’re very low in calories while still being packed with flavor. “They have very short ingredient lists made up of easily recognizable ingredients that you don’t have to think twice about it,” says Martin.
Fruit bars are often criticized for being nothing but pure sugar with no redeeming qualities. “But Trader Joe’s consists of only two ingredients corresponding to the flavor of the bar (i.e. Apple Mango or Apple Banana), with no added sugar or preservatives,” says Martin. She also adds them to her gym bag and uses them as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, or as a pre-cardio fueling.
Sometimes even the most decisive among us can’t decide between all of the nut butters available. Well, you don’t need to pick just one anymore because of Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter. It contains roasted almonds, peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, and Brazil nuts all in one jar. “Plus it has no added oils or sugar and just a touch of salt,” says Martin. Try it in place of p
By now, we know that avocados are filled with healthy fats and can be added to everything from smoothies to salads and everything in between (warning: avocado recipes are addictive). Still, sometimes you don’t want to eat a whole one. “This tiny size is manageable for a person to eat the entire avocado at a meal or snack,” says Katrina Crichton, RD of eatingforrealnutrition.com. No more worries about having the uneaten portion turn brown and go to waste.
Trader Joe’s pre-cooked Organic Chicken Sausages are an easy way to add protein to healthy sausage dinner recipes and are available in a variety of flavors. “They are perfect for busy weeknights when you are looking to get dinner on the table quickly,” says Crichton. And an added bonus, they contain minimal ingredients and all ingredients that you can pronounce.
Trader Joe’s Organic Quinoa is a convenient product to have on hand when you don’t have time to prepare a whole grain side dish, says Crichton. It takes just a couple minutes to heat up in the microwave, which makes life easier when you get home from work with no ideas on what to serve with your grilled chicken breasts.
“If you make smoothies or protein shakes, frozen fruit can get pricey fast,” says Ariane Resnick, certified nutritionist, diet chef, and author. She recommends buying frozen fruit from Trader Joe’s. Try using the organic raspberries “as they are affordable by the pound plus add lots of fruit flavor but not much sugar,” she says. Use them in one of our favorite berry dessert recipes.
Grass-fed beef has been touted as being a better choice over the conventional version. It is said to contain less fat and more antioxidants. Trader Joe’s is 100% grass-fed, and less per pound for that than elsewhere,” says Resnick. Keep some stocked in your freezer for easy ground beef recipes during hectic weeknights.