What I Always Buy From Trader Joe's

I hope I'm not the only who loves to be as nosy as possible.  So nosy in fact, that I even want to know what people buy at the grocery store.  It's amazing how captivated I can be by a blog post or Instastory of a grocery haul.  I'm the first to say that I am not a cook and my place in life is very much not in the kitchen, but ironically I love grocery shopping.  There is something about pretending that I'm actually going to prepare these healthy and delicious meals that is very relaxing to me.  Though that rarely every happens, I'm lucky (and VERY grateful) that Brett was made for the kitchen and can pretty much make anything!  So here's what our typical grocery haul is from everyone's favorite, Trader Joe's.

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(Groceries are So hard to make cute, so apologies for the less than appealing photo)

I love Trader Joe's, next to Sprouts, it is my favorite grocery store to visit, most specifically during their seasonal rolls outs -- I'm already dying to get my hands on their Spice Apple Cider in the fall!  I've always appreciated the ambience they create in their store and their strive to create good-for-you products (for the most part).  Where Trader Joe's seems to shine most for me is in their nuts and snacks, flowers, dips/spreads/dressing, and most importantly cheese!!  

Nuts and Snacks

My favorites in this category are the Macrona Almonds.  Macrona almonds are a fun and delicious departure from your standard almonds.  Trader Joe's offers macrona almonds in a roasted and salted with rosemary (pictured above) and truffle variety that are both to die for!  I love these for a snack or chopped up in a salad.  Other notable nuts we always have on hand are roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds -- another great addition to salads!  The nut aisle also is home to our favorite granola, the Ancient Grains and Nuts Granola.  You have not lived till you try this granola!  I like it alone with nut milk like the Unsweetened Original Almond Milk, over yogurt, or just by itself.  Be careful because you will want to eat the whole bag (like Brett has done on multiple occasions). 

If I practiced no self-control on my grocery trips, the snack aisle of Trader Joe's would be completely empty and I'd be 348 lbs.  I try and limit my snack purchases to just one or two a trip.  A new favorite is the Middle Eastern Flatbread.  I'm adding this into the snack category because that's what Brett and I make of it.  We love to spread a little bit of peanut butter on top for those mid morning or mid afternoon munchies! It also makes for a great pre-workout snack and TJ's also carry a whole-grain version too!  If I'm allowing myself to be "bad," I'll grab a bag of the Reduced Fat Cheese Puffs.  Lastly, in the refrigerated aisle I always pick up at least one Strawberry Chia Juice.  I love the texture and of course the taste of this drink.  It is high in sugar since it has apple juice and strawberry puree, but the chia seeds give me energy and a small amount of protein, perfect before a morning pilates class.  Brett and I both love having some cold cuts on hand for quick high protein snack.  The Volpi Gourmet Pepperoni is one of our current favorites.  I love to make little turkey pepperoni "tacos" sometimes with a small sliver of cheese in the middle. 

Dips/Spreads/Dressing

Our very favorite dip/spread/dressing (since it can be all of those things!) is the Vegan Kale Cashew and Basil Pesto.  We LOVE pesto and I promise this is just as good as the real stuff!  We always have a tub of this on hand and it's the first thing I recommend to everyone.  My favorite pasta sauce from TJ's is the Three Cheese Pasta Sauce.  From the name you'd assume it's probably the unhealthy chose, but closer inspection of the ingredient list and nutrition card would prove otherwise.  Not pictured, but other notable items would be the Soyaki, Sweet Chili Sauce, and the Enchilada Sauce

Cheese

My favorite place to park myself in Trader Joe's is the cheese department.  They have a ton of variety and great description cards to help you find the best cheese for any occasion.  Our favorites are the Unexpected Cheddar, which is an aged cheddar with hints of parmesan -- it's always a crowd pleaser on a cheese board.  Next would the Blueberry Goat Milk Log, which pairs deliciously with the Fig & Olive Crackers.  I was not a blueberry fan until recently, but I have always loved the blueberry/goat combination.  Because TJ's selection is so wide, I love grabbing a new one to try out. 

PRoduce & Protein

Because I hate to cook, my natural tendency for lunch is to outsource which ends up costly a lot of money and obviously not usually the healthiest.  I've recently become obsessed with keeping ingredients on hand to make quick salads.  My favorite bagged salad greens is the Baby Lettuce Mix, a good basic mix green mix that lends it self to a wide variety of salads.  I like to have shredded carrots on hand too to add into the salad and to also use as treats for the dogs (they LOVE carrots!).  Now this next thing is pretty lazy but sometimes it's worth paying an extra few dollars to keep you from eating out and eating unhealthy.  The pre-grilled chicken strips are amazing for quick lunches!  They are unseasoned, but grilled to perfection, so I just break up a few pieces with my fingers to add into the salad or have alone with something else.  To make the salad bit more colorful and interesting I'll add pomegranate seeds, sunflower seeds, some light balsamic dressing, and then a sprinkle of Maldon salt.  These salads keep me full for hours and I've yet to get sick of them.  Another fast protein I always have are the Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage, just heat up and serve.  I'll eat them alone, in a salad, or with pasta! 

The one downside to Trader Joe's is that they seem to be limited in their produce offering and that's usually when I'm forced to venture to Sprouts.  But the items they always have and I love are the Shaved Brussel Sprouts, Petite Colorful Carrots, and Baby Broccoli

I know that Trader Joe's offers so much more than what I listed, specifically in the frozen aisle, but like the snack aisle, I try to limit my purchases there.  Some all starts to note though are the Gone Bananas frozen dark chocolate banana slices, Broccoli and Cheese Quiche, Sweet Potato Fries, and Reduced Fat Mac N' Cheese.

Everyone has their favorites from Trader Joe's and I'm always finding new ones from friends and family.  What are you go-to's at Trader Joe's?

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