My Top 10 Trader Joe’s Products

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on January 11, 2011

It seems like all the food products that I can’t live without are at Trader Joe’s. They have it all — nutrition, taste, convenience and a good price.

I thought it would be fun to share my favorite Trader Joe’s products with you. And even though it’s a small store, I’m sure you have some favorites that I’ve completely missed. So, please, do share.

Now, it’s my turn…

1. Organic Olive Oil Whole Wheat Wraps:I use these to make burritos and quesadillas. I love them because they taste good, have a soft consistency and are made with olive oil instead of soybean oil, which is lower in omega-6 fats.

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2. Turkey Meat Balls: These are great to have with spaghetti or any quick meal. They not only taste great but they are lower in fat and saturated fat than regular meatballs. Although I do get the party size regular meatballs too. This is the only meat Big A will eat at the moment.

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3. Grilled Chicken Strips: These are a life saver. They are perfect on caesar salad, quesadillas or any recipe that calls for cooked chicken. Just defrost quickly in the microwave. Nice flavor.

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4. Mediterranean Hummus:Out of all the variety of hummus at Trader Joe’s, this one is my favorite. I wish I could replicate the taste at home because it’s incredible.

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5. Dark Chocolate: Do I even have to say anything with this one? Big A and I enjoy these as I teach her to savor the rich flavor. We’re working on the “less is more” concept.

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6. Dry Roasted Sliced Almonds (unsalted): These little almonds are addicting — and great on salads. If you kids dislike nuts, they’ll love this crunchy treat. Perfect on yogurt too.

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7. Organic DHA Eggs: I really like these eggs as they contain 75mg of DHA, which isn’t bad (see DHA article for amounts kids need). They are also less expensive than other organic/DHA eggs.

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8. Trader Joe’s Organic Low Fat Yogurt: This is a great yogurt with a creamy taste that wins for the lowest amount of sugar for a 4 ounce serving that I can find. Sorry no picture — haven’t been able to find this since going to my new store. For more low sugar yogurts, see this post.

9. Dry Roasted Mixed Nuts: I always buy my nuts at Trader Joe’s. I like these mixed nuts with almonds, pistachios, cashews and macadamias (even though we skip the macadamias). It has half the salt of regular nuts.

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10. Trader Joe-O’s. This has the same ingredients and fortification (40% DV of iron) as regular Cheerios for a better price. Perfect for babies and toddlers.

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There are more products I like at Trader Joe’s but these are the ones that stand out. How about you?

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Estela @ Weekly Bite January 11, 2011 at 8:01 am

I love Trader Joe’s!! Don’t know what I’d do without it :)

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Janel January 11, 2011 at 9:17 am

We love the organic pears & apples, the veggie masala burgers, blueberry waffles, nuts,the little blueberry & vanilla yogurts, turkey meatballs, & frozen veggies! My latest obsession is the candy cane decaf green tea. I could go on and on…

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Evelyn January 11, 2011 at 9:23 am

We love: TJ Toothpaste, pasta sauce, rice noodles, organic ketchup, cocoa powder, chocolate chips(!), homemade tortilla’s, Med Hummus, organic frozen berries/veggies, and much more. I love their prices on cereal. I try to steer clear of their pre-made frozen foods as they tend to be full of fat.
Seriously, there are too many great things to choose from.

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Michelle January 11, 2011 at 9:32 am

I have a grocery store 5 minutes from my home. Instead, I make the 25 minute trek to TJ’s once a week because I love them THAT much! I’ve just recently become a weekly shopper there so I’m still discovering all of the goodies but so far: the Mediterranean hummus is what sucked me into TJ’s to begin with–delish! I love that all of their milk is hormone free. Their block cheeses are incomparable in price. I steer away from much of the frozen entrees, as well, but fell in love with their eggplant parmesan so that is a treat. I also love their spanikopita!

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Becky January 11, 2011 at 9:35 am

The mutligrain sesame baked pita chips, edamame hummus, frozen wild blueberries and organic berries, whole milk organic plain yogurt, plain oatmeal, brown basmati and jasmine rice, sliced goat’s milk cheese, pitted kalamata olives, chicken stock, boxes of soup, egg pappardelle, dal in a box, fantastic ginger cookies, WINE

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Corene January 11, 2011 at 10:29 am

I love TJ s too! Our family loves the olive oil, cranberry oatmeal ( lots of good vitamins in there), all the great crackers, dried mango…I could
go on and on.

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Maura January 11, 2011 at 10:35 am

i could go on for days–trader joes is the absolute best. a few must-haves:
**the harvest grains–cook with chicken broth, eat with just some olive oil and salt and OMG easiest side dish. or mix in anything to make a more complete meal!
**my son loves their frozen waffles
**their applewood smoked bacon is insanely good
**awesome almond butter and prices on almond milk and cereal (the maple clusters granola is the best)
**the prices and quality of nuts, cheese, dried fruit, frozen fruit, frozen peas, canned beans, artichoke hearts…i could go on and on and on

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Sam January 11, 2011 at 11:38 am

What a fun post! Joe’s O’s are a staple in our house. The turkey meatballs are another favorite, and one of the only meats my older child will eat, too. As a splurge, I absolutely love their Belgian chocolate pudding. The shredded pepper Jack cheese blend is another great item – great addition to scrambled eggs if you like a little spicy kick.

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Cindy January 11, 2011 at 11:40 am

We’re fans of the frozen green beans, capers, and cornichon pickles. We also buy a ton of the almond butter every time we go along with any nuts or dried fruits we may need. Before I started making my own, I used to love the organic applesauce because it was such a good value. We also love the alphabet pasta.

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Jodi January 11, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I love Fruity Flakes. They are tiny little fruit squares. Kids love them, they come in three flavors (all delish) and it is so easy to throw a pack in your purse for kid emergencies.

I also love their cranberry stuffed chicken. To. Die. For.

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Emily January 11, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Love TJ’s! We’re wheat & dairy free, so may have a different list.
Mini Chicken tacos – kind of a cheater meal – ie no prep!
rice noodles
dill pickles – from germany!
bread & butter pickles (practically a dessert!)
Hummus
Rice Bread
Earth Balance (TJs brand)
steamed beets – in the veggies section
mini apples – perfect kid size!
sugar free dark chocolate – heaven!!
frozen cherries – great in oatmeal
cashews (pieces) – yummy treat
seaweed snacks – my dd wll down a box of these at a time!
Sweet potato chips – hey it is a veggie right?!
The list goes on and on……!

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Rochelle January 11, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Our all time favorite at TJ is the tart d Alsace. Its not really the healthiest item there but super tasty…especially w a glass of wine. Whole roasted almonds. Blueberry bran cakes…huge source of fiber. Richter dark choc w hazelnuts. TJ greek feta in blocks. TJ Greek yogurt as well as french village w fruit on bottom. Frozen shrimp stir fry. Dried apricots and pitted prunes. I think thats 10.
We generally stay away from their produce. It’s a little cheaper but i routinely get bad or rotten fruits and veggies not to mention they have very little local or organic produce.

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jason January 12, 2011 at 12:57 am

Funny, I have a top 10 list of my own. That said it is wine focused but since given it is healthy in moderation I thought I’d share here -> Trader Joe’s Top 10 Wines List.

Outside of wine I’m a big fan of the vanilla granola & yogurt, dried fruits, their homemade pizza products and ready made lentils. Had a great lentil stew made with their chicken breast tenders and red Thai curry sauce tonight (paired great with Riesling)…

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Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD January 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Thanks Jason. Great list!

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Rachelle January 12, 2011 at 4:20 pm

My favorites at TJ’s are their pizza dough balls (I cant seem to manage to make my own dough from scratch for some reason!) and their Sunflower Seed butter. My daughter is allergic to nuts/peanuts and this is perfect for her at the best price around!

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Stacy January 13, 2011 at 4:13 pm

TJ’s is the bomb! We like lots of what has already been posted. We also like their lightly salted crunchy green beans for snacks. The butternut squash triangolis are so delicate and delicious. The nonfat organic yogurt, frozen mahi mahi burgers, frozen tilapia, organic frozen fruit, canned wild salmon, artichoke hearts, whole wheat pasta – great price and great taste, smart dogs, soyrizo. We just tried the new portabello mushroom soup and love it, also the cuban black bean soup is a hit around here. Organic arugula, snap peas and the masala lentil spread is great too.

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jason January 19, 2011 at 12:26 am

@Maryann My pleasure and likewise! Thanks for starting the conversation here. I’ve already found some new things to add to my shopping cart!

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Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) January 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Oh, how jealous I am of you all that have a Trader Joe’s–there are none in Texas! :-( But we try to go to them whenever we are visiting the east and west coasts. I personally love their trail mixes and we stock up when we are near a TJ’s! Will have to pass this info. on to my SIL who’s got TJ’s all over near her in MA. And I’ll make note of these items for our next visit too!

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Elle February 4, 2011 at 8:44 am

You guys don’t know how lucky you are to have a Trader Joes near you. I lived in LA for 12 yrs and moved to FL. No TJ’s here yet. Not smart as there are a lot of TJ’s fans here. Anyways, thanks for the tips. Have a trip up north and plan to stock up.

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Kris March 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm

I am loving this post!!! I too have 3 grocery stores within 10 minutes of me and I drive 25 to TJ’s.

Our must haves include:
Fruit and Cream Yogurt for the kids – They love the banana and vanilla
Yogurt Squishers – all flavors
Chimichurri Rice – So good… a.k.a. Yummy Rice in our house. Goes great with chicken, shrimp or pork!
Olive Oil – So good and SOOOO cheap!
Balsamic Vinegar – same as the OO!
Frozen corn – tastes like it’s right off the cob
Tuna Steaks
Joe-Joe’s – Especially the vanilla!
Raw Honey – I know I should buy this local, but it’s just SO good!
The grinder spices… $1.99 everyday!
Fresh Produce
Bagged salad – $1.99 everyday and so much better than the supermarket ones!
Hot Dog & Hamburger Rolls – Made w/o enriched flour and so delicious! $1.79!
Sweet Potato Fries – I know it’s better to make them from scratch, but these are so good!

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Kris March 15, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Oh and just today I tried the individual Grilled Eggplant Parmesan… It was SO good. I’m a Weight Watcher and for 7 pointsplus, this is a great lunch!

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Erin July 29, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I love trader joes!!! Our favorites are the cerial bars (as in “this blueberry walked into a bar”) the marangue cookies (actually all of their cookies are awesome) and the great coffee selection!

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Kris July 30, 2011 at 4:14 am

Erin those are a new favorite around here. We usually get the strawberry and apple. This week they tried fig and loved them. We also added ketchup, relish and pickles to our list. No HFCS! Also, I know they aren’t a TJ’s brand but Barbara’s Puffins. They have the biggest box for the cheapest!

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bonnie August 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm

I recently bought wild caught Cod in ginger soy marinade@ 6.99 lb. This was less than half wc cod is at the fish store or whole foods. They apparently flash freeze it as it was delicious, moist, fresh tasting and easy to prepare. An incredible value!

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Cam September 6, 2011 at 9:37 am

Enjoy shopping at TJ’s also, but am concerned about the amount of salt in their breakfast cereals.

Joe’s O’s has significantly more sodium per cup (280mg) than Cheerios (160mg). That’s a real difference, and given how much kids and many adults snack on cereals can really add up.

I’ve wondered for awhile why Joe’s O’s taste so good and the higher sodium content is, I’m sure, one of the reasons!

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karen October 31, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I’m surprised nobody mentioned their Soyaki Marinade! It’s loaded with garlic chunks, and is fantastic with chicken, beef or seafood!

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Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD October 31, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I just started using it. Excellent!

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auntieannieboo November 1, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Soyaki Marinade is too die for, I agree!! Had it at my daughters and made a special trip. Same trip, a friendly TJ associate opened a box of Raisin Rosemary Crisps for me to sample and, oh my, new favorite addiction!! I think they are a seasonal product. But, you must try, delish with some marscapone and fig preserve or just by themselves. ……………

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StacyS November 14, 2011 at 5:54 am

We love the tomatillo tamales, turkey meatballs, Mediterranean hummus, fat free Greek yogurt (TJ’s brand), bruschetta (mmmmm!!), garlic olive oil, cheeses, grilled chicken strips, chimichurri rice, mochi ice cream, could go on and on.
Also, pfefferneuse (spelling?) cookies are really good! They’re spice cookies w/ powder sugar coating. They’re seasonal (winter).

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Michelle November 25, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I agree with so many of the above!! I love the selection of fresh individual salads and other goodies in that refrigerated section – mushroom tortelloni especially! Their frozen mac & cheese is the bomb, and splitting between two kids seems to be plenty. Wonderful frozen veggies, frozen grilled chicken strips, and frozen berries for smoothies. They have a new product, a truffle ravioli, that is INCREDIBLE!! My store actually sold out and is ordering more! Blue corn chips and guac, mmm! My favorite treat is the dark chocolate bar with caramel and black sea salt, it will rock your world. And I know it isn’t a food product…but their fresh flowers last longer than any others I’ve tried, and are so reasonably priced. Love TJs!

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Michelle November 25, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Ooh! I knew I was forgetting something! The fresh mozzarella sticks are fantastic, if you enjoy fresh mozz. :) The cranberry goat cheese is phenomenal with crackers and wine as well.

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Katie Morford January 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Hi Maryann

Just saw this post. We are on the same page with the Trader Joe’s bit. I did a similar post a while back

http://www.momskitchenhandbook.com/hot-tips/trader-joes-fab-15/

I appreciate your work and your voice of reason.

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Kristin October 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Cookie Butter. YUM! (I didn’t say that it’s healthy…)

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