My Top 10 Trader Joe’s Products (Part 2)

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on May 3, 2013

It’s been over 2 years since I blogged about my favorite Trader Joe’s products. Ever since that post, I’ve periodically been asked to do a follow up. It’s not hard to do as I’m always adding some new item to my ever growing “must-have” Trader Joe’s list. I’m a sucker for their free tastings!

So here’s what I’ve been buying lately at Trader Joe’s. Feel free to leave your latest finds in the comments.

1. Black Bean and Cheese Taquitos: Big A gave up beans a while ago except for sometimes in a burrito. When I tried these taquitos she loved them. Of course I make taquitos at home that my husband and I think are good (Little D is not into taquitos at the moment). I usually put these out when we have quesadillas. We dip both in guacamole.

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2. Reduced Calorie Apple Juice: I would always see these at Trader Joe’s and the name repelled me. I thought they were a juice drink with just less added sugar. Then my friend had them and she mentioned they were watered down 100% juice (water added to juice — that’s it), the same thing we do at our house. Thanks for saving me as step, TJ!

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3. Steamed Lentils with Bruschetta Sauce: I like these lentils for quick lunches. You poke a hole in the bag and microwave for 3 minutes. You add these with the bruschetta sauce and some feta cheese and you have a quick meal. I like to eat this with a chopped apple on the side.

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4. Harvest Grains Blend: I stumbled on this grain blend and they sat in he pantry for a while. I finally cooked them with some broth and they were tasty. I like the combo of couscous, orzo baby garbanzo beans and quinoa.

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Full disclosure: my kids do not eat this.

5. Vegetable Radiatore: I like this product because it got Big A interested in pasta. I know, what kid doesn’t like pasta? Over a year ago, that was Big A. So I picked these up (they do have added vegetables) and told her we were having colorful pasta. At the dinner table she called them “rainbow pasta” and they have been a favorite ever since. This led to her eating spaghetti and she now will allow red sauce on her pasta and meatballs.

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6. Organic Brown Rice: I don’t make brown rice anymore because of this product. The only ingredient is organic brown rice and I love adding it to any meal or as a side dish mixed with a bit of butter.

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7. Organic Bread Crumbs: These are the only bread crumbs I’ll use in my baked chicken tenders recipe (in Fearless Feeding). They are crunchy with just the right amount of flavor. Me likey.

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8. Organic Low Fat Yogurt Squishers: These yogurt sticks are nice to have around when it gets hot. Like the Chobani tubes, we like to freeze them and have them as a snack. I used to send her to school with yogurt and a spoon but since eating competes with playing, she needs something easier.

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9. Short Stack Pancake Syrup: Not everyone in our family likes real Maple syrup. Little D and I do but my husband and Big A don’t. I have been searching for a syrup that doesn’t have all the undesirable stuff the store-bought syrups have. That’s what Trader’s Short Stack Pancake syrup is — it’s thick with no artificial ingredients. It’s certainly not a health food but it’s a good addition to our Sunday pancake day.

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10. Organic Popcorn with Olive Oil: Sometimes I forget that popcorn makes a good snack. I saw these and tried them. Soon after, Little D developed a popcorn fetish which has since calmed down. But I like that these are made with olive oil and just the right amount of salt.

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While produce is not the reason I shop at Trader Joe’s, I do love their bags of organic spinach and spring mix, organic carrots, organic apples and cuties.

What Trader Joe products are you digging right now?

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Evelyn May 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm

We share a lot of the same “likes” for Trader Joe’s products. I also love their peanut butter, sunflower seed butter & almond butter. I have never tried their Vegetable Radiatore, but I will now! I will also try the Black Bean & Cheese Taquitos. Thanks for sharing. Think I’ll head to TJ’s this weekend.

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Courtney May 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm

We love TJ’s chocolate syrup. No HFCS and it’s made with real chocolate, not just “flavor.” My son loves chocolate milk on occasion, and this way I can monitor exactly how much chocolate and sugar is going in there.

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Suzanne May 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Thanks for this list. We share many of the same favorites! I’m so glad to hear about the reduced calorie juice, I too had avoided it because I thought it contained artificial sweetners. I’ll pick some up the next time I’m there.

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stephanie May 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm

I too, love Trader Joe’s! I am a big fan of their organic broccoli slaw, wasabi peas, red quinoa, raw pumpkin seeds and their low salt almonds.

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Jennifer Wenzel May 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm

You hit a lot of our favorites here as well! My 6-year-old LOVES harvest grains — especially with tofu. We also love their potato chips made with olive oil, raw almond butter, organic pomegranate juice (we regularly make “cocktails” with orange seltzer – delish), quinoa, brown jasmine rice, brown rice pasta and goat cheese! And, when in season, we always get our grapefruits here too. :-)

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Jenny May 3, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I am fairly new to Trader Joe’s. ours just opened late last fall. We love the taquitos, especially dipped in their “reduced guilt” guacamole. The roasted coconut chips are delicious. We have enjoyed the frozen meatballs. That and a jar of pasta sauce starts a very easy dinner. The whole milk yogurt is delicious too. Thick and creamy and not too tart.

Do you mix the lentils and bruschetta sauce together? That sounds delicious!

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Christa May 3, 2013 at 8:23 pm

We’ve always liked TJ’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers (frozen patties), and chicken sausages (brats).

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Christel May 9, 2013 at 6:23 am

Great list! I love Trader Joes. I can’t wait to try the taquitos, steamed lentils and bread crumbs.

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