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It’s hard to resist Trader Joe’s winning combination of quality ingredients, affordable prices, a variety of healthy produce, and a carefully curated selection of iconic seasonal items. Although you sometimes have to wait in the long line (which tends to move at a fast pace), the potential for this grocery chain to add more savings to your wallet while subtracting inches your waistline with its delicious food selection makes the in-person visit to TJ well worth the effort.
However, the huge, often crowded storefronts as well as its vast array of standard and seasonal product offerings can sometimes make shopping at Trader Joe’s feel like sensory overload. In my experience, if you don’t walk into TJs with a clear idea of what you want, it’s easy to find yourself dancing and weaving tirelessly down the aisles for hours on end with your arms full of produce. random that you’re less than confident you really need. Worse still, getting caught up in the hectic pace of Trader Joe’s, especially during peak hours (i.e. weekdays after work or Saturday and Sunday afternoons), could leave few opportunities to fully address the nutritional value of items you may be adding to your shopping cart. Luckily, we know of a number of dietitians who are big TJ fans as well.
“I love Trader Joe’s and almost always shop there for cooking demonstrations with my cardiac rehab patients!” said Sheri Berger, RDN, CDCES.
To help you get the most out of your next visit to Trader Joe’s with more vitamin- and nutrient-dense choices to help round out a well-balanced day of eating, we asked Berger and a few other dietitians to talk to us. of their must-have TJ grocery store. selected. These beloved, dietitian-approved grocery picks from Trader Joe’s can help you further refine your own regular shopping list. According to dietitians.
“I love Truffle Marcona Almonds,” says Berger. “Pair them with a fruit and you have a great hiking snack that gives you a satisfying dose of flavor, protein, healthy fats, fiber and carbs.”
“Trader Joe’s has its own brand of oatmeal,” explains Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LDauthor of The Sports Nutrition Handbook and a member of our expert medical board. “Oats are a good source of beta-glucan fiber which is good for heart and gut health. Oats also contain polyphenols, including a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, which may help to fight inflammation.These rolled oats can be used to make overnight oats, energy bites, and you can grind them to make flour for a nutrient-rich base for your baked goods .
Those who love a great frittata for breakfast or brunch but don’t have the time to make one should try Trader Joe’s Egg Bites Cheese, Spinach & Kale. These protein-packed egg bites are great on-the-go snacks that can fill you up and keep you energized through lunch.
“If you’re looking for a boost of protein for breakfast or for a snack, Trader Joe’s Egg Bites are a great option,” suggests Goodson. “With 150 calories and 12 grams of protein per serving (two bites of eggs), it’s a great way to fuel your day with protein. Plus, all you have to do is heat them up!”
For savory snackers looking to dodge the saturated fat of classic potato chips while upping the ante on their daily vegetable and/or fiber intake, Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Chips are the way to go.
“With 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber per serving, Trader Joes Crispy Cauliflower Snacks are a great swap for potato chips. Also, the first ingredient is cauliflower! Goodson said.
“Bowls of acai at a restaurant can cost you upwards of $10 a bowl. But getting pre-made frozen ones from Trader Joe’s will set you back about $4 or $5, tops,” Lauren Manaker, MS, RDNdietitian and author First Time Mom Pregnancy Cookbook And Fuel male fertility, recount Eat this, not that!
“These bowls are filled with antioxidant-rich acai berry puree along with other healthy ingredients,” adds Manaker. “In no time, these bowls help you hit your fruit quota for the day in a delicious way. Top this bowl with nut butter and chia seeds for a balanced dish.”
“Envy apples have that balanced sweetness that you expect from an apple,” says Manaker. “But they’re not just a naturally sweet addition to snack boards and recipes that provide a boost of antioxidants and fiber. These apples have flesh that stays white longer, making them a perfect option if you like to pre-slice or chop your apples. — especially if you don’t like to eat apple slices that start to brown quickly. Plus, these apples are a great choice for making homemade apple chips,” she suggests.
“Freeze-dried strawberries are a crunchy treat that has no added sugar and the same nutrients that fresh strawberries offer,” says Manaker. “They have a longer shelf life. Plus, they’re great snacks to bring along when you don’t want to worry about mushy, mashed berries, but still want to enjoy fruit!”
“Having steamed lentils on hand makes for a simple, plant-based meal that requires almost no preparation,” advises Manaker. “From energy or cereal bowls to salads and even soup, these lentils add serious plant-based protein and fiber to many healthy dishes.”
“This pesto is vegan and made with quality ingredients that elevate my Caprese sandwich in seconds,” Manaker says. She also notes the versatility of Trader Joe’s pesto.
“Yes, the obvious way to enjoy this pesto is over pasta,” says Manaker. “But I love using it as a sandwich condiment instead of mayo or as a dipping sauce for a hearty cracker. Sometimes I’ll even use it as a marinade for fish or chicken.”
“KIND bars are made with whole ingredients,” says Manaker. “It’s a perfect snack to carry in my purse when the days get off track and I need something nutrient-dense and satisfying ASAP.”
“The combination of protein, fiber and good fats make these bars my satisfying snack on busy days,” she adds. “I love to stock up on these, so I have a supply to put in my bag to have a good-for-you snack when the hunger pangs hit.”
“I absolutely live by Trader Joe’s Everything But Bagel Seasoning in the Kitchen!” said Caroline Leslie, MS, RD, LD, RYTand owner of Whole Self Nutrition. “Part of healthy eating is making sure your food tastes great and this seasoning makes any savory dish delicious. I love it on eggs, avocado toast and roasted vegetables .”
“Trader Joe’s Creamy Vodka Pasta Sauce is something I never leave the store without,” says Caroline Thomason, RD, LDN, CDCES. “I like to have a variety of sources on hand to make preparing a weeknight dinner as easy as possible. Often I pair their pasta sauce with their red lentil penne for a huge boost of fiber and of protein to my weekday meals.”
“Frozen garlic and ginger cubes are my secret to saving time,” Melanie Marcus MA, RDrecount Eat this, not that! From stir-fries to soups, they are perfectly prepared and full of flavor. »
“Hearts of Palm Pasta are my favorite Monday night dinner dish when I just don’t have the energy to boil water,” says Marcus. “They’re low carb and the entire container is only 60 calories. [Also, it has] 5 grams of fiber!”
“The rice cakes are a nice change from my usual dark chocolate treats, and so much easier than making them at home!” Marcus said.
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