LORI NEdescu,




Board certified sports dietitian, pro athlete, freelance nutrition writer, published author, social content developer & personal chef.

Trader Joe's Picks

Trader Joe's Picks

Trader Joe's is a great market for quick meals, unique finds and personal portioned grab n go items. It can also be completely overwhelming (look at all the shiny things!) and lead to cart full of products when you only walked in for milk and eggs. 


This market is great for picking up packaged items (yes, I said PACKAGED food!) because the options are limited (3 aisles of things to be tempted instead of 15), tend to be on the healthier & seasonal side and are typically portioned to 1-2 serving sizes. I love stocking my fridge and freezer with picks from Trader Joe’s that I can quickly reheat and eat when things get busy and time to cook a meal from scratch isn’t available. The produce section is also a good option for grabbing just what you need as most of the offerings are sold by price per item (single apple / banana).

Here are the items I frequently buy at Trader Joe's and how I use them. 

  •  Vegetable Tamales - These are great for dinner on nights when I have late rides. Just heat & add salsa/ avocado!

  • Avocado Citrus Yogurt - This is a true example of TJ’s having interesting/ unique options. The flavor is subtle and satisfying and the single serve portions are great for grab n go lifestyles!

  • 3 Seed Beet Crackers - Gluten Free crackers made with beets! Great for dipping in hummus on the go.

  • Sundried Tomatoes - at only $1.99 a bag, these come with no oily mess and are great to chop up and toss in anything for a big burst of tomato flavor.

  • Mixed Nut Butter - I’m not a fan of just peanut butter, but this mixed nut butter is loaded with nutrients from a variety of nuts like Brazil nuts.

  • Fresh Peas - Somehow TJ’s has these when no one else seems to. Toss into salads, pasta or roast curry cauliflower for a burst of fresh spring flavor and vibrant color.

  • Cauliflower Pizza Crust - I always have a couple of these in my freezer for nights when I want pizza, but without all the carbs.

  • Fresh Figs - Okay I know these aren’t a year round option, but TJ’s does a great job at bringing in seasonal picks, so if you spot one, grab it! I love my figs chopped up in cottage cheese or in salad with balsamic.

  • Everything Bagel Seasoning - Limited knowledge of how to flavor foods? Don’t want a cabinet full of spices you never use? Pick this one and sprinkle on everything.

  • Pastrami Style Smoked Salmon - Put it on a bagel on in a salad… its amazing.

  • Toasted Coconut Granola - I love making my own granola, but this option is gluten free and great to have in the pantry when I run out of my own!

  • Chicken Burrito Bowl - A frozen meal I can get behind! Good option for a quick meal without sacrificing your nutrition.

  • Cauliflower Gnocchi - These dumpling like pastas are not low carb, but they are enhanced with cauliflower and they’re delicious! Just toss in a skillet with veggies and your favorite sauce for a gourmet meal in minutes.

  • Coconut Oil Travel Packets - Ideal for taking on the road or for learning how little oil you really need to use when cooking…

  • Bananas! - Basic I know, but at 19 cents each, TJs can really teach you how cheap a nutritious snack can be!

  • Tiny Avocados - Let’s face it these are just cute. But seriously, eating a whole normal avocado is too much (yes, sadly it is) and wrapping half of it for later never really works. These tiny avos are the perfect size to eat the whole thing.

  • Organic Tahini - At only $3.49 a jar, it is the only tahini I buy! Use it in dressings and baking for a creamy, nutty addition.

  • Ghee - A jar is only $3.99 which is a steal for ghee. I’ve become a believe in the product… not really for nutritional benefit, but for richer flavored, spreadable real butter.

  • Organic Coconut Aminos - Cheaper than other varieties. This is a great replacement for soy sauce, is gluten free, and adds a hint of tropical flavor to meals.

  • Argentine Red Shrimp - I’m a fan of buying frozen seafood because it’s less perishable and the flavor/nutrition is locked in immediately. These big, deep pink shrimp are amazing to add to pasta dishes or quinoa salads.

  • Organic High Protein Sprouted Tofu - This is my ONLY tofu because I’m not into the texture of less firm varieties. My favorite way to use this is to cube, toss with coconut oil and aminos and bake until toasty!

  • Organic Vanilla Fudge Chip Ice Cream - Does this really need an explanation? ;) Remember friend, being healthy is also about balance!


This isn't a complete grocery list, by any means. Trader Joe's is great for certain items; mainly packaged food, but not everything (for example I really hate the selection of bagged greens) so I definitely supplement this shopping with other markets.

What’s your favorite Trader Joe pick??

Tell us in the comments!

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