Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Favorites at: Trader Joe's

Another new blog category came to mind today… I’m calling it “My favorites at: ______”. For this I will list my favorite food items you can buy at a particular store, restaurant, or point of interest (Ball Park, street, town, mall, etc.). So, for my first post in this category, I am writing about my favorite grocery store: Trader Joe’s.
Oat Bran:
For <$2.75 you get a bag of TJ’s brand oatbran that lasts weeks (for one person). This is super cheap compared to other packaged oatbran products and very high quality. Throughout my blogs, you will notice I am a big advocate of Oat Bran (so look for future postings with recipes).

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
I keep this frozen in 2 oz. portions so I can just de-thaw, then whenever I am using the oven, I roll this out to make a whole wheat flatbread. Bake for ~8 minutes in a 375 degree oven… and now you have a healthy whole-grain side to any meal! Sooo doughy and delicious.

Seriously, Trader Joe’s has the creamiest and most delicious hummus I have ever tasted- their Original Hummus. This is a great alternative to a dip at parties. Lots of people think hummus is bad for you because it is thought to be high in calories. However, as I try to remind people, calories aren’t the determining factor in what is “healthy”, and hummus is lower in calories than most dips you will have at a cocktail party. TJ’s hummus contains only 80 calories and 5 grams of healthy fat in 2 tbsp.

High Fiber Cereal
TJ’s brand cereal is very cheap compared to other commercial brands, and in general, usually natural and healthy. My favorite are their “High Fiber” varieties- the original is the best to mix into your other cereals to get that added fiber in your morning meal…. but the High Fiber with fruit & nuts also works well on it’s own- it tastes good and is good for you! (~90 calories for 2/3 cup).

Unsalted Peanut Butter (Natural)
Just peanuts. This PB gets some taking used to, but once you try it, you will be hooked. It is very liquidy, but that makes it easier to spread (and use less if on a diet). This is my favorite peanut butter because it has no hydrogenated oil, no added sugar, and no added salt- all natural, all peanuts!

Frozen Unshelled Edamame
Just boil these babies for a few minutes and you have an incredibly healthy snack or addition to any meal. Also known as soybeans, Edamame is very high in healthy fat, fiber, folate, thiamin, Vitamin K,  and protein. TJ’s gets it right when judging price, prep, and taste of the product.

Dark Chocolate
I don’t advocate eating lots of dark chocolate, but for those of you that want something sweet after a meal, this is for you. TJ’s has numerous varieties of dark chocolate, and they even sell one bar for less than 30 cents! Their chocolate is high quality and pretty cheap.

These are just a select few of the items on my shopping list when I go to TJ’s (usually weekly). There are dozens of other products I buy there, because TJ’s has fair prices and they offer many healthy products. If you haven’t visited a Trader Joe’s, I highly recommend it- it is quite the experience. Be sure to bring you re-usable bag and stop by the back to try a free sample of coffee and food of the day!


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