7 Products Nutritionists Load Up on Every Time They Shop at Trader Joe’s
Sure, I’ve missed my friends and all. Concerts. Museums. Vacations. Sanity. But during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic what I’ve really missed is grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s. You can bet your bottom dollar it will be my first stop when I’m fully vaccinated—and I’ll be picking up these amazing, good-for-you vegan eats that get nutritionists’ stamp of approval. All aboard the jicama wrap train!
1. Jicama Wraps
“A [great] alternative to some of the grain-based taco wraps are the jicama wraps found in the veggie section,” says Aderet Dana Hoch, MS, RD. “Jicama is from the tuber family, full of potassium and fiber for our gut health and heart health.”
Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, a plant-based registered dietitian and owner of Plant-Based Eats in Stamford, CT, can’t get enough of these wraps, as well. “I love the idea of using veggies as a taco shell—and this product allows you to make nutritious, low-carb, and gluten-free tacos at home,” says “The shells are made of just jicama. So not only do they have a super short ingredient list but you’re getting fiber, vitamins, and minerals from the vegetable.” Hummus, some diced radishes, a handful of leafy greens, maybe a drizzle of hot sauce, all packed into a jicama wrap. Easy lunch = served.
2. Organic Hummus Dip
Oh, how we love TJ’s dips. Jinan Banna, PhD, RD, a registered dietitian and professor of nutrition is a big fan of this one for its heart-healthy fat, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. “It's a great alternative to ranch dressing when looking for a dip for raw veggies. It's very versatile as well, and could be used on a sandwich,” she says.
3.Beef-less Ground Beef
While Trista K. Best, MPH, RD, LDN, at Balance One Supplements doesn’t often purchase processed vegan products like mock burgers and cheese, but when she shops at Trader Joe's, she has “found they provide the highest quality vegan products that don't leave me concerned for unwanted added ingredients that are equally as harmful to my health.”
That’s why she loves this product that lets her enjoy a homemade taco without needing animal-based meats. “[It’s] made with soy and wheat proteins which means I am getting in an adequate amount of protein and fiber at the same time. I love that this product offers a true meat-like consistency, is versatile in what I can use it for, and is an easy prep item,” she comments.
4. Frozen Misto Alla Griglia
Talia Hauser, RD, LDN, from The Colony, Texas has us headed to the freezer aisle. “The frozen Misto Alla Griglia is something I keep in my freezer at all times. It's a mixture of grilled and marinated eggplant, red bell peppers, and zucchini,” she comments. “I pop it into the microwave for a few minutes and add it to pasta, pizza, salads, and wraps. Of course, they can be eaten on their own as a side dish as well.
This is a quick, easy way to get a variety of vegetables into a meal with [hardly any work] whatsoever.”
5. Broccoli and Kale Pizza Crust
“I’m a huge fan of this healthy, gluten-free, and veggie-rich pizza crust, as I love making my own pizza at home,” says Gorin. “I love that the first ingredient in this crust is broccoli, so you’re getting your fill of veggies! And the ingredient list is super short, just eight ingredients—and that includes water and salt.” Vegan Pizza with Zucchini and Fresh Veggies? Shot dibs on seconds.
6. Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
You had us at cookies. Had us doubling this mix to our bags with “chocolate chips.” So what makes these a good pick? “Trader Joe's vegan cookie mixes have become a staple in my home because they offer a dairy-free option that allows my family and me to still enjoy a homemade dessert,” says Best. “From a health and nutrient perspective, I know that I am consuming ingredients that will not lead to sensitivity flare-ups or a sluggish immune system that's been dampened by low-grade inflammation commonly caused by dairy and wheat.”
7. Boxed Falafel Mix
Mediterranean night? Yes, please. “I love the boxed falafel mix [at Trader Joe’s]. This is a dry mix that you only need to add water to with very simple ingredients including fava beans, chickpeas, and spices,” says Hauser of the vegan and gluten-free buy. “They're very flavorful and high in fiber and protein from the beans—three prepared falafel provide 9 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein! What's also great about the mix is that the directions are there for both baking and frying,” she continues, noting that she recommends baking the falafel to avoid adding extra unnecessary fat. “I spray mine with some avocado oil spray before going in the oven,” she notes.
Share with us: What’s your favorite healthy vegan find at Trader Joe’s? Any new products from the list above you’re excited to try out?