Your Top 5 Trader Joe's Products? - 2014
- TXMandy Feb 9, 2014 01:34 PM
Products come and go and our taste buds change. What are the top 5 TJ products you can't live without? Here's mine...
1. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
2. Tomato Basil Marinara
3. Jarred Crushed Garlic
4. California Estate Olive Oil
5. Salsa Verde
Honorable Mentions of Non-Food Items:
1. Vitamin E Oil
2. Coconut Body Butter
3. "Greenie" Dog Treats
What are your favorites?
Thank you for starting an updated version of this thread - I have already tried a couple of the recommendations out and can't wait to try more! Could you provide a link on the 2013 version to this new one? I think some people from the old version may not be aware that a new one has begun. TIA!!
1: Salsa Autentica. My favorite storebought salsa (around here in New England, anyway), and a steal for the price.
2: Almond Croissants. I can't believe I never even considered these until reading about them on CH.
3: Kouign Amann
4: Cheddar cheese - the specifics vary, but at any given time there's at least one fantastic cheddar at a better price than I can get elsewhere
5: Frozen haricots verts - I don't know what it is about Trader Joe's, but some of their frozen vegetables are so much better than I can get elsewhere, which is a godsend in a climate with such a short growing season.
the Kouign Amann is ridiculous. It is my friend's favorite too. I have two pumpkin croissants stashed in my freezer and am going to grab more almond and chocolate croissants soon. So all the rise and bake stuff. Haven't tried the plain croissants but I will get around to it.
Puff pastry, pie crust, wide egg noodles and the decaf peppermint tea that is seasonal.
A year ago I thought I needed nothing from Trader Joe's and now I can't go a week without a trip and am having a hard time deciding on 5 favorites. For now, I'll go with the products I always have to have in the house.
1. Marinated mushrooms
2. California Estate Olive Oil
3. Turkey breasts - available year round, perfect size
4. Low sodium organic chicken broth
5. Guilt free guacamole
Some current faves are
whole wheat British Muffins
Sicilian Olive Oil
frozen petit peas
frozen pearl onions
Rolled Oats and Chocolate Chip fiberful (9g!) Granola Bars
Cocoban red wine
1000 day Gouda
Chocolate covered liqueur cherries (Christmas item)
-meatless balls (not on shelves now, are "being reformulated" and hope to return in march)
- frozen soycuttash
- honey wheat pretzel sticks
- frozen organic fruits (esp blueberries!)
- dk chocolate covered ginger
Non-food but one of my favorite wines (and i usually hate red wine that isn't crazy expensive!) found this description:
"2012 Josef Händler Sweet Red Wine, Rheinhessen, Germany $4.99 - Sweetness is very well balanced by the acidity and liveliness of the fruit that is plentiful and persistent. "
Love love love the meatless meatballs and like you, been waiting for months for the company to reformulate..would of stocked up!
Natural TJ Chicken sticks for my dog
Veggie Spring rolls (frozen)
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil...da best evah for the skin!
re: Beach Chick
And I bet you get the lemons from your back yard too!
Sounds wonderful, I've only tried my usual various Italian treatments and, despite it being made in Italy, nothing ever grabbed me. Can't wait for August, when my garden should be in full bloom; I can do a lot of lemony herbs to up the flavors at least.
Curious to see if it's still like that. I felt that way about their confetti rice. I really wanted to like it but I just couldn't because the lemon pledge taste was so overwhelming for us. I was thinking about the pappardelle last time I was at the store but maybe it's not such a good idea for me!
organic avocados, they always seem to be "good"
The little veggie and chicken broth packets, I miss the beef
Honorable mention we can't get due to allergies: the mini milk chocolate covered peanut butter cups. Or the dark chocolate covered candied ginger
1. Frozen raspberries. I eat them on cereal every day.
2. Truffle Brownie Mix.
3. Garlic Hummus.
4. French Vanilla Ice Cream. It's a full half-gallon and as good as the name-brand premiums but cheaper.
5. Almond Meal. Has many applications in baking.
Tiny frozen onions
Frozen broccoli flowerets
The marinara sauce that has only 25 mg sodium per 1/2 cup---name brands have 300-700 mg
Frozen flounder filet stuffed with crabmeat
Sweet Chili Sauce
1. Tarte d'Champignon (http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-fl...
)2. Vegetable Masala burgers
3. Murcia Al vino cheese AND Creamy toscano cheese soaked in Syrah (http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-fl... and http://www.traderjoes.com/FEARLESS-FL...
)4. Hummus "Dip"
5. Belgian dark chocolate pudding
1. California Estate Olive Oil
2. Unripened Brie
3. Frozen Vegetable Melange
4. Frozen Hash Browns
5. Unsweetened Coconut Milk
The first TJ's in Idaho is opening Feb 28 in Boise. These lists are fun to browse while the anticipation builds.
i dont know if i cant live without these, but these are the products i buy at TJs and not in other stores
1. Multigrain O's
2. Greek Yogurt
3. Multigrain blend with vegetables
4. Blueberry Bran muffins
5. Popcorn with olive oil
Current must-buys if I'm out:
1. Kerrygold salted butter
2. California Estate Olive Oil
3. Tandoori Naan
4. Palak Paneer
5. Pork gyoza potstickers
Frozen Haricort Vert
Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels
Frozen Paneer Tika Masala
Filled Pastas (three cheese tortellini)
Honorable mention to those marinated mushrooms.
1) Frozen croissants (almond and chocolate are a tie for me).
2) Greek feta cheese packed in brine. Because of it's ridiculously long shelf life (refrigerated) it's a staple in our home.
3) Greek kalamata olives, jarred (in Olive oil).
4) Frozen garlic cubes (Dorot) brand - much better than the jarred IMHO.
5) Frozen Hodgepog vegetables ( with French haricots verbs a close second).
1.) Soft Multi-grain Rustico Bread
2.) Crunchy Salted Peanut Butter
3.) Multi-grain Crackers
4.) Unexpected Cheddar Cheese
5.) Almonds covered with dark chocolate, sea salt, and turbinado sugar
Yep, love the organic virgin coconut oil to WEAR (great moisturizer with no chemicals after shower), not to eat
Organic Green Tea when I can find it...seems like it is less and less available now ... bummer
Frozen Organic Chopped Spinach.(used to be able to find the organic frozen chopped spinach but for past months only the pestide-free kind...I'll take it but long for the organic)
Frozen Organic Strawberries...criminey! Whole Foods sells fresh organic straws for $6.99 a pound...get outta here! TJ's is a deal...WF does have frozen organic but pkg is 10 ounces, not 12 like TJ's...just saying!!!!
Yellow curry simmer sauce
South African smoke seasoning blend
Frozen mango chunks
I don't eat the following items myself, but I can't live without them because they pacify my children:
Linguine with Clams
Three Rice Medley
Kai Soi Thai soup (I add 1/2 c. strong chicken stock, 1/4- 1/2 c. shredded cooked poultry, juice of 1-2 limes)
Mushroom Fettucini Nests (I add dry sherry, and sometimes- cooked ground beef or poultry, sour cream and parm)
Tarte d'Alsace- ( i add gruyere, slivered ham, spread of sour cream)
Quinoa with Buttercup Squash and Zucchini
Steak Burritos (I add leftover steak)
Three Layer Hoomus
7 Layer Guac Taco dip
Multiseed Sesame Rice Crackers
Unsalted Tortilla Chips
Raspberry Chocolate Trail Mix
Cal. Estate EVOO
Salsa Verde (for chilaquiles, soups, stews)
Flax seed tortilla chips
72% Dark Chocolate Bars
Dried cranberries, nuts
How COULD I forget my other top 5?:
Whole Grain Rye Bread - square, thin slices
Baked Jalapeno Cheese Crunchies
Italian Truffle Cheese
Thai Tom Yum Soup w/ Spin. Mushrm Wontons (frozen)
Chicken Tikka Masala (frzn) this sauce is really terrific
yes, i decided , once i started answering the question, that more sharing trumped following the 'rules' on this one. No offense to TXMandy/OP.
I don't know; it's the only evoo i have used in 5 yrs; can't remember the others. but there are TrJ evoo threads on this board if you do a search.
i use cal estates evoo for every oo need: saute, salad dressings.but then, my evoo taste is for mild/buttery and not grassy/peppery.
I appreciate Top 5 lists! I know it's hard to pick favorites, but it provides a great snapshot of people's recommendations beyond the lengthy Yay/Nay lists.
parmesan and arugula ravioli (fridge)
butternut squash gnocchi with butter & sage sauce (frozen)
polenta provencale (frozen)
petite pan pascal/pauline (fresh bakery)
coconut cranberry granola
Our most purchased have mostly to do with the good price for the quality on the things we eat a lot of...not too exciting of a list.
1. Wild blueberries (frozen) - great price and great tasting
2. Gluten free oatmeal
3. pound plus 72% bar
4. Low fat cheeses (irish cheddar and mozzerella get used the most, food for low fat cheeses)
5. Pizza dough (for the non-Celiacs in the house)
Things we love that are more exciting
1. Dr. Praegers California veggie burgers
2. Serrano salsa (refrigerated)
3. Sea salt and caramel bar (made by Vosges)
4. Fire roasted corn
1. Triple Gingersnaps
2. California Estate olive oil OR Spanish olive oil
3. Frozen "fire roasted" corn
4. Seaside Cheddar cheese (with the little crystals in them)
5. Grade B maple syrup
Also love their #2 unbleached cone coffee filters. Best price anywhere.
add to my list the following which i can use to make israeli salad:
organic persian cucumber
organic onion (sweet or green)
organic lemons or limes (to be squeezed)
combine the diced cucumber, minced onion, diced tomatos, and the lemon or lime juice and sprinkle well with salt and pepper.
let marinate for 15 minutes or so and you have israeli salad.
1. Frozen Vegetable Lasagna
2. Orange Chicken (taste better than the restaurant's)
3. Dark Chocolate w/ Almond (3 bars for $1.79)
4. Sweet Potato Chips (hidden on the bottom shelf)
5. Mango Chunks (cheaper than Walmart)
Wow coming up with just 5 is harder than it looks! I love love love Trader Joe's.
Just went yesterday, and the top 5 reasons I went were:
1) an assortment of cheeses (different every time)
2) Organic Beef Broth
3) Fire Roasted Green Hatch chile peppers
4) Truffle Brownie mix
5) Pepitas/Pumpkin seeds
For the future: I bought this for the first time and immediately couldn't live without it: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Things I bought because of this thread; thanks everyone:
Miso Ginger Broth
Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
(I will report back on those. )
But I don't think the El Paso is fire roasted either? That makes all the difference to me.
The TJs work for me because I want them to melt into the dish and just add some background flavor. That, Rotel and El Pato are my "secret" ingredients" in many a dish, sometimes all three at once!
- Organic tricolor bell peppers (by far the best price I've seen)
- Mediterranean hummus
- Organic Turkish apricots
- Heirloom navel oranges (in season)
- Various trail mixes (especially Salty, Sweet & Nutty) / nuts (esp. half salt cashews)
I know that last "one" is cheating. Oh well.
Honorable mention sweets:
- Milk and dark chocolate peanut butter cups
- Dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt and turbinado sugar
- Dark chocolate covered ginger
I tried the kouign amman for the first time over the weekend. They did not rise so much in the moring so I was a bit worried but they did bake beautifully. I liked it better later when they were cold...love the texture of crunchy caramel with soft pastry. perfect with cup of coffee.
I also like their frozen macarons..the neutral ones..not the fruit flavored ones.
I had tried the chocolate ones a year or two back and wasn't thrilled, which surprised me because chocolate croissants are one of my favorite bakery goods. I thought these would blow me away but not really. I did just buy the almond version and will let you know when I get around to baking them how it goes.
I think they may not have risen enough, it was awhile back. I plan to let these almond ones go to town before they hit the oven. If not for this thread, I never would have given them another chance. But I have had some work class chocolate croissants in the past, so I may be aiming too high.
They really should be in a warm place overnight. If your home isn't warm, see if your oven has a proofing setting (we proof ours at 85 degrees). Others have recommended the oven with the light on (which keeps the oven relatively warm). When proofed properly, the croissants are quite excellent.
I'm near boston and it's pretty cold in my house. the kouign aman wouldn't rise the other day in my garland oven( pilot not lit), so i put the pan near the (6 burner) pilots and inverted a roasting pan over, and baked them when they were fairly risen and smelling of dough, but , even though i compared them to the pkg.photo, i'm not sure if i should have let them rise further. anyway, they did bake up cooked-through and delicious, but maybe half the height of the croissants i've done before.
the kA that i proofed by the pilot lights this time (this morning) rose so high that they opened up into flat squares. That's 'too proofed', yes? I lifted and folded in the corners (the butter kind of oozed out a bit) and they stayed that way through baking but i think they deflated/compacted a bit because of that. If you have successfully proofed your KA, have they puffed up but kept their corners folded in?
I'm thinking of making some sweet farmer's cheese Cheese Danish-like filling and putting a blob in the KA center after they have (over?) proofed and before folding in the corners. Think that could work? There's an egg in the filling and i'm thinking that even though the filling is baked through at 15 minutes (when i make cheese strudel using filo), maybe because it's protected by the KA puff pastry, it might not over-bake.... What do you think?
to me, if i'm going to consume that many calories, i want a better eating experience:
in other words, i will drive to a good bakery for a perfect croissant to be consumed immediately.
on the other hand: the organic vegetables they sell are just as good or better that the organic vegetables available anywhere else.
For me,I usually serve these when I make a nice brunch for family or friends. So the croissants are served along with bagels, cut in half, an egg/vegetable dish of some sort, a fruit salad and a baked ham. I love the idea of cutting them in half before baking for the presentation. :)
1. Salted and Roasted Sunflower Seeds.
2. Peanut Butter Pretzel Nuggets, Salted.
3. White Cheddar Popcorn.
4. Farm Fresh Eggs.
5. Toasted Oat Bran.
1. Organic Coconut Sugar (new item) - from the flowers of coconuts - very good natural sugar for cooking/baking
2. Organic Italian Olive Oil (square bottle) - has a smooth finish
3. Tuscan Pane Bread (strangely addictive toasted)
4. Peaches large case only - when come as Opportunity Buy item - insanely juicey - avail Summer only and amazing price of $5.99
5. Organic Coconut Oil - was the best selling new item at Trader Joes ever when introduced fwiw
6. Organic Grapefruit Juice - pick the reddest one if you can - almost a 'fragrant' grapefruit flavor
7. Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo & Conditioner
( added some items since one is avail only in Summer )
This is also the only grocery store I know of that could double the stores in my area (Twin Cities) and it would still not be enough stores.
It is the shelf stable kind - I still have not tried the refrigerated one yet. I like the Organic shelf one so much I have not tried the other. I buy 3 at a time now. A side benefit is If I feel even the slightest cold or sore throat coming on - a few swigs of it has stopped it in its tracks.
Ack!! Five is so hard... I have my top 5 Cheeses. top 5 crackers. top five frozen items. top five snacks...
But here we go:
Top Cracker: Whole Grain Pita Crackers (also love the raisin rosemary. the new super thin paper ones. the brown rice crackers...)
Top Cheese: Honey Goat Cheese (also love the Isreali Feta, the marinated mozz, the unexpected cheddar...)
Top Frozen: Frozen Naan. (also love the indian chickpeas, the reduced guilt Mac n Cheese, the frozen Haricot Vert...)
Top Snack: The Reduced Salt Nut Mix (Also love the Dark Chocolate Caramel Wedges, the sesame cashews, the baked sea salt pita chips, the rosemary marcona almonds...)
Top Pantry: Giant Beans in Tomatoes (Also love the Instant Whole Wheat CousCous. The Isreali Couscous. The marinated mushrooms. The Jarred Bruschetta)
So many things! I keep a jar stashed in my work pantry for those days when things get harry....
I use them with cheese plates, they go wonderful with hard strong cheese like Manchengo
They are great as a quick lunch over something like that Instant Whole Wheat CousCous.
They are great added to sliced grilled sausages, they make an upscale beanie-weenies (serve with a side of buttered garlic and parm angel hair pasta... OMG)
Or as I often do, when cleaning up the day AFTER the party.... eat straight from the jar, with whatever left over crackers and whatever left over red wine... LOL!!
Frozen rolled pie dough
Any Flavor of Trader Joe Ice Cream
Chocolate chip cookie Ice cream sandwiches rolled in chips
Fried Rice in Freezer Section
1. Chicken Tikka Masala (frozen)
2. Caramelized Onion Dip
3. Organic Persian Cucumbers
4. Spinach and Kale Dip
5. Grapefruit Juice (fridge version)
My top five in no particular order:
- Hollandaise Sauce in the tub
- Mushroom & Truffle Flatbread
- Frozen Leeks
- Grass fed burgers (NZ)
- Pomegranate Blueberry Sherbet
1. Cruciferous Crunch - a mix of Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, and red and green cabbage. Mix with with 3 Tbs olive oil, 1/4 c. of panko, and spices to your taste. Roast at 400 degrees for 14 min - redistributing halfway through.
2. Pork Gyozas - I steam them and dip in soy sauce - yum!
3. South African Smoke seasoning - Oh my - I put this on everything; eggs, pasta, soup, veg. A smoky mixture of paprika, salt, basil, and garlic.
4. Roasted Seaweed snacks.
5. TJ Shaved Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago blend.
Oh goodness this thread is making me hungry!
Always in my cart:
- Herb Salad Blend (new addition: Cruciferious Blend)
- Channa Masala (frozen)
- Mushroom risotto (frozen). easy to make into a meal by throwing in some spinach and chicken sausage
- Light Champagne Vinaigrette
- Cats Cookies for People (Ginger or Chocolate)
Have no self-control so can't buy em:
- Red Australian Licorice
- Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate bar
- Caramelized Onion English Cheddar
- Some sort of peppery toscano cheese? We demolished it.
3 layer hummus
Pita crackers (not the whole grain ones)
Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches
Bean and rice burritos
Cheap but good beer ($5.99 for a 6pk of a semi local IPA is a great deal)
Olive demi baguette
Non fat plain Greek yogurt
Non fat vanilla yogurt
Hot & Sweet mustard
If you asked me tomorrow I'd probably have a different five, since there are so many TJ's items that I always have to have in the house.
Frozen thin green beans.
Frozen petite peas.
Grated parmesan and romano cheese.
Eggs and milk -- cheaper than Ralphs.
New one! Just found! "Hold the Cone" mini ice cream cones. Less than an ounce each, I got the chocolate, very small cones covered in a thin layer of hard chocolate with a crispy sugar cone with chocolate coating inside. 8 for $2.99, if I remember correctly. Just a few bites, but ideal for a quick dessert or snack where I just want a taste of something sweet. Also come with vanilla ice cream.
Hard to pick just five! Hmmm, let's see....
Salsa Authentica - gotta have it
Jarred Bruschetta - truly fresh tasting and delicious
Frozen leeks - always keep them stashed in the freezer
(actually I like many of their frozen veggies and fruits in general)
Natural nut butters
All their ginger and pumpkin products (some seasonal). If you like ginger and/or pumpkin, TJ's really comes through!
I can't believe it! Just came back from Trader Joe's and they discontinued one of my favorites.... Confetti Rice. Whhyyyy! They told me it probably wasn't selling well so the company discontinued it. What? I was in there every month buying a few boxes. Is there any one out there that hated it?
1. Soft yummy Tandoori Naan, the yellow ones
2. Serrano Salsa (in the fresh section)
3. Everything Pretzel Thins, they make great croutons smashed up on a salad.
4. Hot and Sweet Mustard
5. Bag after bag of perfect butter lettuce
1. Frozen Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese (I usually augment with some veggies)
2. Mediterranean Hummus / Smooth & Creamy Cilantro Jalapeño Hummus
3. Quinoa and Black Bean Infused Tortilla Chips
4. Tzatziki Sauce
5. Frozen Black Bean & Corn Enchiladas (it’s dairy free!)
English cheddar w/caramelized onions
Thomcord grapes and heirloom navel oranges (cheated here because they are each seasonal and not simultaneously)
Five is not enough. Equally essential:
decaf medium roast ground coffee
just the clusters granolas
puffed pastry sheets (seasonal)
Szechuan beef and broccoli
.....and riesling wines
So many great products here! I'll keep mine to five faves that I didn't see on other lists:
1. Green smoothie (and all their cold-pressed juices--yellow/green/red)
2. Herb butter
3. Power greens (baby spinach/baby kale/baby chard, all organic)
4. The feta that comes in brine, in a blue and white tub. Full-fat, soo delicious.
5. Light balsamic salad dressing
OK, I can't resist one more, for the gluten-free folks--their gluten-free frozen pizza with Roma tomatoes is truly amazing.
1. Frozen French macarons-the chocolate and vanilla kind, because I love the vanilla (and they have to come with chocolate, but if I could I would just get a box of vanilla)
2. Chicago mix popcorn
3. Herb and Spices popcorn
4. Garlic mushrooms in a jar