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Hiya and Merry (almost) Christmas to those of you who celebrate! Like my Santa hat? I stole the idea from Suzanne over at Hello Veggy who is obviously having as much fun as I am with the holiday photo edits in PicMonkey. She makes a super cute Santa, especially with the beard.
Today, I thought it might be fun today to show you some of my favorite vegan-friendly and healthy food products from the retailer Trader Joe’s. For those of you who don’t have access to this store, I’m sorry. You probably won’t get much out of this post and you
might will probably just get annoyed if you read it.
But, for those of us who are lucky enough to be able to shop at this fantastic store, maybe you’ll see some things you didn’t know were there or leave me a comment with your faves.
Note: this is NOT a sponsored post and, in fact, I contacted the corporate office of Trader Joe’s to see if management would like to do a giveaway tied to this post and they said no because they don’t do that type of thing. No worries, I still love them enough to give them some free marketing, ha ha.
I should also say that since I live in California, I’m uber-spoiled to have farmers’ markets or produce stands available to me nearly every day. Supporting my local farmers and getting the freshest produce is my first choice my far, but, of course, farm stands don’t carry everything. So, I find I shop at stores like TJ’s or Costco about once a week for frozen, bulk, or packaged goods, and then I order from Vitacost.com.
Anyway, without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite items from Trader Joe’s:
1. Unsweetened soy milk. The ingredient label for this version of soy milk reads filtered water and organic whole soybeans. So, apart from making my own fresh at home (I bought a soy milk maker recently that I will write about in a future post), this is my favorite brand:
2. Frozen organic, wild blueberries. These most often go into my green smoothies, but I also used a bag of them in my Slow-Cooker Winter Breakfast Stew. There is research on wild blueberries that shows them having superior health properties even over cultivated ones (though either version is great to eat regularly in my opinion):
3. No-salt Added Roasted Tomato Salsa. There is sugar in this product, but only 2 grams per serving which amounts to about 1/2 teaspoon. The flavor is excellent and I use it quite often to make guacamole or with steamed vegetables:
4. The entire nuts, seeds, and dried fruit aisle.
I specifically love the organic walnuts (unpictured), organic raisins, and organic unsulfured apricots. Nuts and seeds are the base of most of my vegetable and salad dressings and sauces, and the dried fruit goes into desserts as the sweetener, or sometimes chopped into a green salad:
5. Low Sodium Vegetable Broth. I also love making my own in the slow-cooker, but sometimes I forget to defrost it from the freezer or I just don’t have time to bother. I like using some of the broth as an alternative to water-sauteeing vegetables, too:
6. All of the bagged organic lettuces.
You just can’t beat the price and convenience of these bagged lettuces. My three favorite “flavors” are the romaine, arugula, and herb salads:
7. Bagged organic kale. It’s kale, it’s washed and prepped, it’s organic…need I say more?
8. The sulfur shelf, as I have dubbed it. Garlic, shallots, and the newly available fermented black garlic are staples in my kitchen:
9. Mushrooms. It’s hard to find organic mushrooms at TJ’s, but I think it’s great that they have a variety to choose from and they are in reasonable quantities so they don’t go bad before I can use them up:
Shiitakes are my favorite:
10. Unsalted, crunchy almond butter. Since organic versions at the health food store run about $20 a jar, I relish in buying this version at TJ’s that runs about $7 and go through about a jar a week, between putting it into dressings or mixing it with vinegar into a simple stir-fry sauce over cooked vegetables. YUM!!!
That’s my top 10 list of favorite food products. I snapped this picture of my basket that included all of the above mentioned items, plus a lot more. I am routinely shocked that my total bill is almost always under $100, and this particular cart full of groceries was about $89.
Many thanks to the TJ’s employees for always being so helpful and, on this day, for not kicking me out of the store when I was obviously taking pictures when I
probably most definitely shouldn’t have been.