Growing up I always thought you were either a Trader Joe’s family who only seemed to shop at a Trader Joe’s or you had never set foot into a Trader Joe’s before(and the latter was my family). The only previous interaction I had with Trader Joe’s was through the family I babysat for, who only seemed to shop at either Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.
However, this past year, a new Trader Joe’s opened up near USC and based on recommendations and what caught my eye I stepped into a Trader Joe’s for the first time and tried a handful of products. Trader Joe’s sells almost only products from their own private label brand, which means it can be difficult for someone to shop there for all of their grocery needs. On the other hand I think their strengths is in some of their unique products from their private label and that a lot of their products allow for quick meals for lunch and dinner (great for busy people and families).
Here are a Few Trader Joe’s Products:
Trader Joe’s Turkey Pot Pie Bites and Pastry Bites with Feta Cheese & Caramelized Onions
Trader Joe’s frozen section is heaven for those who are too busy to consistently cook or for those who just dislike cooking. I picked up these two boxes out of my own curiosity and I think they are my favorite items I have tried from the store so far. They are great as snacks, side items for your meals, or would be perfect appetizers for parties. The Pastry Bites are particularly addicting, even though I baked them out of the tin for the first batch and completely messed up the shape, they still tasted delicious.
Trader Joe’s Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Trader Joe’s cookie dough has been the number one recommendation I have received for years. I was surprised that it was difficult to find this item as I had assumed it was displayed right at the front with bright lights and neon signs based on everyone’s rave reviews. When I asked where it was located, the store worker made sure to inform me that it was their freshly made cookie dough. The cookies were delicious, I loved how they tell you two different baking times if you want them softer or crunchier, and the pre-cut dough bakes into a perfectly round cookie.
Trader Joe’s Salads
Trader Joe’s has the best pre-made salad section I have ever seen in a grocery store. I received a lot of recommendations for their Chinese Chicken Salad, which I honestly did not love, but they have a huge selection and I did enjoy the Southwest Salad and Turkey Harvest salad. This is a great section for quick lunches, and they are reasonably priced for pre-made salads.
Trader Joe’s Chicken Spring Rolls
I was a little let down with the Chicken Spring Rolls I bought from their freezer section, especially since they were highly recommended by a friend. I did not hate them, but I would not put them at the top of my favorite Trader Joe’s items. This could be partly due to the sauce I dipped them in. I was unprepared and attempted to eat them with barbecue sauce, which was probably not the best condiment choice.
Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter
Alongside the cookie dough, Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter is also another highly recommended item. However, I would definitely take the cookies over the cookie butter to satisfy my sweet tooth any day. I did not expect the original cookie butter flavor to taste like gingerbread, as I discovered when I picked it up from the store, and it ended up being too sweet for me. I find the flavor difficult to mix with other items (like pretzels or toast which are suggested), and I would not exactly enjoy eating it by the spoonful. I did like mixing it with vanilla ice cream and it would probably be great for baking into other items like pies, cookies, or cake. Here is a website with cookie butter recipes that I would definitely be willing to try.
Trader Joe’s Crunchy Curls and Cinnamon Apple Snack Sticks
I mentioned before that I tried some Trader Joe’s items while babysitting in high school, and I remember munching on snacks like these after I put the children to bed. Both of these snacks have a light flavoring but I think that is what makes them great as snacks, since you do not feel as bad after eating a half a bag of these in one sitting.