5 Trader Joe’s Must Haves
UPDATED January 30, 2019:
The first item on the list has been discontinued. It’s the french toast. I went in a couple weeks ago and thought they were just out. I didn’t ask someone about it until I missed seeing it a second week in a row. I asked an employee and they said it was discontinued. It’s the usual Trader Joe’s line of “we’re making room for new items”. This makes me sad but I’m keeping it on the list because I’m hoping your location still has some and that Trader Joe’s will change their minds. The latter isn’t likely but a girl can wish.
My first encounter with Trader Joe’s was in Ohio. I was there on a business trip and decided to checkout this shopping area everyone was talking about. I love to shop so really a no-brainer, research, the best idea ever, all around goodness, etc. (You get the picture).
I saw the sign for Trader Joe’s and had no idea it was a grocery store. I walked in and it was different. It didn’t look like Publix, Winn-Dixie, Harris Teeter, Randall’s or any other grocery store whereI’ve shopped. I immediately fell in love but realized I couldn’t pickup just anything in this store and bring it back to Jacksonville, FL. I couldn’t bring the apple blossoms or the coffee ice cream or 2 Buck Chuck home with me. However, I could bring home cookie butter. Once I realized that truth all was right in the world again.
Fast forward to 2013 when my friend told me my home town of Baton Rouge, LA had a Trader Joe’s. Not right! Baton Rouge is always the last to get everything!
Then news hit that Jacksonville Beach, FL would be getting this much loved store in 2014. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
My first visit was with friends. We laughed, we oooooed and ahhhhhed and finally had a tasting party in the parking lot. It was great!
Here are my Top 5 Trader Joe’s must haves:
1. Breakfast: French Toast
There are two ways to make this, in the microwave and in the oven. Both are good but the oven gives you a crispier product. Turn on the oven, jump in the shower while it heats up. When you get out the shower put the French toast in while you do your hair/makeup and by the time you get done breakfast will be served.
2. Healthy snack/breakfast: Acai mix
If you follow any healthy eating blog or Instagram account you’ll see acai bowls with blueberries, strawberries, nuts and coconut on top. Skip the popular brand found in most grocery stores. The one at Trader Joe’s is $2 less than that brand. (This is very popular as you can see they are out-of-stock)
3. Snack time: Less guilt guacamole
I haven’t been a fan of the creamy green stuff very long. This guac has less guilt because instead of all avocados they add Greek yogurt to make it creamy. You won’t miss the extra avocados!
4. Cheese: You name it it’s good
I’m partial to a seasonal cheese that is in stock in the fall. It’s the apple cinnamon goat cheese. Add a cracker and you’ve got a midnight snack. The other cheese I just discovered is an aged Gouda. Pair it with a Shiraz or Viognier and the heavens will open up in song. Of course you can buy a bottle from Trader Joe’s but have you ever tried a wine club membership? I love mine!
UPDATE: Trader Joe’s no longer carries the apple cinnamon goat cheese. I almost cried. Yes, I’m serious.
5. Dessert: Apple Blossoms
Growing up my mom taught us how to make homemade apple pies so I’m very picky when it comes to a frozen pre-made store branded product. This is the ONLY apple pie I recommend. I’ve tried quite a few and none can compare. Also, there’s two ways to make this, microwave and oven. I’ve never tried the microwave because I think that’s wrong on so many levels.
If you are on Instagram be sure to follow Trader Joe’s of course but also Trader Joe’s list. The latter isn’t affiliated with the company but they are always up to date with the new offers.