Trader Joe’s Favorites and First Impressions

As promised, today’s post is all about food. I love hearing what other people buy at the store, whether it’s food related or not. When I was in college and had an off-campus apartment, Trader Joe’s was a go-to store for me. Namely because it was a literal 5-10 minutes down the road — but also because they have reasonable prices and a lot more healthy options than your average supermarket.

Now that I’m back home, I don’t go as frequently, so I thought I would pick up some favorites and try some new things.

Below I rated all of the items that I’ve never tried before (with the exception of one I haven’t eaten yet), and I let you know about some of my favorites to give you some ideas for your next food shop.

Let’s jump in.

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I’ve already had the broccoli and mac and cheese before, so there’s not much to say about them. The broccoli tastes just like it should (five stars), and the mac and cheese is pretty good (4.5 stars).

First up, I specifically bought turkey meatballs for a below recipe. They were really good, and I was definitely surprised at the flavor. The only thing I would say is that they were pretty large, which is why I cut them in half (4.5 stars). I would definitely repurchase.

Second up, I wanted to try these pastry pups (aka: pigs in a blanket). I liked them for the most part, although the Parmesan flavor is very strong. I’ll give these 3.5 stars.

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The olive oil popcorn (4.5 stars) and baked cheese crunches were familiar pickups. The cheese crunches are definitely one of my favorite Trader Joe’s items (five stars).

I normally buy Quaker oatmeal (the stats for Quaker’s Maple & Brown Sugar oatmeal and this one are nearly identical), but I was already in the store, and thought I would try it. I’m not into whole grain oats, and I think that’s what threw me off here. It also takes a lot more to get this oatmeal soft. For my typical oats, I pour in some hot water, and I’m done. This one takes more microwave power, and it’s not really the right texture for me. With that, I give it two stars. It’s definitely edible and tastes fine, but it just doesn’t hit the check points I look for in a quick and easy breakfast item.

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I have long been a lover of Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups (five stars). I’d like to think these are healthy because they’re dark chocolate, but that would be a lie. Though, a little sweets in moderation never hurt anyone. I think they have a milk chocolate version as well, but with the peanut butter, I don’t even mind the dark chocolate. And I’m not one to choose dark over milk.

The same goes for the fruit wraps from Trader Joe’s. In my opinion, they are better than fruit roll-ups. They actually taste like fruit (five stars).

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As of late, I’ve been into zucchini and squash (five stars). I decided to try to make spaghetti and meatballs — but foregoing pasta. It turned out really good:

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If you know me, you know I love fruit. I used to eat an orange every single day. But now that it’s summer, I’ve found a plethora of fruit to choose from. My favorite, at the current moment, are nectarines. The nectarines and peaches pictured above aren’t ripe, so they have to sit out on the counter to get that way. However, Trader Joe’s sells ready ripe nectarines and even peaches sometimes. If you see them, pick up a couple crates. They are the actual best. In my mind, all of these fruits get 5 stars. There’s no complaints from me in this arena.

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-Jas

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